Which passes for family in london?

Old Jan 17th, 2003, 02:48 PM
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Which passes for family in london?

I too have read the posts on rail passes/london pass and have found myself throughly confused. We have a family, going to london for 6 days. (Two days we would need airport travel only) So we need transport for 4 days.

We have kids: (Family passes look like they allow 1 free child with 2 paid adults.)
3yrs (free) and 10 years.

We will be traveling around central london mostly (sounds like Zone 1, perhaps some in Zone2). Then taking one day trip to Warwick, and one to Hamtom Court(meeting a friend there). Eliminating either one of those trips at this point is not an option.

Please advise on which to choose: Britrail, London Extra, travel card....

Thank you!
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 03:20 PM
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First of all, in your mind you must separate your London-based trips, which will involve the tube, from the day trips farther afield that will involve trains. They are separate systems and don't recognize each other's passes.

While you're in London, using the tube (and perhaps buses), your best buy will be the daily Family Travelcards, which are sold from 9:30 AM onwards. Each adult can qualify up to 2 kids, and vice versa. Your 3-year-old will be free, so you will need to ask for family travelcards for two adults and one chlid (the 10-year-old). Most tourist attractions are in Zone 1; the zoo and Greenwich are Zone 2.

On days when you will take the train, if you must take the tube to get to and from your train station, then the family travelcards are still your best buy (as long as it's after 9:30 on weekdays, or a weekend).

The London Pass is a pass used for admission to museums and other tourist attractions, which can be bought with a Visitors Travelcard if bought in advance. This is not a good buy for most families.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 03:48 PM
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If you are arriving at Heathrow you can take the Heathrow Express ( it's a train and the station is right at the airport) into central London's Paddington Station and then get a taxi to your hotel..
You can use your credit card to buy tickets from machines or you can buy them on the train for a slightly higher price.
If you are arriving at Gatwick, it is the Gatwick Express ( train station is right at the airport) that you take into London 's Victoria Station and then you can get a taxi to your hotel. You can buy tickets at a booth or on the train.
Wait until you get to London and are ready for your first tube ride to purchase your tube family travel cards.. You can get them from any tube station.
The tube stations have manned ticket booths and the ticket seller will help you .
On the day that you want to travel to Warwick you will take the tube to the Marlebone Mainline Rail Station. If you travel after 9:30 AM you can purchase what is called 'cheap day return' tickets to the town of Warwick.
After you get off the train in Warwick, it is about a 15 minute walk to the castle... but you may prefer to take a taxi.
On the day you want to travel to Hampton Court, take the tube to Waterloo Mainline Rail Station, again if you travel after 9:30 AM you can purchase cheap day return tickets. Just tell the ticket seller you want to go to Hampton Court.
When you get off the train at Hampton Court Station, it is just a short way to the palace..just follow the others who are walking there.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 05:57 PM
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For a party of 4, including young children, you might be better-off (both financially and emotionally) hiring a car and driver to meet you at the airport and take you straight to your hotel, rather than hassling with children, luggage, and a train and cab rides. Look into Swiss Cottage and www.london-transfers.com. We used the latter, AKA Ray's London Transfers, for our group of 4 and were very glad we did!
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 09:25 AM
David White
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Here's a website that explains all the passes and ticket options for London's Tube and bus system:


From that site, you can even purchase Visitor Travelcards. The cards come in two versions: Central Zones 1-2 or All Zones (there is even an option that includes Heathrow to downtown, then converts to a regular travelcard). A 4 day adult card is £16; kids ages 5-15 are £6.50 and children under 5 are free.

The Visitor Travelcard is good at all times, whereas the daily family Tube pass is good after 9.30 a.m.

You CAN use an all-zones Visitor Travelcard to take the train to Hampton Court--it is in zone 6. Trains run from Waterloo rail station to Hampton Court station, and there is a short walk to the Palace.

I agree that you do not need a Britrail pass to travel to Warwick. Purchase the cheap day return tickets at a rail station in London.

You can also pre-purchase rail tickets using this site:


The advanced purchase fares on this site are often the least expensive. They will not mail tickets outside of the UK, but they could mail them to your hotel in London (you can also pick up pre-purchased tickets from London Euston or London Fenchurch Street rail stations)

Hope this helps, and does not add more confusion....

David White
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