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8 full days in London, Mid September. Travel options?

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Jul 11th, 2013, 05:41 PM
  #1
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8 full days in London, Mid September. Travel options?

Will be staying at the Copthorne Tara hotel in Mid September. First time to London. Mom and I plan to see Tower of London, Westminster etc. Hoping to squeeze in a day trip to Paris. Very interested in history so plan to just follow our whims and see all that we can. This will most likely be our one and only trip here so want to make the most of it!

Question:

What's the easiest and best way to handle the transit? Oyster card? London Pass? Just starting to try to figure this out.

Will ask more questions as I go along!

Thanks!
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Jul 11th, 2013, 05:59 PM
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The best way to do Paris for a day is by train. But to get the best prices you need to get tickets now. The first closer you get the more they will cost. Get the 1st train out - 6 am - and plan for the last train back.
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Jul 11th, 2013, 07:54 PM
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Do NOT get a London Pass. Terrible waste of ££/$$

For transport around London you will want both an Oyster (w/ some Pay as you go ££ on it) and a 7 day zone 1&2 paper travel card (bought in a train station).

The Oyster PAYG will be used for things like your transport to/from Heathrow. The Paper travel card will be used for your day-to-day travel around London on the tube and buses. The reason you want the paper travel card is it gets you all the 2for1 discounts here: http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk

This must be a paper travel card purchased in a regular train station, not in a tube/Underground station.

For the Eurostar to Paris - book ASAP. The cheapest fares may already be gone.
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Jul 11th, 2013, 08:04 PM
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We were in London in February and we both had Oyster PAYG, but we also had our round trip Gatwick Express tickets for 2-for-1 offers.

Just mentioning this in case your are traveling via Gatwick.
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Jul 12th, 2013, 12:13 AM
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If you are staying more than 5 days it is worth buying the 7 day pass...PAYG is cheaper for stays under 5 days
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Jul 12th, 2013, 12:49 AM
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During our stay in December we had a 7 day travelcard loaded to Oyster Cards - very easy to use.

We did 2-for-1 on the day we went to the Tower by simply buying tix for the shortest (cheapest) possible one way trip on a normal (ie non-Underground)train.

Still saved heaps on the Tower visit, and plastic Oyster was much easier than looking after a paper ticket for a whole week.
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Jul 12th, 2013, 01:30 AM
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It can seem a bit complicated. If you are on your own, then the simplest way is to get a seven day Zones 1 and 2 travelcard loaded onto an Oyster card with a little extra in case you want to go somewhere outside zones 1 and 2, e.g. Kew.
Most of the places you will want to see are in Zones 1 and 2. You get that from the ticket office in any TUBE station. The staff are very helpful.

Where it gets more complicated is that London wants to tempt people like me into coming from as dear CW called it "The North where it's grim", to London.
My rail ticket entitles me to get 2 for 1 offers for paid attractions.

Tourists can get into this scheme by the back door, by going to a RAIL station and asking for a seven day London travel card.

Go to the Days Out Guide www.daysoutguide.co.uk/ and print out coupons for anything you might possibly want to see.Scroll down to "more attractions" and they are divided into categories. There are loads.

Of course, many galleries and museums are free.
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Jul 12th, 2013, 07:55 AM
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<>

No it's not - even if they were staying four days, the 21 quid savings on the Tower would make the travelcard worthwhile.

There will be the OP and her momma. That's two people. They'll be there 8 full days. They need a 7-day pass and should use the PAPER TRAVELCARD that they need to buy at a NATIONAL RAIL STATION (Paddington, Victoria, Waterloo, etc.). And they need to go to the Days Out Guide website that Janis tagged above.

And for Chrissakes, do NOT buy the London Pass.
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Jul 12th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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Still a little confused.. sounds for sure we DONT want to do the London Pass, we will be traveling in from Cardiff on a train so will we get the paper travel card there?

And for the Tube, we buy an oyster 7 day pass?
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Jul 12th, 2013, 01:47 PM
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Sigh...for TRAVEL only the 7 day travel card is cheaper than the PAYG. Obviously if you want to use the 2for1 deals the paper travel card makes the most sense.

