Our Blog

London 2 For 1 Attraction Discounts With Travelcards & Train Tickets In 2016

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.

The Cheapest Way To Qualify In 2016 If You Are Not Using The Train Into London

To qualify for 2 for 1 you need a valid rail issued ticket that will get you to Central London and the attraction in question on the day of entry.
Remember the airport trains from Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Southend Airports (but not Heathrow) are valid for the promotion.

If you do not have a rail ticket then the cheapest 1 Day Travelcards issued by the railways that will qualify you for 2 for 1 is a zone 1-4  Travelcard.
In 2016 the cost of a 1 day adult Travelcard zone 1-4 is £12.10 (you can no longer buy 1 day Travelcards zone 1-2)
Assuming you are staying in Central London (zones 1 and 2) the maximum you can spend on an Oyster is £6.50 – so you are paying a £5.60 premium per person for using a 1 day Travelcard instead of an Oyster Card so you need to factor this into whether the promotion is worthwhile.
If you are in London a few days then a 7 day Travelcard zone 1-2 is available and at £32.40 is actually cheaper than an Oyster for more than 5 days travel in zones 1-2 and about the same for 5 days.
The railways do require a passport size photo in order to purchase a 7 day Travelcard.

Perhaps the cheapest option for many is to buy a very short railway ticket purely to qualify for 2 for 1.
For example a one-way adult rail ticket between Vauxhall Station and Waterloo is £2.90 in 2016.
Remember a one-way train ticket only qualifies you for 2 for 1 on the day of travel.

If you are using 2 for 1 in a Central London attraction you really need a railway ticket to a London terminus railway station like Waterloo. Attractions differ on the level of scrutiny they apply to vetting railway tickets, but to make sure you should have a ticket to a London terminus – the attraction itself has final say whether they accept your ticket.
If you actually use the rail ticket make sure you don’t use an automatic ticket barrier at your destination to exit the platform as the barrier will retain your ticket, go through a manned barrier.

For the visitor its very confusing identifying which stations ouside the London terminus stations are run by the railways and issue tickets valid for 2 for 1.
The simplest option is to look up the station on the National Rail web site.
For each station at the top of the page it will state who is managing that particular station.
(Opening hours of the ticket office will also be stated)
If it is managed by the Underground, Overground or TFL Rail then tickets issued will not qualify 2 for 1, a railway company then you are OK, (except Heathrow Express).
National Rail Station Search Facility

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…

alert-success

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

alert-success

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

alert-success

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

Tags: , , , ,
  • Farhaj Shafi

    We are family of four. 2 adults and 2 kids (4 and 7 yrs old). We will be in London for 7 days. I think 7 day Travel Card will work best given avg per day cost of 4.6 per day vs. 6.50 of Oyster. We will buy two travel cards for 2 adults. Since, kids don’t need to pay, we wont by any card for them. So, for 2for1 attractions, for adults, we can use Travelcard to get the promotion. To get the discount for kids, I need to have two train tickets for kids as well, right? So, what is my option to get the 2for1 promotion for kids, if any?

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

      Which airport or railway station are you arriving/deparing from ?
      Where exacly are you staying in London ?

      • Farhaj Shafi

        I am coming from Paris via Eurostar and will be staying near king cross station.

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

          You can buy 7 day Travelcards zone 1-2 from the RAILWAY station ticket office at St Pancras or Kings Cross next door.
          You will need to provide a passport size photo each for these

          For the kids, the easiest way to qualify is to buy a one-way railway ticket Vauxhall to Waterloo for the day you want 2 for 1 – cost is £1.45
          If you want 2 for 1 more than 2 days for the kids then also buy a one-way ticket in reverse Waterloo to Vauxhall for the day you leave
          You would not use the tickets, just have them ready to show at 2 for 1 attractions in the centre of London

          Children under 5 are free without a ticket on all public transport.
          In London only kids under 11 travel free on the red buses, Underground and DLR without a ticket

          Note, the 2 for 1 promotion for nearly all places is one adult pays full walk-up standard admission another person goes in free.
          Its not pay one child admittance another child goes in free

          For 4 people you’d need 2 x 2 for 1 Vouchers for each attraction

          • Farhaj Shafi

            Just so I am clear you need two tickets or two travel cards to get one admission free and same applies for children?

