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Buy a Travelcard at Heathrow?

Old May 3rd, 2009, 02:04 PM
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Buy a Travelcard at Heathrow?

We'll be arriving at Heathrow this coming Wednesday and will spend a week in London area. Will be taking tube to town, staying near Kensington. Want to buy a Travelcard and was wondering if we should do that at Heathrow? Most of our travels will be in Zones 1 & 2 but may take a few trips to places like Kew, Hampton Court, and Windsor. We will be leaving via Stansted Express. Should we buy a Zone 1 & 2 seven day Travelcard and pay extra for the extended trips (and how does that work when you travel outside the zone on your card?) Thanks...
PinotNoir is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2009, 02:56 PM
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Get a 1&2 zone travelcard loaded onto an Oyster card 9a plastic swipe card). You have to pay a deposit but that gets refunded if you turn it in when you leave (or you can save it for your next trip). When you buy at the booth, they will also load on a small supplement for the trip into town from Heathrow.
When you go outside zones 1 & 2 (like to Kew) you simply get another supplement added on at the tube station. Some of the places you've mentioned are out of range of the tube so you'll have to research train and bus service, either from central London or from the closest tube station. Hampton Court is within zone 6 I think, but Windsor is too far out.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 03:15 PM
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ah ha....if your first purchase on oyster is a 7 day zone 1 & 2 travelcard, there is no deposit...as noted on the same card is put the pay as you go amounts used for extensions and you can easily add to it as you need it...it's totally seamless when you touch in your location is noted, when you touch out on the tube your fare outside the validity of the travelcard is computed and that amount deducted from the pay as you go amount...

This would seem the easist way to do things and it is but there are two problems that come up here all the time and I'll leave it for others to describe work arounds or give otyher suggestions...

1. The national railroads offer a series of 2 for 1 discounts valid only if you have tickets issued by the national railroads. Thus often it is suggested here to take advantage of them not to load a 7 day travelcard on oyster but rather purchase a paper 7 day card from a national rail station (which you can't do at Heathrow)...it can be a real pain in the you know what to deal with it as cash fares on London Underground are asininely high...

2. The other progblem is that for example a place like Kew, is not accessible via the tube despite the fact it is considered to be in the London travel zone network (zone 6)...many of the national railroad lines do not honor oyster cards, only paper media....you could take a bus there where you can use oyster though.

I wish it were simpler but in certain respects learning brain surgery is easier than the convolutions all this nonsense causes.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 09:03 PM
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" . . . a place like Kew, is not accessible via the tube despite the fact it is considered to be in the London travel zone network (zone 6)"

Not quite sure what you mean there - Kew is definitely accessible by tube, and is in zone 3
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 11:22 PM
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I meant Hampton Court...I was picking up on what I had read in the OP.....the specific was wrong but the inability to use oyster on some of the national railroad lines for attractions within the London zone system such as Hampton Court is indeed a complicating factor of just what transport media is best.....
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Old May 4th, 2009, 12:50 AM
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The only problem is using Oyster pay-as-you-go at national rail stations - the travelcards are valid for all trains within the zones paid for, whether on the initial card or by one-off supplements for additional zones. But when going to a national rail station way out of the travelcard zones, say for example Hampton Court (which is in travelcard zone 6), it may not be worth spending the time queueing up at Waterloo to talk to an assistant to buy a ticket for the supplementary fare, when it's so much quicker to buy a day return from a machine.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:25 AM
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One disadvantage of the Oystercard whether it is PAYG or Travelcard is that it doesn't allow use of the offers on www.daysoutguide.com and there are problems using PAYG on trains - like to Hampton Court

You might do better buying a 7 day paper travelcard for zones 1-2 which you can buy at any of the major London TRAIN stations and pay separately to get into London from LHR and for the excess fare to Kew & Hampton Court. Or get the PAYG Oystercard and on the day you go to Kew buy a 1 day travelcard from a Train station and buy a train ticket to get to Hampton Court (train is easiest anyway)

Both Hampton Court & Kew Gardens are on daysoutguide and going to both will save you around £14 for 2 people compared to the normal entry price

Personally I'd have a look at the other offers on the site and make a decision from there
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Old May 4th, 2009, 05:23 AM
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PatrickLondon, before a fellow Fodorite linked me to this thread, I had just spent a good hour on Southwesttrain's website looking at getting to/from Hampton Court via Zone 1/2 Travelcard LOL before I came to the conclusion of 'Rocket Science' as my friend said.

