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London 2 For 1 Attraction Discounts With Travelcards & Train Tickets In 2014

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 £9 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.

– <strong>Or</strong> a valid Travelcard issued by the railways, (<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>not by the Underground, TFL or on-line</span>)

– 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.

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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  • wigwammy

    Hi Bob- your site is extremely helpful!
    This might be an easy one for you:
    My bf and I will be traveling in from Paris to London for two days. Each day we are planning to buy an off-peak travelcard for GBP 8.90; first card will be at St. Pancras Station ticket office and the second card will be bought the next day at Victoria Station near our hotel. I want to make sure that I am planning this correctly because we want to avail of the 2for1 promotion at the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge Exhibition (we are planning to go to both on the 2nd day). Does my plan sound correct or do you have a better, more cost effective plan for us to follow? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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

      If you want the 2 for 1 your plan is the best option.

      Just make sure you buy from the railways ticket office, nowhere else like the Underground oe Eurostar ticket offices at each station and that you only buy a zone 1-2 off-peak Reavelcard

      • wigwammy

        Will do! Thank you for all your help.

  • jwaddell

    Bob, thanks for the great informative site! I just wanted to verify the duration with which a return airport ticket is valid for the 2 for 1 discount. For example, If I’m taking the Gatwick express train from Gatwick and purchase a return fare for return five days later, is the 2 for 1 discount then valid through the date of the return ticket and not just on the date of the inbound trip? I’m a bit confused here, as the Gatwick Express web site mentions anytime returns which would not have a specific return date. Would these tickets have to be purchased at the Gatwick station or could they be purchased online in advance? Thank you!

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

      If you buy a return ticket to London it is valid for 2 for 1 all the time between your outward and return journey.
      If you just have a single ticket its only valid on the day of travel.

      The key thing when you have return tickets is not to go through the automatic ticket barriers at Victoria to exit the platform.
      The barrier will not return your outward ticjet, which you need to show at the attractions for 2 for 1. Go through a manned ticket barrier,

      You can buy tickets at Gatwick Airport Station or the Gatwick Express web-site.

  • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

    Buying a 1 day Travelcard from Watford Junction Railway Station would qualify you for 2 for 1. A 1 day Travelcard at the weekend is £16.80 from Watford Junction in zone 9, a normal Travelcard from zone 8 like at Watford High Stree is £12.50 or the daily cap from zone 8 is £11.60

    • Janine

      I’m glad I asked the expert! Thanks Bob ;-)

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

        I should add that only Travelcards bought from Watford Junction are valid for 2for 1, not from Watford High Street which is a London Overground Station

  • Amy DM

    Would it surprise you to hear I am confused about part of this? haha
    I have a couple questions – first, I was hoping to buy my travel card in the area of Kew Gardens on a Sunday.
    Most ticket counters in that area do not appear to be staffed on weekends – do I need a staffed counter in order to get the photo ID card, or can I do that in a machine?
    Since the stations in that area all in zones 2/3, is it safe to assume that I can get the rail travel card in any of them?

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

      The railways id card is only required if you buy a 7 day Travelcard, not a 1 day Travelcard.from a railway station in London
      The railways id card is not linked directly to Travelcard or indeed London.
      You can get an id card at any railway station in England at any time.

      You need a railways id card purely because the national railways have a rule that is that any ticket lasting 7 days or longer is classified as a season ticket and in order to buy one you need the id card.

      • Amy DM

        Excellent, it is a 7 day travel card, so I will need it. So if that station does not have a manned ticket counter, there is staff that issues the rail id card?

        What about the second question – Since the stations in that area all in zones 2/3, is it safe to assume that I can get the rail travel card in any of them?
        Without staff, I will just need one that has a machine?

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

          You need a manned railway station ticket office to issue the id card and 7 day Travelcard though they do not have to be at the same time.

          The nearest railway station near Kew whose ticket office is open all weekend is Richmond

          • Amy DM

            Thanks so much!

  • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

    Not sure where you are with the site as they try to be clever with the button appearing and disappearing depending on whether you have an item in the basket or not.
    Normally its a “Get offers” button

  • Kelly pham

    hi, i live in streatham hill-which is a suburban areas of london. if i buy a ticket from streatham hill to victoria (oneway) on 14th sept , can i use that to claim the 2for1 promotion for london zoo on that day?! or do i need a return tickets?! thanks a lot!

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

      If you buy a 1 way train ticket from Streatham to Victoria then that is valid for 2 for 1 on the day of travel only.
      Don’t go through the automatic ticket barrier at Victoria Station as it will retain your ticket which is need for 2 for 1 at the admission desk

      • Kelly pham

        yes we are planning to go for 1 day only. thanks a lot

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

          Note, you need a ticket each.

