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2 for 1 pass or Senior fares better?

We will be in London 11/9-16 and have been there many times and always purchased Oyster cards. However, this trip we hope to visit Hampton Court Palace and Bletchley Park. Better to buy 2 for 1 or just buy Senior tickets and admission to those two sights? Apologies, but I’m still not exactly sure what 2 for 1 pass buys you—rail fare and admission or just rail fare? Does the Underground fare figure into this? Would it be best just to go to the tourist advisory center and ask?

Thank you for whatever help you can provide.

Posted by
1871 posts

to get the 2 for 1 deals you need a train ticket, which you use to travel to the attraction, then present a voucher.
Download vouchers from the days out website

https://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/2for1-london

Or instead of using an Oyster card for travel in London you can get a 7-day paper travelcard from a train station in London. This also qualifies for the 2 for 1 offers and includes all travel within London – Underground, buses, This can be quite a bargain if you use it for 2 for 1 admission to attractions.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/england/london-7-day-paper-travelcard-and-days-out-guide-2-for-1

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you. Went to the link you posted. Helpful. Will check Days Out website.
Much appreciated.

Posted by
90 posts

There may be some terminology confusion.

To your question, 241 is better than any on the door age-discounts, Bletchley Park youve mentioned will be much better with 241/days out than the concession rate.

Discounted entrance at the door is called a concession rate, (different meaning to in-store concession) the term Senior isn't really used here as its too ambiguous, we used to see Senior Citizen or OAP but these are not used now.

(concession rate can include any group or persons in the attractions list) there is no definite template, you need to check, attractions make their own decision, 60+ ( and younger adults is quite usual) but at HCP its 65+.

And at the Postal Museum and railway 16-24 has the reduced adult rate, nothing for 60+.

The discounted (concession) rate to attractions isn't significant, perhaps £2 or £4,


241/days out is a railway company promotion, to encourage train travel during quieter off peak times, it's aimed at residents who live outside the area where the attraction is, they go to their local station, buy train tickets each and bring the 241 voucher booklet and present these at the entrance.

There is a 12 month two-together Railcard (@ 1x £30)two named holders use this, but not financially viable on short visits unless you are making several long distance train journeys.

There is a 12 month 60+ Senior Railcard, @£30 per person, again needs to be financially worthwhile to recover the outlay.

Posted by
12389 posts

The 2-4-1 deal is definitely much better than senior discounts, which are usually only a pound or two.

Since you will take the train to reach Bletchley Park (direct trains from Euston station in London), you just hold on to your train ticket (go through the manned exit at the station, instead of feeding the ticket into the turnstile). Then show both rail tickets and the pre-printed voucher for Bletchley Park and you are in, with two people for the price of one. The tickets are good for a year, so if you have a chance to return in that time, you can enter for free. We were at Bletchley last May and will go again in March. Lots to see there.

We have not been to Hampton Court, but if you travel there by train (not Tube or boat), those tickets will work for 2-4-1 entry.

Posted by
19217 posts

But if you use an Oyster Card to get to Hampton Court, you don't qualify for the 2-for-1 offer--right?

One thing to keep in mind is that using the 2-for-1 voucher requires going through the ticket line at the site; you cannot buy your tickets in advance and skip the ticket line if you want to get the 2-for-1 deal. Some sites have ticket lines so long that most tourists would probably judge the 2-for-1 savings insufficient to justify the time in line. I didn't run into a significant line at Bletchley Park in 2017; I do not know what it will be like next month. I have never been to Hampton Court Palace.

I can report that it was not a problem to use the 2-for-1 voucher at Kew Gardens in August, even though the Chihuly exhibition was running at the time. We opted not to use the 2-for-1 voucher at the Churchill War Rooms, having been warned on this forum about very bad lines there.

Posted by
12 posts

Many thanks. Every bit of information helps! Have printed vouchers from Days Out for Bletchley Park and Hampton Court Palace and are taking care of passport- sized photos.

Posted by
26094 posts

I'm on vacation so not checking here much - what are you getting passport sized photos for? You can't use a London TRavelcard to get to Bletchley.

I'm tired so probably missing something...

Posted by
12 posts

One of the replies mentioned getting a paper travel card for taking the railway and other forms of public transport. In reading the Days Out website, they mention you need a
2x2 photo for an ID card which accompanies the travel card. I may be using the wrong terminology.
At any rate, I have printed vouchers and our plan is to get from Heathrow to the hotel, drop off our bags and go to the nearest Visitor Information office and/or Victoria Station. Hopefully, they will be able to answer our questions and we will finally figure out the fine points of all of this.

