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London 2 For 1 Attraction Discounts With Travelcards & Train Tickets In 2015

Author: Bob Handford

What is The 2 For 1 Promotion

The 2 for 1 promotion covers over 150 attractions in the London area.

2 for 1 requires a voucher printed at no charge from the promotions web site, plus a transport ticket issued by the railways that would enable you to get to the attraction that day. (The scheme is promoted by the railways)

2 for 1 means that one person pays the full standard adult admission and another person goes in free, irrespective of age. This means that the scheme is not normally worthwhile when children are involved as they normally go in around half price anyway, (you cannot use 2 for 1 to pay child admission and get another child in free).

You have to check out each attraction\’s individual rules and regulations when you print out the voucher from the web site, the above is the general rule but individual attractions may have other restrictions.

Attractions Covered And Savings

One of the attractions of the scheme is that it covers many of the top attractions.
These include the Tower of London, Madame Tussaud\’s, London Dungeon, London Zoo, London Eye, Kensington Palace, Tower Bridge Exhibition and Hampton Court.

Attractions do come in and out of the scheme. The London Eye is a good example.

When you consider that the admission to the Tower of London is over £20 and the cost of a 1 Day Travelcard is around £12 the savings are very worhwhile.

Key Points Of The 2 For 1 Promotion

- To qualify you must have a valid railway ticket with the railways logo on that is valid to get you to Central London on the day of entry to the attraction. Single railway tickets are only valid on the day the railway ticket is used. Return tickets are valid for 2 for 1 the entire period between the outward and return legs of your train ticket.

Or  a valid Travelcard issued by the railways, (not by the Underground, TFL or on-line)

– You must have a 2 for 1 voucher for the attraction. You can print as many vouchers as you like at no charge.

– The deal is normally for standard tickets, not fast-track and not to be used in conjunction with other promotional tickets.

– The vouchers have expiry dates. Near the expiry dates a new set of vouchers are put up on the official web-site. Each voucher cycle some attractions join, others may drop out.

– There is no limit to the number of vouchers you can use in a day.

Qualifying Railway Tickets For The Promotion

The facet that gets visitors confused is the qualifying rail issued tickets that can be used with the 2 for 1 promotion.

If you are not travelling to London by train, your work around is to buy a Travelcard. Travelcard is a public transport pass covering the buses, underground, DLR and railways in London. The alternative Oyster pass is not valid for the 2 for 1 scheme.

The only places that sell Travelcards with the rail logo on are railway ticket offices at Central London mainline rail stations, (Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, Kings Cross, St Pancras, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Charing Cross, Waterloo, Fenchurch Street and Victoria). All these also have Underground ticket offices and some have information centres which also sell Travelcards. Purchasing from anywhere other than the train ticket offices do not qualify. Travelcards bought on-line in advance do not qualify for 2 for 1.

Its not all straight forward with the qualifying railway tickets either. The UK has a privatised rail system with many operating companies, not all of which support the promotion. Confusingly return tickets on the Gatwick Express and Stansted Express airport trains bought from the railways do qualify but tickets on the Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect do not.

There are railways stations in the suburbs of London away from where most visitors stay which may sell tickets valid for 2 for 1. If a railway station is in one of the London public transport zonal areas it will sell both Travelcards and return rail tickets that are valid for 2 for 1. However, the ticket office at such stations must be operated by the railways for tickets to be valid for 2 for 1.

Many stations are dual railways and underground/overground stations but unlike the mainline railway stations in Central London listed above do not have separate ticket offices. Some stations like Heathrow Airport and West Brompton as a result do not sell tickets valid for 2 for 1 whilst Ealing Broadway does.

Zone 1-2 Travelcards Withdrawn in 2015

On January 2nd 2015, the cheapest Travelcards qualifying for 2 for 1, the 1 Day zone 1-2 and zone 1-3  Travelcards were  withdrawn, the cheapest Travelcard in 2015 will be the zone 1-4 peak 1 day Travelcard valid for travel before 9:30 a.m. Monday to Friday and the zone 1-6 off-peak Travelcards – both are the same price (£12.00) in 2015.

Photo ID Cards For 7 Day Travelcards Purchased From The Railways

In 2012 the railways brought in a requirement that when you buy a 7 Day Travelcard you require a photo id card. This is issued free when you buy a 7 Day Travelcard, but you must bring along your own passport size photo. This rule only applies to 7 Day Travelcards bought from railway stations.

(7 Day Travelcards bought anywhere else than the railways ticket offices come loaded on an Oyster Card and do not require a photo but are not valid for the 2 for 1 promotion.)

You do not need photo id for 1 day Travelcard

Related Information

Travelcards – Prices, Zones, How To Use…

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2 for 1 Promotion Web Site – Print Your Coupons From Here.

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The London\’s Pass – London\’s Other Transport & Attraction Ticket …

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Discuss 2 For 1 With Bob

For the visitor to London its bad enough getting on top of Oyster v Travelcard, let alone the 2 for 1 promotion.