Can you walk me through the self service machines at Waterloo? We are a family of four - three of us over age 16, one 14 YO, according to southwesttrains that would qualify us for 'GroupSave3' and a child ticket about half off I think - would the kiosks calculate that for us?

(Readers: the website is pretty easy to use, enter 'London Waterloo' for starting point, 'Hampton Court' for destination. It starts getting confusing with the type of return tickets and whether the price is total or per person - I think its the former)

I also noticed you save six minutes by changing to the Surbiton station....
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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:21 AM
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Thanks for your help....I think that I will just get the 7 day Travecard as suggested by xyz123. Admittedly, Hampton Court and Windsor are on our "wish list" but we may or may not make it out there so we'll deal with those when they come up.
QUESTION: Just the Travelcard require a photo? I don't see that it does but want to make sure and bring some if they do rather than doing the photobooth at the airport...
Thanks again..
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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:23 AM
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Duhhh..
DOES the Travelcard require a photo? I don't see that it does but want to make sure and bring some if they do rather than doing the photobooth at the airport...
Thanks again..
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Old May 4th, 2009, 08:56 AM
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No - you won't need a photo.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 09:38 AM
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Yes, the Travelcard is your best option. The incremental cost of a day return ticket to Hampton Court over that of supplements is more than made up for by the lower cost of the Travelcard. Probably.

On Hampton Court day, just buy a ticket, and you're covered for transport and twofer. You might be able to make a few p by traveling to Clapham Junction (in Zone 2) on the Travelcard and buying your ticket there. I don't know, I've never priced it, and the connect times may be awful.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 09:40 AM
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Every time this question is asked, I read the thread hoping to gain a better understanding of this. I've come to the conclusion that if they ever made this simple, the Apocalypse is coming. Oh well
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Old May 4th, 2009, 10:20 AM
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Not THE Alice Liddell, surely?. Your dad's book's - well brillig - for hammering flatpack furniture together.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 11:05 AM
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flanneruk! OMG ROFLMAO you are BAD!!!!

(My kids have read the Sci-Fi series 'Riverworld' where Alice Liddell is a main character. I'd love to go visit Sir Richard Francis Burton's grave - the main character in the books - but I probably won't have time)
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Old May 4th, 2009, 11:26 AM
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@flanner -er ... no. How about just 'An' Alice Liddell.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 11:33 AM
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When DID this "Sir Richard Francis" stuff start?

Until that pompous Welsh drunk got knighted, the original Richard Burton had been known as just 'Richard Burton' for a century. That's what he's called on his tomb at Mortlake - and that's how generations of British Arabists have referred to him.

There's no reason to call him anything else.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 12:06 PM
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"There's no reason to call him anything else." - works for me.

Hey I can get to Mortlake by pub transportation! TFL rules. I still don't think I'll have time in my one week with family grrr.

I'm done hijacking the thread, I promise.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 12:22 PM
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"How about just 'An' Alice Liddell."

Aw, shucks...

The original Alice Liddell has been known for the past 165 years as the girl whose dad wrote (with a bit of help from his chum, the Rev Robert Scott) just about the heaviest commonly-used single-volume book in the (mainly) English language.

Five generations of English (and a few colonial) schoolboys and undergraduates have used his magnum opus (or rather, mega ergon) to prop up beds, hammer in fenceposts, seal levees and all the other things Swiss Army knives would do if the the Swiss weren't so terminally feckless.

Apparently she also inspired some weirdo to write a silly girl's book and a bunch of 1990s sciffies to do whatever it is sciffies do. But only in a fantasist's wonderland would anyone take such nonsense seriously.

Come the Apocalypse, it'll be the Very Rev Henry's Lexicon that'll be remembered.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 05:04 AM
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flanner, I had Kennedy's Eating Primer (and Caesar for ever throwing his army across rivers - why did they hide late Latin from us, with all those spicy reports of bishops' visitations and Srt Columba meeting the Loch Ness monster?)

But I digress:

Feldie, I confess I wrote from the perspective of a blithely single person of advancing years, so I have no idea about the full range of options on a ticket machine at Waterloo; I'd be surprised if it offered all the available possibilities, so if you want to buy a group ticket, you might well have to queue up at the ticket office.
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