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A few questions about London 2-for-1 vouchers

A few questions about London 2-for-1 vouchers

Old Jun 24th, 2009, 11:23 AM
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A few questions about London 2-for-1 vouchers

I just learned about the 2-for-1 discount vouchers in London on this forum yesterday – great information to have, as our family of three (two adults, one 8-year-old) will be in London for a few days in early July. I’ve read the links that were provided yesterday and done some additional research on my own and I still have just a couple of quick questions. I’m hoping some of you London experts can help.

1. My understanding, after reading the Web sites, is that we can buy one-day Travelcards, which offer unlimited tube and bus rides in particular zones. On that day, if we have a voucher that I’ve printed off the Website and take that and the paper cards to the appropriate attraction, we can get 2-for-1 admission. Am I understanding this the right way?

2. I’m not clear on where you can and cannot purchase the Travelcards that work with the 2-for-1 vouchers. We will be arriving on Eurostar at St. Pancras. Can we buy the travel cards there? If not, where? Do the tickets have to be used on the date of purchase, or can you buy them in advance? (For example, if we arrive Monday, can we buy cards that day for use on Tuesday and Wednesday?)

3. Finally, when you print a voucher, do you have to designate a specific day for its use? For example, we want to visit the Tower of London, but at this point, I don’t know exactly which day of our trip we will be doing that.

I may be making this too complicated, and I appreciate everyone’s patience. I was glad to see these vouchers mentioned on another thread and have tried to research them on my own, but at this point, I think I need some expert Fodorite assistance. Thanks much!
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 11:28 AM
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1. Yes, although you might find three-day cards a better value depending on your plans.

2. Cards must be purchased at a rail station (St. Pancras is one) and have the National Rail logo. Tickets are for date of purchase.

3. No.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 11:51 AM
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Lenny's basically correct. The three-day cards will be better, and everyone who is subject to the 2-for-1 (you and spouse, the kid gets discounted rates anyway) needs the travelcard.

You go to the manned ticket booth at St. Pancras NATIONAL RAIL tickets booth and ask for a three-day (or seven, if you're there that long) travelcard. Do NOT go to the Underground ticket booth because they'll give you an Oyster card, and that's not usable for this purpose.

We were able to postdate our seven-day travelcard to start the next day, but on single days that may not be possible.

The vouchers are undated.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 12:44 PM
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BK123 Thanks for posting your thread. It was great!!! Lennyba and Big Russ thanks for all your answers. very helpfull.
Ill be in London in Aug for a day maybe 2.
have a great day
toodles
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 01:26 PM
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Just to add a bit to what BigRuss said...Our experience the weekend before last was that the agents at the tube stations (and licensed agents in shops) will be more than happy to sell you a paper travelcard. And they'll try to tell you that it'll work with the 2-for-1s because it shows the RR symbol along with the tube symbol. But it won't!

The agents at the tube station windows seem to know very little about the 2-for-1s. I'm sure they genuinely believe that the RR symbol on the cards they sell is sufficient. I'm very grateful that, because of all the posts here, I knew that their cards wouldn't work. (Besides the fact that we'd bought a one day travelcard the day before at the Southern RR window at Gatwick which was clearly different than the ones the tube stations sold.)

You must have one purchased at a National Railway station window. And not all stops designated with the RR symbol can sell them. Our nearest stop was West Brompton which has the RR symbol (presumably because the overground railroad stops there) but isn't a National Railway station. We had to go to Victoria Station to buy them.

Also there have been many posts here saying that you can get by with buying just one travelcard. The first place we used ours was the Tower of London and we were asked to show both cards. Fortunately, I'm too big of a coward to have taken a chance on buying just one (and an Oyster), so we had two!
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 01:50 PM
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Thank you, everyone, for the great information! We will definitely buy two cards.

Now, it's the "National Railway" vs. tube station designation that has me confused. St. Pancras is a "National Railway" station, correct? Our hotel is on Southwark Bridge Road, near the Globe. What would be the closest "National Railway" station to that location, if we don't buy the tickets at St. Pancras?

And, even though I can't buy the right tickets at tube stations, the tickets I buy at a National Railway station can be used on the tube, right?

I'm sorry to be dense, and I'm sure this will all make perfect sense when I'm actually in London and can see what's what. I haven't been there since I was 18, which was much too long ago!