When you come in from Cardiff go directly to the train station ticket office and ask for a 7 day travel card...this will be good for travel on all London transport for zone 1-2 (ask for zone 1-2). If you are going out of zone 1-2 just go to the ticket booth the day you are traveling out and ask for a ticket to where you are going advising them you have a zone 1-2 ticket and they will charge you for the extension.

I wouldn't bother with the Oyster card...it isn't good for the 2for1 deals.
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Jul 12th, 2013, 02:45 PM
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Can we just clarify - if the OP is arriving and departing from London with a return ticket on a National Rail service, wouldn't that entitle her to the 2for1 deals?
I thought that was what they were originally intended to cater for - it's incidental that the rest of have found and exploit the loopholes in the system?

It is possible to get the travelcard credit applied to an Oyster card - we found this to be a good, easy way to manage it - much easier to look after a plastic card than a flimsy paper one for seven days - IMHO.
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Jul 12th, 2013, 02:58 PM
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Yes, if they are taking a national rail service they can use that for 2for1 deals, but no they cannot use the Oyster - it has to be a paper ticket to be valid for the deals.

You can get a 7 day pass (same price) added to an Oyster card, but you wont get any of the 2for1 deals with it.
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Jul 12th, 2013, 04:46 PM
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Where do I find information about the Zones?

What is the difference between a Travel Card (paper I assume) and an Oyster card?
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Jul 12th, 2013, 04:55 PM
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This shows the tube map zones, almost everything you want is in zone 1-2 http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloa...d-tube-map.pdf

If you want to go out to Hampton Court for example you will need an extension. Heathrow is in zone 6 so you will need an extension to get there.

A paper travel card can be purchases at any National Rail station (London Bridge, Charing Cross, Paddington, Cannon Street, Victoria) where the overland trains run from - look for the red chicken scratch type symbol on the map above. The underground/tube stations wont sell paper tickets, so if you ask they will direct you to the nearest National Rail station.
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Jul 12th, 2013, 04:56 PM
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Meant to add - a 7 day pass can be paper or added to Oyster. The Oyster is a plastic card you pass over a sensor to get in and out of stations. The paper card you need to insert into the hole to get in and out of stations. It is the same price, just two different methods of using, the paper card is the only one that is good for 2for1 deals.
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Jul 14th, 2013, 09:19 AM
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So... if we have traveled into London on a train from Cardiff will we have the paper 2for1 card that we need? And then can we get a 7 day zone 1-2 pass loaded onto an oyster to have a nice hard plastic card for 7 days? And regarding the paper, I'm assuming it's similar to a DC Metro type paper card, that really is quite durable and probably really not an issue...

And just to be sure I'm totally clear, if I purchase a 7 day pass we can access any transportation we need in zones 1-2? And then if we need to go further, we add an extension?

Jamikins, thank you so much for your patience with me! Your explanation was perfect. I just want to appear to look like I know what I'm doing when I'm there!
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Jul 14th, 2013, 09:34 AM
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Part of the answer to whether or not the train ticket from Cardiff is sufficient for the 2 for 1 offers depends on whether or not it is a Single or a Return ticket:

http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/faq.aspx#1

Look at the second question in the FAQ. If it is a single (just Cardiff to London), you have the 2 for 1 only on the day of your journey from Cardiff. If you have a return, you can use the 2 for 1 offers until your return ticket date.
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Jul 14th, 2013, 09:48 AM
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>>Single or a Return ticket<<

Translation just in case: Single = one-way; Return = round trip.
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Jul 14th, 2013, 09:59 AM
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As somebody has just said, when you arrive on the train from Cardiff, just buy a seven day paper ticket from the ticket office in the station. It doesn't matter if the train ticket is single or return.
That's all you need to do! If you want the 2 for 1 offers, forget about the Oyster. Hop off train, tootle to ticket office, buy seven day London ticket and Robert is your proverbial.
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Jul 14th, 2013, 10:06 AM
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Don't forget to bring passport photos - the paper travel card now requires it!
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