So if you\’re confused just make a comment below, normally I’ll respond well within 24 hours

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  • Farhana Bangladesh

    So I can use one day travel card as long as purchased from a train station. Do I need to show two tickets, or is having one valid one day travel card enough for the promotion (the other person usually has osyter card)?

    Thanks

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      Yes the key thing is RAILWAY station, not stations run by the Underground, DLR or Overground railways.
      In Central London this means Victoria, Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, Kings Cross, St Pancras, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Charing Cross & Waterloo.
      All these also have an Underground within the station, you need to buy the Travelcard from the RAILWAY station ticket office at ground level.

      Every person using 2 for 1 needs their own rail issued Travelcard

      • Farhana Bangladesh

        Thanks, I know I can pick those up at Ilford. What’s the most cost effective railway paper travel card to get..

        I need to travel from zone 4 (through zone 1 – peak) to Heathrow to collect my friend. Then both travel and stay only in zone 1 (where the hotel is at).

        • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

          Heathrow is in zone 6 so you would need a zone 1-6 Travelcard

  • Christina Sakka

    Hi Bob,
    I am going to visit London with my family (husband and 2 kids, 16 and 21 years old), for the period 24 to 29 of December. We’ re arriving at Heathrow airport and staying near Kings-Cross station. We are planning to visit some attractions, so I am interesting of the 2 for 1 offer. Considering that, on 25th of December everything is closed, including the means of transport , what is better for our transportation and, finally, in the case of using the 1 day travelcard, how many of those we need just for the offer? 2 are enough or everybody must have his own?
    Thank you in advance!

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      At Heathrow buy an Oyster Card each, (treat your 16 and 21 year olds as adults) from the Underground Station,

      On days you want to use 2 for 1 buy a 1 day off peak Travelcard zone 1-2 from Kings Cross RAILWAY station ticket office and use that instead of the Oysters for that day.
      Each person using 2 for 1 needs their own Travelcard issued by the railways.
      You also need the voucher for the attraction, so for 4 adults you will need 2 vouchers.
      Some attractions may clasify your 16 year old as a child, best check as it varies quite widely from place to place.

      • Christina Sakka

        thank you very much for your immediate information! That was too fast!!!

  • Tiina

    Hi Bob, we (2 adults) will stay in London for 7 days and probably only travel in zones 1-2 during that time. The National Gallery is the only place we have already decided we want to visit. We will arrive at and leave from Heathrow. When we arrive, would it be cheapest for us to buy single journey tickets from Heathrow and get the travel cards somewhere else? Should we get 2 for 1 travel card even if we end up visiting nothing else but National Gallery? I understood that, with or without this 2 for 1 offer, travel card is better than oyster even if we used it only for few trips a day. What do you say? :)

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      Heathrow is in zone 6.

      Taking the 2 for 1 thing out of it your cheapest option would be to get an Oyster Card at Heathrow Underground (assuming you are using the Underground from the airport) and load a 7 day zone 1-2 Travelcard onto the Oyster.
      This way Oyster will give you the cheapest fare from Heathrow to zone 2 and Travelcard will cover all the fares into the centre.
      Stand alone Travelcards are only cheaper than Oyster for 7 day Travelcards if you are doing 3 or more journeys in a day for 5 or more days in a 7 day period or are traveling before 9:30 a.m. Monday to Friday most days.

      The National Gallery is free to enter, as are all the major museums and art galleries.

      If there is an attraction you do want to see with 2 for 1 then buy a 1 day Travelcard zone 1-2 from a railway station for that day and don’t use the Oyster/Travelcard combo. checking the costing saved in admissions is greater than the Travelcards

      If its more than 1 or 2 days for 2 for 1 then don’t load the 7 day Travelcard onto the Oyster, just use Oyster all the time except for the days you want 2 for 1 when you can buy 1 day Travelcards.

      Its a bit hard to call if you don’t know if you will be visiting any 2 for 1 venues.

      From Jan 2nd, the above may change. The price differential between Oyster and Travelcards get wider and they are withdrawing the zone 1-2 1 Day Travelcard, so you’d have to buy a zone 1-4 ticket.

  • Lize

    Hi Bob, If I buy a return from Herne Hill to Brixton, do I qualify for the 2 for 1?

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      Feedback is that this is a grey area where some attractions in Central Londn will say yes and others say no. At the end of the day the individual attraction has final say.

      To be assured of acceptance buy a single or return ticket from Herne Hill to Victoria

  • Carole Smith

    Hello Bob, we (a family of 4 with 1 child 17 and 1 aged15) will be arriving at Heathrow 12 dec 2014 and would like to travel to Paddington station with the Heathrow express. We only have 3 days in which we would like to take advantage of the 2 for 1 offer in the following attractions, london eye, tower of london, London Bridge experience and the mummy exhibition at the British museum. Can we use the tickets for the Heathrow express? If not what would be the cheapest rail ticket we could purchase? Would a single ticket for one or two halts be valid? Please advise, thanks in advance.