Thanks for the help.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 02:33 PM
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Check out this website: http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/attrac...or1london.aspx

You need to get national rail paper tickets for these offers. The closest national rail to your hotel is likely London Bridge (or Waterloo). These station have underground tube stations and national rail stations. Ask if you can buy a NATIONAL RAIL pass from the desk you are at. Oyster passes or Underground tube passes are not valid.

If you get a NATIONAL RAIL 1 day pass (or longer) yes you can use these on the tube.

The National rail passes are on orange paper and have the national rail symbol of two arrows on it.

Dont feel bad, this is very confusing for most people!
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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Oh and St Pancras is a National Rail station AND an underground tube station. Just be clear that you want the NATIONAL RAIL pass...dont get just an underground pass.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 02:39 PM
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Thank you so much! I think I understand. I printed out a few of the vouchers. Provided we actually manage to purchase the right passes (which I think we will, given all of this great information), it seems like a fantastic deal.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 02:54 PM
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And if you don't get the passes at St. Pancras, get them at London Bridge, Waterloo, or Charing Cross (if you pop across the Thames for a wander -- it's where we bought ours even though we stayed hard by Waterloo). You want the flimsy little orange card with the veneer of plastic coating that has the little National Rail symbol on the bottom left, not the blue credit card (that's the Oyster card).

To make this completely idiot-proof for you (not saying you need it): go to either London Bridge or Waterloo "stations." Do NOT go underground or down an escalator. Go to the ticket office in the plaza with the Marks & Spencer Simply Food and Boots and newspaper stands and the various trains lined up at their termini through the gates. At those ticket booths, you can get the paper travelcard. The London Bridge national rail station is on street level, the Waterloo national rail station is on street level or above (depending upon which entrance).

At St. Pancras, get off the train platform and look immediately for a Ticket booth, do not leave the station plaza, which likely has its own omnipresent Marks & Spencer Simply Food and Boots.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 04:15 PM
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I found the National Rail station parts of the stations to be very clearly marked. Just follow the signs and you'll be fine.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 04:56 PM
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What is the basic price of the travel card?
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 06:31 PM
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ileen-
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/faresa...kets/2911.aspx

and

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/faresa...kets/4805.aspx
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 06:55 PM
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Ileen I hope you don't mind me hijacking your post for a second. I too have questions about these 2 for 1's. I'm on the site now and cannot find the station King's Cross or St. Pancras on the list. That is where we will be starting from. Should I just pick another station or does it matter?

Also, am I understanding correctly that the Oyster card maxes out each day at about 6 pounds which is cheaper than the travelcard. So, the days I'm not using a 2-1 I'm better off to use an Oyster card?
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 07:02 PM
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nicbur-
I'm on the site now and cannot find the station King's Cross or St. Pancras on the list. That is where we will be starting from. Should I just pick another station or does it matter?

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloa...d-tube-map.pdf
The station with the DOUBLE ARROW red symbol next to it is a National Rail station.

So, the days I'm not using a 2-1 I'm better off to use an Oyster card?

YES. Esp if you don't even MAX out at the cap. If you only take 2 tube trips on that day, you'll only be charged the Oyster fare for the 2 trips, which is MUCH less than the day cap.
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 07:50 PM
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YK, sorry, what I meant was the 2 for 1 website doesn't list King's Cross or St. Pancras as an option. I am trying to print vouchers and where it tells you to select the station you are starting from KC/St P isn't in the list. Would it be called something else?
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Old Jun 24th, 2009, 07:55 PM
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Just put OTHER in the voucher.

Basically, the 2-for-1 London offer is aimed for UK residents who live outside of London, but take the train INTO London and take advantage of this offer.

But, the attractions have agreed to accept London travelcards as well, AS LONG AS there is a rail logo on it.
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 06:32 AM
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BigRuss, the "idiot-proof" guide is exactly what I need. Thank you so much.

One last question (I hope). Most of the days we will be traveling within zones 1-2, so that Travelcard seems to be the best option. One day, we need to make a trip out to Twickenham for my rugby-loving husband. I think Twickenham is in zone 5 or maybe even 6. Can I use a voucher there with a three-day pass for zones 1-2? (I don't want to buy a three-day pass for zones 1-6 and think there may be some other options for actually getting to Twickenham.)

Thanks, again, everyone!
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 06:36 AM
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Yes, bk123, you can still use the zone 1-2 card for 22-for-1 @ Twickenham.
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Old Jun 25th, 2009, 09:41 AM
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Thanks, yk!
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