          • Kelly pham

            right, so i need to buy 2x one way ticket from streatham to victoria?!

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

            Yes you need a ticket for everyone being admited under 2 for 1 and a 2 for 1 voucher for every 2 people

  • Eve

    Hi Bob…We would like to use the 2 for 1 vouchers on our
    trip.

    1st day….We (4 adults) are arriving Gatwick and will probably take
    the train into london. Does it matter which train if we want to do the 2-for-1
    on that day? We are staying near Euston for the entire trip.

    2nd day… We are taking the train to Newbury but we do
    not know the exact time we are returning, I am not sure if I will buy singles
    or “anytime return”. Note we will be returning to London sometime
    that same day. Perhaps if we are back early we will do the 2-for-1 sights. Will
    the return to London ticket qualify us?

    Day 3, 4, and 5 ….We will be sightseeing London.
    Hopefully using 2-for-1 vouchers…..note: would also like to see Hampton Ct
    & maybe Windsor if time allows

    Day 6 …taking the train to Manchester. Not returning to
    London

    Would the arrival from Gatwick on Day 1 and the departure
    to Manchester on Day 6 qualify us for the 2-for-1 in the in-between days? What are
    my best options?

    thank you in advance for making the trip easier. Great site

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

      If you are staying around Euston it would make sense to take the Fisrt Capital train from Gatwick to St Pancras Station which is about 800m from Euston Station.
      If you buy tickets at Gatwick railway Station these will be valid for 2 for 1 on that day only.
      Make sure you don’t go through the automatic ticket barriers exiting St Pancras, the barriers will not return single tickets, go through the manned exit.

      At Euston (or St Pancras) sounds like your best option is to get an Oyster card each from the Underground Station. Its a £5 deposit which is returned when you surrender the card at Euston before getting the train to Manchester.

      If you want to do 2 for 1 you can always buy a 1 day Travelcard zone 1-2 from Euston Station RAILWAY ticket office and use that instead of the Oyster card that day.
      Hampton Court is in zone 6 so you’d need a zone 1-6 Travelcard for 2 for 1 to there

      Newbury and Windsor are outside London, trains to both go from Paddington. The cheapest option as there are 4 of you will be Groupsave off-peak day return tickets, but you’ll have to check availability of these tickets prior.

  • Jan

    Hi Bob,

    I thought I had passport photos, but now can’t find them. Could you clarify that the photo for the 7 day travel card just has to be a 2″x2″ headshot and can be on regular paper? Can it be black and white? Also, how do you get the- 33% discount on many scheduled river services? Thanks.

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

      Here is the official definition
      “The image should be a good recognisable likeness of you.

      We prefer colour pictures but black and white images are
      acceptable. Your head and shoulders should be in close-up, with your
      face clearly visible and filling approximately 70% of the frame (in the
      same way it would for a passport or driving licence). The image must be
      in sharp focus.

      Please make sure that your face is not obscured by hats or hair.

      We will reject photos if they are not appropriate and ask you for a more suitable image.
      The UK passport size photo is 45mm x 35mm, smaller I think than 2″x”2″

      Once you get outside or on the edge of this definition its up to the ticket attendant who serves you and their decision may not be consistent from one attendant to the other.

      On the major train stations in London there are photo machines that will produce the required photo’s in 5 minutes

      To get the 33% discount on river services you just show your Travelcard on purchasing tickets.
      Check the web site of the river service you want to use, some give discounts on Travelcards, some Oyster cards, some neither.

  • Ronak Meisheri

    Hi Bob,

    All the info is very useful. Great work!
    I’m on a business trip to London. I have an oyster card provided by company, So for commuting, I’m planning to buy Travel card only for my wife. Is 2 for 1 valid in my case where she will have the Travel card but I will have an oyster card?

    Thanks in advance.

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

      For 2 for 1 you both need tickets issued by the railways.
      Oyster Cards are not valid, only Travelcards bought from a railway station (not Underground, DLR, Overground or on-line) are valid.

  • Carina Lopez

    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for all the info. One question left: We are travelling into London on the Stansted Express but only oneway (we leave on the Eurostar) to Liverpool street – is this valid for the 2×1 or will we have to go the travelcard route?
    Many thanks in advance

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

      If you have a one-way Stansted Express ticket into London issued by Stansted Express it is valid for 2 for 1 only on the day of travel.
      If you want to use for 2 for 1 on the day of arrival don’t go through the automatic ticket barriers at Liverpool Street like the vast majority as it will retain your single ticket.

