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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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  • jmeckes@ssd.com

    Dear Bob:

    We will be visiting London from 9 July to 16 July. We are four adults and two children (ages 7 and 12). We are staying in Westminster. We plan to visit the main London tourist spots (Tower, St. Pauls’, Westminster Abbey, London Eye) as well as day trips to Hampton Court and Windsor Castle.

    It would probably make sense for each adult and the 12-year old to have 7-day Zone 1-2 travel cards. Since my seven year old will travel for free on underground and buses, she probably does not need a travel card. We can then just buy tickets to get outside the zones to Hampton Court and to Windsor.

    Based on what I know about 2-4-1, I expect this makes the most sense because the adults could get 2-4-1 on the relevant attractions and we can by kids’ tickets for the two younger ones (which would be about the same price in any event).

    What do you think?

    Joe

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

      It’s a bit complicated with kids ….

      Free travel for under 11’s in London is confined to London’s red buses, Underground, DLR and Overground networks – for the trains, including the one’s to Hampton Court free travel is only for under 5’s

      Hampton Court you could go a much longer route with Underground to Richmond, then bus to Hampton Court that would qualify for free travel for your 7 year old

      There is no 2 for 1 at Windsor Castle – from Waterloo to Windsor they to a combination railway ticket of entrance + train at a small discount and there may well be a “Groupsave” fare available
      See:
      http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/windsor-castle.aspx

      Back to 2 for 1 as you say it’s finely balanced as most places kids go in around half the price of adults so its a choice of no 2 for 1 for the kids, paying 2 child entrances and one Travelcard against buying 2 child Travelcards and paying 1 adult admission.

      For the Hampton Court trip on the train you can ask for extention tickets on your zone 1-2 Travelcards. Hampton Court is in zone 6 so in effect an extention ticket covers zones 3 to 6. Make sure you buy at a railway station like Waterloo so the tickets are issued by the railways and cover 2 for 1

  • Kate

    hi, could you please help us, we are a party of two adults, staying in London for 17 full days in February 2016. We are confused as to what travel card option to take, we are hoping to see all thing touristy and take day trips to Oxford, Cambridge and Windsor. We want to take advantage of the 2-4-1 offers and also be able to use the Tube, Trains, Buses and go on a trip on the Thames…..Could you please help save my sanity and tell me what travel card work. thank you very much in advance :)

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

      Probably best revisiting this in January prior to your departure as prices and ticket types are reviewed and introduced on January 2nd every year so what is right now may not be the case when you arrive.
      2 for 1 will be around but there will be new sets of vouchesr and some changes to what is covered.

      The key parameters are where exactly you are staying in London and how many 2 for 1 locations you want to use, over what timescale.

      For places outside London like Windsor, Cambridge etc you need to decide whether you prefer coach tours or travellng independently.
      You have plenty of time and places like Windsor, Oxford deserve much longer than the “taster” visits of the tours but which may be cheaper than an independent visit.

  • Beni

    Hello,
    I have a few questions:
    1. We, 2 adults, will stay 7 days in London. We want to visit as much as we can. Can we combine 2 for 1 promotion with a london pass (for admission at attractions)? I mean, if we get just one london pass can the other get free admission on the basis of 2 for 1?

    2. Can we load travelcard onto oyster AND keep the travelcard for admissions with 2 for 1?

    3. My friend will stay somwhere in zone 4 in Barking area, (George St. With North St. Junction) and I will stay in Watford, near Watford Junction. I will need to do at least one round trip from London to Watford every day. We indent to get 7-days travelcards for zones 1-6 as we will do a lot of traveling, I assume, with me have an additional cost, as WTJ is outside this area. What is the cheapest option for me to travel to/from WTJ?

    Thank you

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

      You cannot combine London pass and 2 for 1 – which is best comes down to what you want to see and how quickly you visit attractions.

      Travelcards loaded onto Oysters do not qualify for 2 for 1 – 2 for 1 is a railways promotion and you have to buy transport tickets from the railways – the railways ticketing system doesn’t sell Oysters

      A 7 day Travelcard that includes Watford Junction is £83.70

  • Mladena Maddie Zankovska

    Dear Bob,

    My parents are visiting and they will be staying in London for 7 days. I live in zone 2 so they will only need a travelcard zones 1-2. I want to take them to the Sea Life in London and I would like to use the 2 for 1 voucher. If I go to Waterloo station, for example, and buy the orange paper weekly travelcards (zone 1-2) from the ticket offices will they qualify for the 2-4-1 deal?