Thank you very much for taking the time to help us with this. Really do appreciate it.

Posted by
26094 posts

If you need a one week season ticket - also known as a 7 day Travelcard if you are staying in London - then you do need photos. If you are only getting daily Travelcards then they don't need photos.

Travelcards are based on zones. Do you know your hotel? It sounds like zone 1. Hampton Court Palace is in Zone 6, so not included in the inner zones. Most tourist attractions are in zones 1 and 2. Kew Gardens is Zone 3, Hampton Court Palace in 6, and Bletchley way outside.

Posted by
12 posts

We’re staying at Hotel Indigo (Earl’s Court Underground). I’m thinking to ask at Victoria Station or Travel Information office, explaining our particular plans, cheapest way to do it all. Sounds like buying day rail tickets to Bletchley Park and Hampton Court Palace might be the way to go.

Thank you again.

Posted by
4537 posts

Sounds like buying day rail tickets to Bletchley Park and Hampton Court Palace might be the way to go.

If you aren't going to do a 2 for 1 anywhere else, then yes.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you! Would like to use 2 for 1 for a few other places, but if we don’t need the railway, I’m guessing you cannot. Even if it’s only for Bletchley and Hampton Court Palace, it’s still a good deal.

Posted by
1871 posts

If the other places are in London that's when you get a 7-day paper travelcard with your photo on instead of an Oyster card. The paper travel card qualifies for the offers but you can travel by bus/Underground instead of taking a train. So no need for an Oyster card.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks again, Ramblin’ on. I think it’s becoming a bit clearer (Finally!) with the help of you and all the kind folks in this forum.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you all so very much for all your kind help with 2 for 1. Got photos printed at Walmart before we left for $.50. Used free app passportbooth recommended here. After two no-gos at Travel Service booths, British Rail made it happen. I bought travel card for 35 pounds and they gave us a booklet with little vouchers you fill out before going wherever. My husband didn’t have to buy a Travelcard. He had an Oystercatd with $$$ on it from work trips. So far, it’s worked out beautifully. Would not have ever known about 2 for 1 without this forum. Thanks again.

Posted by
19217 posts

As I understand it, the Oyster Card will not qualify your husband for 2-for-1 offers. That will not be an issue if all the 2-for-1 deals you want to take advantage of are outside the city and you buy train tickets to get there. For places within London, he would need a travel card purchased at a rail station, not an Oyster Card, unless the destination is one to which it is possible to take a regular train and he buys a ticket for that. I think Kew Gardens is one such place.

Posted by
12 posts

Only one of us had to buy the Travelcard. I bought a round trip rail ticket to Hampton Court Palace, but my husband was able to use the Oystercard. Only one of us had to have the 2 for 1 voucher. We also used it in London for a special exhibition at the V&A, Churchill War Rooms. Thanks for your help.

Posted by
19217 posts

That's interesting. I know only one 2-for-1 voucher is needed, but it is definitely my understanding that both parties need a qualifying ticket from a train station. I think you may have been lucky.

Posted by
90 posts

Yes that's correct, you've been lucky so far, both adults need an orange and cream train ticket each to present at the attraction, when I visited Kew Gardens they were forensic about the tickets.

Posted by
26094 posts

each couple using the Two for One rail promotion needs two train tickets valid to the attraction on that day and one voucher - for every attraction they visit with the promotion.

Please read the FAQ on the promotion website - the link is https://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/faqs The first half expalins very clearly what is valid and what is not.

You have been lucky so far. Understand that if you continue to ride your luck it may run out.

Posted by
12 posts

Perhaps I wasn’t clear that when I bought the weekly Travelcard, the rail ticket seller told my husband he could use his Oystercard for his rail trip there. I also bought a round trip rail ticket for Hampton Court. We were fully prepared to buy Travelcards for both of us, but the rail ticket seller said we did not have to. For the trip to Bletchley Park, we both bought round trip rail tickets. So, that’s been our experience.

Posted by
4537 posts

An Oyster card can be used for the travel to those places. It is not however valid for the 2FOR1 days out admission offer where both people need a National Rail ticket of some kind. So you have been lucky that those operating the entrances to those places where your husband presented an Oyster card either don't know the conditions or have chosen not to enforce them.