          • Farhaj Shafi

            So i need two tickets or two travel card to get one free admission? And same goes for kids?

            For kids ticket, let say if I am going to 4 different attractions on 4 days, do I need to buy 4 single tickets for everyday or I can just buy one return ticket and can use it at all attractions in between days of departure and arrival?

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

            For every person who wants entry under 2 for 1 you need a rail issued ticket valid on the day of entry that would have got you to that attraction
            So for 4 people wanting entrance you need 4 rail issued ticlets plus 2 x 2 for 1 vouchers

            Each voucher is for 2 people, so with 4 people you need 2 z 2 for 1 vouchers

            If you buy a one-way tickets both to and from Waterloo Station and Vauxhall you are covered for 2 for 1 for the days between the 2 dates
            If you have one one-way ticket to London you are covered just for that day

            There is no limit to the number of 2 for 1 vouchers you can use in any one day

  • Waffa Abu Aklin

    First I would like to thank you a lot for your quick response. My hotel is in Westminster Borough, and we will stay there all the time. I’m planning to visit Harry Potter, Hampton Court and Kew Gardens. Is there any problem with the transportation to these sites? Thank you again.

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

      Westminster is a very large district covering much of South West London, where exactly are you staying in Westminster

      Also how/where are you arriving/departing from London?

  • Waffa Abu Aklin

    Good evening Bob. I’m planning to visit London for 7 days in July with my family (2 adults+2 youngs ages 15&14). I’m very confused how to plan my visit. In your oppinion, is it reasonable to buy the 3 days London PASS to visit the top attractions in London (the first three days) and for the transportation to buy the 7 days travel card 2 for 1? This way I can use also the travel card 2 for 1 to visit more attractions in the 4 days left.
    Thank you in advance. Waffa

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

      The London pass is a separate purchasing decision and you should buy it on the merits of that promotion based on the attractions you want to visit
      .
      For 7 days it would not be a good choice to go for the transport option available with London pass, it would be a lot cheaper on paper to get a 7 day Travelcard which crudely gives you 2 free days of travel out of 7 against an Oyster based pass like London Pass uses

      However its not as straight forward as that.
      To qualify for 2 for 1 you need a railways issued ticket either a return train ticket to London or a 7 day Travelcard sold by a national railways ticket office in London.
      How best to get such a qualifying rail issued ticket depends on how you are arriving/departing from London, where exactly you are staying in London and if you are staying and travelling in Central London or doing day tours or viisting places like Harry Potter, Hampton Court and Kew Gardens outside the very centre of London

  • Carly Kovenator

    Hi Bob – I shall be traveling into London for a day trip in the c2c line. My child will have a return day ticket (I have a work rail pass so I will not have a purchased ticket) – will we qualify for 241 with a child day return ticket? Many thanks. Carly

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

      Each person wanting to be covered by 2 for 1 needs a rail ticket
      If you have no rail issued ticket you do not qualify.

  • Richard

    Hi. We are a family of 4 people from Venezuela (2 adults + 1 senior 80yrs + 1 child 12yrs) and we shall be staying in Hatfield (Hertfordshire) for two days from 6th to 8th September, On the 8th September we will be in a hotel near Luton Airport.
    We want to visit London for 2 days:
    On the 7th September we will take the train to Kings Cross and go visit British Museum, a tour of Piccadilly Circus/Convent garden/Trafalgar Square and Madame Tussaud’s. and RETURN to Hatfield.
    On the 8th September we will take the train to King Cross and visit London Bridge Experience, take a city cruise to see Big Ben/Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and Oxford Street. We then return to LUTON Airport.
    Can I buy the 2 for 1 tickets for two days from Hatfield railway station? Is this better than buying 4 travel cards for 2 days? Do I require anything else? ? Do I need to book something in advance?
    We appreciate your help and thanks in advance,
    slimcell@yahoo.com

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

      Travelcards are only for London, you cannot use them from Hatfield or Luton

      The train ticket from Hatfield or Luton bought at either railway station will qualify you for 2 for 1 on the day you are in London
      When you buy the train ticket, on day returns there is also an option to buy a Travelcard with the railway ticket which covers the Underground and buses for the day whilst traveling around Central London