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

      You can do but the railways treat 7 day Travelcards as season tickets so you need a rail id card issued which requires a passport size photo for each person

  • Avi Vainshtein

    Dear Bob,

    We are two families, which will stay in London – in Greenwich area – for 6 days.
    The families are :
    a. two adults plus two children which celebrated their 11-years old a week ago.
    b. two adults plus nine years old child

    We plan to visit main London attractions during the stay, plus visit Hampton Court and Harry Potter WB site.
    As well, we’d like to use the 2-for-1 coupons. For that – it seems that we need to purchase
    the RailWay travelcards (not Oyster), most probably the 7 days travelcards.

    Here starts the questions :
    1. do we need the 1-4 zones or 1-3 zones travelcards ?
    2. i learned that children till 11 can go free by tube and bus. But not by train ?
    (i guess that we’ll need to go by train from Greenwich to London Bridge station, and then go further by tube or bus…)
    So, do we need a travelcard for kids as per our listed above 9-11 years staff ? Or maybe, just buy for the kids single train tickets and further in London they could go free ?
    3. Do the 7 days travelcards provide other (than 2-for-1) attractions tickets ?

    best regards and looking forward your assistance
    Avi

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

      I think you first need to check where you are located in Greenwich as some parts are zone 2, others zone 3 – although the red London buses are zoneless so you can use a zone 1-2 Travelcard to ride the bus from zone 3 to a zone 2 Underground/DLR/Railway Station

      So the core of your needs will be a zone 1-2 or zone 1-3 7 Day Travelcard bought from a railway station – (not Underground, DLR or Overground Station).
      You will need a passport size photo for each person.

      With regards the kids, children under 11 travel free without tickets on the buses, DLR and Overground and Underground but not the railways – though under 11’s can travel free between Euston and Watford Junction for the Harry Potter bus shuttle

      Your dillema for the 9 year olds is that you require a railways issued ticket to qualify for 2 for 1 even if they are entitled to travel free on the Underground/Buses
      Given that nearly all 2 for 1 offers are that one person pays full adult admission the other goes in free irrespective of age and you have 2 adults and 4 children at face value it won’t be worth using 2 for 1 for 2 of the kids as admission will be around half price anyway – so might as well take advantahe of the free ticketless travel available on all but the trains for your 9 year olds

      The 2 attractions you have mentioned outside zones 1-3 are Harry Potter and Hampton Court
      The under 11’s can travel free on the train from Euston to Watford Junction, but not on the train to Hampton Court.
      For those with a zone 1-2/3 Travelcard you can ask for an extention fare at a railway station ticket office to Hampton Court and that will cover you for 2 for 1 at Hampton Court. You might also enquire about Groupsave fares to Hampton Court which may or may not be cheaper and will still qualify for 2 for 1
      You can also ask for an extention fare to Watford Junction

      • Avi Vainshtein

        Many thanks, Bob, for the fast and detailed reply.

        We will stay in Greenwich at :

        “Woolwich Road (postcode SE10 0RJ ) – is situated in Greenwich. It is located just few minutes from Greenwich Park. It is on the junction with Blackwall Tunnel Flyover and few meters from Westcombe Park Train Station.”

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

          Ok the local station to you is a railway station, Westcombe Park in zone 3.
          The ticket office is not open Saturday afternoons/Sundays

          • Avi Vainshtein

            Thanks again.

            Do i understand correctly that i can purchase the seven days travelcards at the ticketoffice of Westcombe Park station (as soon as i come in the regular work hours) ?

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

            Yes

          • Avi Vainshtein

            Thanks a lot !

            Back to the issue of traveling with a nine years old child by train :
            If i own a seven days travelcard for zones 1-3 and want to take my 9-years old child from Westcombe Park station to London Bridge – do i have to buy a separate ticket for the child or she can go with me free since i own an adult travelcard ?

            many thanks and best regards

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

            On the trains free child travel is restricted to under 5 year olds
            There are a few exceptions which are listed on the page below
            https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/travel-for-under-18s/travelling-with-children

            Its probably quite confusing for you as there are other railways in London called the Underground, DLR and Overground where under 11’s do travel free without a ticket.
            So from Westcombe Park your child cannot travel free on the trains, but if you caught a red bus into Greenwich and caught the Underground or DLR into London they could travel free

  • davey3d

    Dear Bob,

    Our group of 10 arrives at Heathrow and will use the Oyster card (we think( the first day to get us to zone 3 and our apt. We will travel into the city to catch the hop on hop off bus for that first day.
    We are thinking that for at least 2 of the days we may want to purchase the travel card tix from the National Railroad station and benefit from the savings at various attractions. We have chikldren 11, 15 and 17. Does this seem like a wise choice or wuould you advise otherwise. We leave via Eurostar on our last day and will probably just buy a ticekt to the station. Thank you for being such a great resource.

