London 2 for 1 railways attraction admission promotion 2017

Discussion clarifying aspects of the popular London 2 for 1 promotion


2 For 1 Londondon Sightseeing Offer

Recap of key points of the 2 for 1 promotion

Our main page introducing the London 2 for 1 promotion is at the page linked below, but in summary the key points are:

London 2 for 1 promotion main page


- 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 (one-way) railway tickets are only valid for 2 for 1 on the day the railway ticket is used. Return (round trip) tickets are valid for 2 for 1 the entire period between the outward and return legs of your train ticket. You need a railway ticket for every person.


- Alternatively you can qualify for 2 for 1 with a valid London Travelcard issued by the railways, (not by the Underground, TFL or on-line). The Travelcard qualifies you for 2 for 1 at any 2 for 1 attraction within the travel zones on the Travelcard. You need a Travelcard for every person.


- You must have a 2 for 1 voucher for the attraction for every 2 people. You can print as many vouchers as you like at no charge from the official promotion web site, (see banner link above). Some of the most popular attractions in London allow you to book tickets in advance from within the promotion web site. Train stations may have a limited supply of 2 for 1 vouchers, but the likelihood is they will not have the voucher you require.


- The deal is normally for standard walk-up tickets, not fast-track and not to be used in conjunction with other promotional tickets. However, there are a few attractions in London where you can book 2 for 1 tickets in advance.


- 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. Look out for any black out dates stated on the voucher.


- The standard deal is one person pays standard walk-up adult admission, another gets in free, irrespective of age. It is not pay one child admission another child goes in free.


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

 

2 FOR 1 advance online booking

You can now book in advance 2 FOR 1 tickets for a few of London’s main attractions (The Coca-cola London Eye, The London Dungeon, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, Madame Tussauds London, Dreamwork Tours – Shrek’s Adventure) avoiding queueing on the day for walk-up tickets and potentially a long wait for entry.


You purchase your tickets to these attractions direct from the 2 FOR 1 web-site, not through the attraction web site or a third party.

On the 2 FOR 1 page for the attraction instead of selecting the 2 FOR 1 voucher menu option, you instead select the Buy Online option.


After selecting that you wish to purchase an attraction on-line in advance you will typically be given a unique promotional code and switched to the attraction’s own web site and taken through a special ordering process.

Most of the attractions available this way are the busiest ones and you are prompted to select the day you want entrance and the entry slot (often a 30 minute window of time). You pay for the tickets there and then.

Note – you will still have to show your qualifying rail issued tickets on arrival.

 

Obtaining qualifying railway tickets for the promotion

The aspect that gets visitors most stressed is whether the train tickets purchased will be accepted as qualifying rail issued tickets that can be used with the 2 for 1 promotion.


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, Fenchurch Street, London Bridge, Charing Cross, Waterloo, Fenchurch Street and Victoria).

 

Nearly all these stations 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.


It's 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.

 

Increasingly in London TFL Rail are taking over commuter services from railway companies. TFL Rail tickets do not qualify for 2 for 1. South of the river most commuter trains are still operated by national rail companies, including Southern Trains, South West Trains, South East Trains and Thameslink.

 

Tickets issued by the London Overground do not qualify for 2 for 1.


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. The easiest way to find out who operates any railway station is to use the National Rail utility linked below. As well as showing who runs the station it will also show the opening hours of the ticket office.

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, it doesn't apply to 1 day Travelcards.


There are automatic photo machines all over London including all major rail stations that will take the photo and deliver the photos within 5 minutes.

Especially North American visitors often comment on how inexpensive these are compared with obtaining passport photos in their own country.


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. The sole exception are 7 Day Travelcards purchased on-line, but these too are not railway Travelcards and again do not qualify for 2 for 1.

Common questions asked

Are Gatwick & Stansted Express tickets valid for 2 for 1?

Those who read the small print on the official 2 for 1 promotion web site interpret that the tickets issued by Stansted Express and Gatwick Express are not valid for 2 for 1.

 

The short answer is that they are valid for 2 for 1, including mobile tickets and they advertise this fact on their respective web sites.

 

The Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect airport train services do not support 2 for 1.


If I buy a cheap one way rail ticket to travel one station will that qualify me for 2 for 1?

On the discussion below, a common question is, “if I buy a one-way train ticket (often Vauxhall to Waterloo) will it qualify me for 2 for 1?”

The answer is not a clear cut one ...


This is a grey area and open to interpretation and judgement and at the end of the day the ticket seller has final say whatever you may think.

Its also worth emphasising that different attractions, even different people on the ticket desk at the same attraction perform widely different levels of scrutiny of your tickets. Feedback has been from several people that if refused at one desk, trying at the next desk is fine.


If you are contemplating taking this approach because you don't have a need to buy naturally train tickets or Travelcards purchased from the railways, the key point to remember is that the train ticket you buy should be consistent with using the ticket in order to visit the attraction in question.

 

If for example you purchased a train ticket Vauxhall to Waterloo this is consistent with visiting the London Eye next door to Waterloo Station. If you were visiting Kensington Palace for example this train journey is going in the opposite direction of Kensington Palace from Vauxhall so may be rejected by the person on the ticket desk.


If you want to avoid the stress of this approach go for the rail issued Travelcard if you have no need for a bona fide train ticket into London.

Travelcards - Full Details

Still confused? Discuss with Bob 2 for 1 London

If there is an aspect of 2 for 1 you need clarifying we're happy to provide guidance and clarification.

Normally, Bob, our resident expert and author of this page will reply within 24 hours.



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