  • Sarah Cattini

    Hi Bob, thank you for assisting us! I will be in London from 4th July and will get there by train with 2 one way train tickets (adult and child) from Cambridge and also have 2 one way stansted express tickets from London Liverpool Street to Stansted airport on 6th July (adult and child).
    Question is can I apply for the 2×1 tickets if I would like to use them on 4th July and 5th ??
    Many thanks for your help!
    Sarah

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

      Strictly speaking only the tickets on the 4th July from Cambridge to London qualify you fpr 2 for 1 on the 4th July

      Attractions vary significantly on how hard they scrutinize the railway tickets offered so you may well get away with July 5th too, but the attractions would have the right to say no for July 5th

  • M. Kopar

    Hi Bob, first of all I’d like to thank you for a such a helpful post! Although, I have some question and would be really happy if you’d help me choose the best option or suggesting even better one.
    I’m coming to Stansted Airport with my girlfriend in September. We will be staying in Stratford for a week and we’re interested in a few attractions, offered by the 2 for 1. From Airport to Stratford we would use Stansted Express or National express. We would like to have the 2 for 1 for a week.
    We have 2 questions:
    1. Would Travelcard for zones 1-3 (which I would buy at one of the train stations mentioned in the post) qualify for the 2 for 1, or is it necessary to have Travelcard for zones 1-2 to qualify for the 2 for 1 offer?
    2. Would Advance offer Standard Class Return ticket by Stansted Express qualify for the 2 for 1 offer for a whole week?

    Thanks!

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

      How many days are you staying in London?

      • M. Kopar

        7 days.

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

          I think you have 2 main options if qualifying for 2 for 1 is important to you.

          First any Stansted Express return ticket bought from Stansted Express at Stansted or on-line will alone qualify you for 2 for 1.
          However to be 100% sure you’ll have no problems with 2 for 1 I’d makes sure you go to Liverpool Street.
          Then at Liverpool Street Underground Station buy a 7 day Travelcard zone 1-3 from a ticket machine and it will come on an Oyster Card. You’ll have to pay a refundable £5 deposit.
          If you are travelling anwhere outside zones 1-3 like Harry Potter or Hampton Court the Oyster gives you flexibility to load Oyster cash on the Oyster and get the lowest fares for these.
          At the end of the trip you’d cancel the Oyster and get back your deposit and any cash on the Oyster.

          The second option is to use the cheaper National Express coaches.
          On arrival you’d take the National Express Coach to Liverpol Street.
          There you’d buy the 7 day Travelcard zone 1-3 from the RAILWAY station. In this scenario it is the railways Travelcard that qualifies for 2 for 1
          The downside of this option is that you need to supply a pasport size photo each and if you travel outside zones 1-3 you’ll have to purchase separate tickets
          On the plus side there is no deposit you just throw the Travelcard at the end
          You also have the flexibility to get the Nationsl Express coach direct from Stratford to Stansted at the end

  • Jade Ng

    Hi Bob, this is a wonderful site packed with incredible amount of useful info for visitors, thanks so much!

    I will be travelling with my sister (both adults) to London next week and will be staying near Hammersmith station for 7 days, before going out to Paris for a few days and returning to London again to stay another 3 days before leaving.

    We are interested in visiting about 4-5 of the attractions with the 2 for 1 offer.

    I am thinking of buying a standard oyster card to travel from Heathrow to Hammersmith, then after unloading our luggage at our accomodation we can train from Hammersmith to Paddington to get a 7 day travel card to qualify for 2 for 1.
    Then on the last 3 days we may just use oyster or get 3 day travelcard, depending on where we want to go. We may go on a day trip to oxford or bath.

    Would you have any better suggestions?

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

      Given your accommodation location and you are flying into Heathrow it seems a reasonable enough plan.

  • Velrybka

    Hello Bob 😉
    We are planning to spend two days in London. We’ll be staying at Hemel Hempstead and going to Euston station both days by train. We are planning to buy the one day Travelcard (2 adults and 1 child above 11) both days. I’ m hoping this would qualify for the 2 for 1? I’m hoping to buy them at the Hemel’s train station. Do you have a better suggestion? 😉 thank you. Dasa

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

      Hemel Hempstead is well outside London so you cannot buy Travelcards there

      Your return train tickets to Euston will qualify you for 2 for 1, but I guess most people in your position will buy a day return train ticket bundled with a Travelcard in one ticket that covers getting around London once you arrive.
      You can buy these tickets at Hemel Hempstead

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work! Please upgrade today!