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

      Where exactly is your apartment?
      How long are you staying in London overall?

      • davey3d

        We are staying near Northfields Underground Station.

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

          Northfields is in zone 6 so for 10 people best get a Group Travelcard when going into London on days you don’t need 2 for 1
          See:
          http://www.londontoolkit.com/blog/transport/group-day-tickets-travelcards-for-10-or-more

          For days you want to qualify for 2 for 1 buy a 1 day zone 1-6 Travelcard from a railway station in Central London the day before and use that to qualify for 2 for 1

          Your 17 year old is classified as an adult in the UK

  • Halil ibrahim Topuz

    Hi Bob, you are great and I have found out so much info about 2for1 in London but still have some unclear issues about using 2for1 vouchers. Coul you pls ask my questions.
    I am 35 and have 5 students with me . We are a group of people attending Eng summer school in Uni of Roehampton. How can I use 2for1 in Thorpe PArk, Madam Tussaud London Eye Arsenal Stadium and Chelsea Stadium.
    1 Should all the group members have valid train ticket?
    2 If I have weekly travel card which enables me to travel all around London, Can I use it to make one child go free?
    3 Should the travel and attraction be on the same day?
    4 Should my students (children) show theair valid train tickets to go free?
    5 If we are two adults, does this mean that 2 kids go free with the valid train tickets?
    I am confused about these issues.
    Many Thanks
    Halil

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

      How old are the students/kids
      How/where are you arriving in London?
      How long are you staying overall in London?

      • Halil ibrahim Topuz

        Hi Bob, many thanks for your reply. The kids are below 15. We are staying in sw15 5sl uni of Roehampton for 2 weeks. we are arriving in London by plane at heatrow or gatwick. many thanks

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

          Your nearest railway/underground station is Barnes which is in zone 3 about 800 yards from your accommodation
          Kids under 11 ride free without a ticket on London’s red buses, underground, DLR and overground but not trains where it is under 5.

          Note, a railway station is different to an Underground, DLR or Overground Station whose tickest sold do not qualify for 2 for 1

          For 2 for 1 every person gaining admission under 2 for 1 needs a valid transport ticket issued by the railways that would enable them to visit the attraction in question.

          Assuming you are travelling every day for 14 days in London then a 2×7 day Travelcard zone 1-3’s will almost certainly be the core of your transport needs
          THe adult 7 day Travelcard zone 1-3 costs 27.70 GBP (kids half price) and gives you unlimited rides on buses, underground, trains, DLR and Overground in zones 1-3

          If you buy them at Barnes (or any other national railway station in London) they will also qualify you for 2 for 1 in Central London.
          Each person including the kids will need a passport size photo for a railways id card
          Note the ticket office at Barnes closes early afternoon.

          You can use 2 for 1 on any day that your Travelcards are valid and there is no limit to the number of vouchers you can use in any day.

          The basic deal for 2 for 1 is that one person pays full adult standard admission the other goes in free irrespective of age for every voucher.
          This means in your situation the scheme has limited application for your group of 1 adult and 5 children as children normally get half price entry anyway.

          Of the attractions you list Thorpe Park is outside zones 1-3, indeed is outside the London Zone’s so your zone 1-3 Travelcard will not qualify you for 2 for 1.
          You can get a trains from Barnes to Staines, the nearest station to Thorpe Park and those tickets should qualify you.

          • Halil ibrahim Topuz

            Hi Bob, thanks for your answer.
            i couldn’t understand why my kids (below 15) need a passport size photo. How/why do they use the photo? should it be on the train ticket?

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

            Sorry typo – an adult 7 day Travelcard zone 1-3 is 37.70 GBP

            In order to qualify for 2 for 1 with a Travelcard you need to buy from a railway station ticket office – this counts out Heathrow (or Gatwick) Airports
            Really depends on how you plan on getting from either airport to your accommodation.

