London Pass

Old Mar 13th, 2002, 06:05 AM
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London Pass

We going on a family trip to London next week. We've decided to use the London Pass because we really don't know what we want to do or see and it seemed to be a good solution.

Two of the group have already ordered the passes on line and will pick them up in London. Is there any reason that the rest of us shouldn't do the same, versus paying the 2-3 day shipping fee?

btw...airport to hotel transfers are already taken care of...
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 06:39 AM
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Dave, I'm afraid you and your family are going to pay a high price for not doing your research in advance. Most of the museums in London are free, and the London Pass is not a bargain for seeing the rest of the attractions You have to really do a LOT of things for it to be cost-effective.

But yes, there is still a reason not to order yours in advance. The transportation option that the advance London Pass comes with is more expensive than buying a pass in London, the way Londoners do. Especially if any members of your family are age 5 through 15, you can save a lot by buying daily Family Travelcards rather than either Visitors Travelcards or the regular travel passes.

The only advantage I can see in buying the LondonPass in advance is that in order to redeem the vouchers, you have to travel to the specified tube station, which will take time and money.

Even so, I'd buy the London Pass without the travelcard option.

My advice to future visitors to London is to do some research, decide what you want to visit, and THEN decide whether the LondonPass is worth it. It usually isn't!

Just an exampe: The 6-day adult LondonPass costs £69 without the travelcard, and £107 with it, a difference of £41. But a regular 7-day travel card that you buy in London for zones 1 and 2, which covers most attractions, costs only £19.
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 08:03 AM
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Actually we did do some wasn't so much the museums but other "touristy" things that the London Pass covered.

Our entourage is all adults, no kids.

And now our challange is to get out money's worth from the Pass. I think we're up to it, but I'll let you know.

Regardless, thanks for the input.
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 09:17 AM
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Well, you might as well wait and just buy your passes when you get there (as we did), as you'll have to go to the redemption booth anyway. And do buy the regular travelcard rather than the pricier visitors' card (which I believe is available only if you order in advance).

To help get the most out of your Pass, I recommend taking the Catamaran Cruiser from Embankment (Westminster) to Greenwich, it's their hop-on-hop-off tour. No narrative is promised, but we got a delightful one from our captain. We took the noon boat, and arrived at Greenwich just in time to see the Observatory's daily 1 PM ball drop before we landed. Also, see the Cutty Sark while you're there.

When you go to the Tower of London, get there right when it opens. As you know, the Pass enables you to bypass the line of ticket-buyers. Go to the Crown Jewels first, then go back for a Beefeater tour.

Another goodie not to be overlooked is the teddy bear that you can get free at Hamley's toy store if you spend £5. It's rather a nice large bear.

Other things we enjoyed that we might not have done otherwise were the London Aquarium (it's near the Eye, the big ferris wheel), the Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret, and a special exhibit at the British Museum.

The little guidebook that you'll get with the pass is very well-designed, with area maps to help plan itineraries, phone numbers and hours for all the places, map of the Tube inside the back cover, etc. You can see what's open in the evenings, and plan your daily itineraries accordingly.

Have fun!
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 03:17 PM
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Considering purchasing the London Pass for an August Holiday. Is anyone familiar with how to use this pass when reserving a timed ticket to Buckingham Palace? Are you guaranteed entry without a reserved timed ticket just by using London Pass. Have e-mailed the London Pass office twice-no reply.
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 04:53 PM
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Last year's London Pass booklet just says, "The London Pass holders must obtain their tickets from the Ticket Office in Green Park. A timed ticket system operates with entry every 15 minutes. Tickets are subject to availability."

Sounds like you have to get a timed ticket just like everybody else, but you won't have to pay for it.
Old Mar 13th, 2002, 08:22 PM
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For most visitors - especially adults - the London Pass is no bargain. As already explained, the transport option is a waste. A zone 1 weekly travel card is all 95% of all tourists need. The only way to get one's money's worth from the pass is to concentrate on the commercial sites (London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, etc). Most of the "high class" attractions -- galleries, museums etc are free. In a short trip (2 weeks or less) you will not get to enough of the covered sites to make it worth your while.

One advantage everyone claims is skipping the queue at the Tower. Well, if you are going to get much out of the Tower, you need to be there at opening time - and the line is short anyway. (Whether or not you have a pass, you should be at the Tower 30 mins before it opens and out of there before 1PM because it becomes amazingly crowded.)
Old Mar 22nd, 2002, 11:36 PM
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I am trying to decide between getting the London Pass w/travel for 3 days or the London Pass w/o travel plus a 7 day travelcard. I have been researching and most of the sights I want to see will be in Zone 1. Any suggestions? Does the travelcard only cover rides on the tube or will I be able to ride on some of the double decker buses?
Old Mar 23rd, 2002, 11:35 AM
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Catherine: The travel card is good on the tube and buses, but as explained previously the London Pass is not a money saver - especially for a short trip. In a week or less you will not get to enough of the commercial sites that are covered by the pass.

But if you decide to buy the Pass anyway, DO NOT purchase the travel option. Just by a zone 1 weekly travel pass from the first tube station you encounter.
Old Mar 23rd, 2002, 02:22 PM
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I agree with Janis: get a regular travelcard, it's good for tube AND buses.

I also agree that the LondonPass isn't a good deal for most visitors, but if you have actually costed everything out and decided that you want one, you'd be wise to skip the visitor travelcard component.

We got good value from our LondonPasses last summer -- but we were in the UK for 3 weeks, so had plenty of time to see the many wonderful free places in London as well as using the LondonPass.

Just remember to get extensions on your travelcard if your destination is beyond the zone(s) the card is for.

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