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      17 year olds in the UK are no longer children, so treat your 17 year old as an adult for purchasing tickets.
      The Heathrow Express (or the Heathrow Connect) train is not valid for use with 2 for 1.
      For 3 days the cheapest pass for pure transport would be an adult Oyster Card card for all 4 of you with a young persons discount applied for the 15 year old.
      Again you cannot use Oysters or travelcards on the Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect, just the Underground from Heathrow

      To qualify for 2 for 1 the cheapest work around would be a 1 day off peak Travelcard each with a child version for the 15 year old. The only restriction on the off-peak ticket is that you cannot travel before 9:30 a.m. Monday to Friday
      You can buy a railway issed Travelcard that qualifies for 2 for 1 from Paddington Station RAILWAY ticket office, but not Heathrow

      Use the Travelcard instead of the Oyster on the days you wnat to use 2 for 1

      • Carole Smith

        Hi Bob, thanks for the speedy reply, what would be the best option for rail tickets in the weekend? We arrive early from Amsterdam on friday and return late sunday afternoon. I don’t think we can stuff all of the things we would like to do into one day! (Friday) TIA

        • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

          Where exactly is your hotel in London?

          • Carole Smith

            Russel square bloomsbury. If I buy separate travel cards for each day online before travelling would they still be valid?

          • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

            What is best for you will probably be driven by your attitude towards budget and perhaps how much luggage you are carting around with you.

            Unless you are traveling heavy, more than one case of 10-23 kg (22-50lbs) and a shoulder or handbag each then the lowest cost option that is viable is to use the London Underground direct to Russel Square.
            If you do this get an Oyster each at Heathrow Underground Station for all 4 of you with a young persons discount applied for the 15 year old.

            There won’t be much difference in time doing this than getting the Heathrow Express to Paddington then the Underground to Russell Square.

            If you want to use 2 for 1 on any day walk up to Euston Station, 5 minutes walk from Russell Square and buy a 1 day travelcard each from the RAILWAY station ticket office and use that instaed of the Oyster that day.

            Travelcards bought on-line are not valid for 2 for 1

            If you don’t like the idea of using the Underground for airport transfers then for 4 people a private car transfer with meet n greet at the airport and door to door transport to your hotel is going to be about the same price as using the Heathrow Express to Paddington then Underground or taxi to your hotel.

            See: http://www.internationalfriends.co.uk/white/londontk/taxi.html

          • Carole Smith

            Thank you very much Bob, I found it pretty confusing but you’ve explained it for me and I now feel confident enough to make the right choice for us! ;-)

  • Tricia Clarke

    Hello Bob

    Thanks for all the useful info on this site and apologies if these questions have been answered already (I tried to scroll through all the pages of comments but there are sooo many!)

    I want to travel by tube to the London Eye and Madame Tussauds with my husband and two sons in December. I’d like to purchase 2 x 1 day travelcards for my husband and myself and my sons travel free. The nearest railway station to me is Stratford/Stratford International

    1) Do you know if this station issues railway issued Travelcards?
    2) Is it ok to use the tube for the entire journey or do you have to travel by train also?
    3) Has there been any reader feedback about these particular attractions in terms of their interpretation of the 2 for 1 promotion?

    Thank you x

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      I’m not 100% sure about Stratford Station but Maryland railway Station close by should certainly sell the Travelcards with the rail logo. (Note Maryland ticket office is closed Sundays and Saturday afternoons)
      A 1 day off peak Travelcard at the weekend covers all the trains, DLR, Overground, underground and buses (but not the fast trains between Stratford International and St Pancras)
      As your kids don’t have tickets they don’t qualify for 2 for 1

      The 2 for 1 promotion has been around years now and seems to be straight forward and everyday in use.
      At the end of the day its up to the individual attraction how strict they are with the rules and there are some grey areas where there seems different interpretations by different attractions – though your circumstances seem straight forward.

      A lot of people report that many attractions don’t even ask for the rail ticket, just taking the voucher, but (as ever) there is always one that is difficult and at the end of the day its the attraction that has final say, not the railways who sponsor the promotion.

      • Tricia Clarke

        Thanks for your prompt reply Bob.
        I forgot about Maryland station, I will purchase from there
        We plan to travel on a weekday
        So, I would have to purchase Travelcards for my kids or would a ticket for just one stop work?

        • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

          Regards the question about your kids, this is where we enter the grey area where feedback is that attractions are very inconsistent in there application.

          In essence the qualifying rule is that the railway ticket has to enable the person to travel to the attraction in question. For Central London attractions I think this is interpreted as any zone 1 London terminus which in your case would be Liverpool Street.
          A one-way ticket is fine as long as it is valid on the day of entrance to the attraction, and of course don’t go through the automated ticket barrier at Liverpool Street or it will gobble the ticket up, go through the manned exit and retain the ticket.

          So I think the answer is that a one-way child ticket to Liverpool Street will be fine at all attractions, a one-way ticket to say Stratford would get an unpredictable reaction from the ticket attendants at the attractions.

          • Tricia Clarke

            Thank you so much Bob! Very helpful

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