            The railways treat 7 Day Travelcards as season tickets for which you need a railways id card, which requires a photo for both kids and adults
            These are made up on the spot free of charge and are separate to the Travelcard tickets

          • Halil ibrahim Topuz

            what is the Economical and the cheapest option for me to get a weekly travel card? from heathrow or from any train station to benefit 2for1 deal? do i need a photo for train tickets for 2for1 deal. thanks Bob

          • Halil ibrahim Topuz

            is the adult day travel card 27 or 37 GBP? :) thanks Bob

  • Sahil Puri

    Hi bob

    I’m in London and staying at canary warf, want to make use of 2 for 1 for madame tussuads. Pls guide me on cheapest and closest single, which can be used for availing 2 for 1.

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

      Limehouse is the nearest sttaion run by a railway company so I guess a single ticket bought from the railwaysLimehouse to Fenchurch Street would qualify you for 2 for 1 in Central London

  • Terri

    Hi Bob, I will be arriving at Heathrow and heading to Clapham Junction. I need to get a one way ticket from Heathrow to Zone 2 (off peak, as it will be about 11 a.m.). Along the way, I need to get the 7 day rail pass (zones 1-2) in order to qualify for the 2-for-1 deal (and use for travel for the next 6 days I will be in town). I see on the map that the Vauxhall station has a railroad logo. Does that mean I can get my 7 day travel pass there? I will be bringing a passport photo with me as well. I could also stop at Victoria station to get my travel pass? I looked at a map of the two stations and I don’t see a railroad ticket office. Are there signs with the railroad logo at the station when I get there to make it easy? If both are able to give me a 7-day travel pass with picture ID, is one station preferable? It seems like Vauxhall would be a little easier to navigate than the busier Victoria station. Thanks!

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

      Personally I would go to Clapham Junction direct from Heathrow on the one ticket changing at Earls Court (Piccadilly to District Line Underground) and West Brompton (District Line to Overground) then getting your 7 day Travelcard zone 1-2 at Clapham Junction railway ticket office

      • Terri

        Bob, it doesn’t look like Clapham Junction has a railway ticket office. At least it doesn’t indicate such on the Underground map. As for going to West Brompton, do you mean take the Underground there and then a bus from there? We are staying on Lombard Street in Battersea. It would probably be better to just get a bus from somewhere else rather than a bus from Clapham Junction. It is not a far walk to the hotel, but I have heard that it is not a safe walk.

        • Terri

          Also, we are flying into Terminal 3 at Heathrow. I don’t have an oyster card from a previous visit.

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

            Clapham Junction is the busiest railway station in the UK in terms of number of trains handled and certainly has railway ticket offices

          • Terri

            Thanks, Bob!

  • Shiv Par

    Bob, Thank you for the detailed explanation. Glad we can still get correct advice for free these days due to good Samaritans like yourself!

  • Shiv Par

    Hi Bob, 2 Adults and 2 kids (12 & 8) in London July 4-10. Arriving at Heathrow and staying in Bloomsbury. Want to hit all major attractions in Zones1-2. Is Travelcard the way to go? Heathrow to Russell Square – should we pay single fare or get Oyster card? To avail of 2-4-1 for 8 yr old should I get a Travelcard as well?

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

      There is no universal “best” solution.
      The main variable you have to address is just how many 2 for 1 Attractions you are going to visit and quantify the savings this brings you.
      Also other key factors is whether you are staying all the time in Central London or whether you are doing any other trios outside the centre apart from the airport transfers

      Bear in mind 2 for 1 means one person pays full adult admission the other gets in free irrespective of age – so in effect 2 adults and 2 kids means the kids get in free.
      Bear in mind 2 for 1 is almost always just for walk up, standard tickets so no fast track tickets under this scheme.

      Assuming you are just sightseeing in Central London and will indeed be making use of 2 for 1 then the ideal fare option would be to pay cash fares Heathrow to Rusell Square, check-in to your hotel then walk up to Euston Station and buy the railway Travelcards.
      On the return to Heathrow buy an extention fare back to Heathrow, for zones 3 to 6

      The optimum solution without 2 for 1 is an Oyster boought at Heathrow with a 7 day Travelcard zone 1-2 loaded onto it. This is not an option for the 12 year old where you would just get an adult Oyster Card with the Young Person’s Discount loaded onto it giving half price fares and caps

      The 2 for 1 option means you’ll pay 4-6 GBP per adult more than Oyster for the airport transfers and for the 8 year you’ll be paying 16.10 GBP for a 7 day child Travelcard you don’t need without 2 for 1.
      You’ll also have the hassle of getting passport size photo’s for all 4.

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