  • Al

    Hi Bob, we are going to stay for 12 days in london and would like to use the 2+1 offers. what is the best & cheapest way to do so? we thought about buying a 7 day travelcard for start – but than i find out that they might not be eligible for the offers, is that so? buying a daily travelcard will add up to a 120 GBP per person – doesnt worth it. waiting for your help. THANKS!

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

      The cheapest option to qualify for 2 for 1 is to use a national train service to arrive and depart in London and have tickets issued by the railways.
      This includes the airport trains from Stansted, Southend, Luton and Gatwick Airports but not Heathrow or City Airports.

      If in London then the only realistic way to qualify is to but Travelcards either 1 day or 7 day from a RAILWAY station ticket office, nowhere else.
      This includes the RAILWAY ticket offices at Paddington, Marylebone, Euston, St Pancras, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street, Fenchurch Street, London Bridge, Charing Cross, Waterloo and Victoria

      Assuming you only want 2 for 1 for a couple of days I would suggest buying an Oyster Card each from anywhere in London including a 7 day Travelcard zone 1-2 for 7 of your 12 days.
      Plan your trip so that the 2 for 1 offers are taken on the 5 days not covered by the Oyster’s 7 day Travelcard and the day before buy a 1 day Travelcard from one of the railway stations listed above and use that instead of the Oyster Card that day to qulaify for 2for 1

  • CaroArgentina

    Hi Bob, I’m travelling to London in October with my husband and my one year old baby boy. Would you think this 2 x 1 discount is suitable for us? or should we try with a London Pass? We’ll be staying near Victoria Dock Station. Thank you very much for your advice!

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

      There is no universal best solution for everybody.

      I would suggest a good strategy is to write down exactly what you “must” sea and a realstic pace at which you like to travel.
      Only then see if any promotion fits in with your needs rather than the other round.
      You will have spent a lot of money to place yourself in London for a few days. Relatively small financial savings within the context of your total budget are a false economy if they swerve you away from your ideal trip.

      In very crude terms for getting around get an Oyster Card each for your public transport needs around London. Only consider 7 day Travelcards if you are in town 5 or more full days.

      If you want a visit to somewhere that is on the 2 for 1 promotion then its worthwhile taking advantage. If you are not travelling to London by train then buy a 1 day Travelcard zone 1-2 from a railway station the day before and use that instead of Oyster that day to qualify for 2 for 1

      The London Pass is worth checking out, but don’t set your hopes very high. Financially it really only works if you can knock off many attractions in each day, with a young child I suspect this is unlikely.
      Some people prefer the comvenience and the fast track feature to some attractions even though it might actually cost them more than independently buying each ticket

      • CaroArgentina

        Thank you very much for your answer Bob. I’ll investigate a bit more and decide what is better for us. But still have another question about 2 for 1 promotion. I assume that as my baby is under 3 and doesn’t pay entrance tickets anywhere, the promotion runs for me or my husband. Am I right?

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

          Yes, every attraction and transport authority is dfferent but a 1 year old normally travels or visits free without a ticket.
          Any rules and regs for babies are usually driven by health and saftety regulations rather than money.

          For 2 for 1, both adults need a valid railway issued ticket plus the 2 for 1 promotion voucher for that attraction.

  • Rebecca

    Hi Bob, me and some friends are hoping to use this offer when we go to London in a couple of weeks. However we have planned to go to the zoo on the day we come home so will not have a ticket there but rather a ticket for the journey home, (this is because cheapest way we could get the tickets was to buy two singles) Would the offer still work with a single ticket home?

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

      At the end of the day its up to the person at the ticket desk on the day who have final say and attractions are not consistent with the interpretation of rules for 2 for 1.

      I would say you have a very good chance of them being accepted, but I would not go as far as saying it is your right to have them accepted.
      The key thing is to retain both outward and return single train tickets and not go through the automatic ticket barriers like nearly everyone else will be doing on arrival in London. If you do the ticket barrier will retain your single ticket which you will need for 2 for 1.

  • Lydia

    Hi Bob, me and my boyfriend are going to stay at Chertsey in a couple of weeks and we are going to london zoo for the day, would the 2for1 deal work if we got the train from chertsey into waterloo? Is that a valid train ticket?

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

      Yes a day return from Chertsey works

      With a bit of anorak’s hat on you could go by train to Camden Road in Camden Town about 15 minutes walk away and maybe drop in on Camden Market on the way.
      You would have to change trains at Virginia water and Richmond but an off-peak day return will be 11-13 GBP depending on day you travel which may save you a bit of money over the train to Waterloo then London bus/underground.

      Shouldn’t be that big a difference in travel time either.

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