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London 7 Day Paper Travelcard and Days Out Guide 2 for 1

I wanted to share my experience purchasing and using a 7 day London PAPER Travelcard, as online information is scarce and somewhat confusing.

The 7 day PAPER Travelcard (NOT the 7 day OYSTER card) can be used for the Days Out Guide 2 for 1 promotions. The paper ticket has the National Rail logo that looks like a chicken foot. You can purchase the 7 Day Paper Travelcard at ANY National Rail station WITHIN London (Paddington, Waterloo, Kings Cross, etc.). You DO need a passport size photograph. When you purchase the Travelcard you will receive a typical tube style paper ticket good for 7 days (good on all buses, tube, DLR, etc. within Zones 1 and 2) and an ID card to carry with you (the ID is to theoretically prevent you from sharing the 7 day ticket and is created on site by the ticket agent using your passport photo. Your photograph is essentially taped to a pre-printed ID card with super adhesive non-removable tape). You will also receive a guide listing all of the Days Out Guide 2 for 1 promotions. This guide also contains the "vouchers" in the back of the guide for you to complete prior to your arrival at the sight you wish to visit. Have a pen handy. You can also go onto the Days Out website and download vouchers prior to arriving in London.

At the Days Out participating sight, present the completed voucher and your Travelcard ID (though I found most ticket agents at the sights barely glanced at the ID) and receive your 2 for 1 tickets.

That's it. The paper ticket works like any other "1 time use" ticket you would purchase prior to entering the tube (so don't lose it as it is non-replaceable) and the Days Out promotion is easy to use and saves a significant amount of money.

Good luck!

Posted by
3107 posts

Thomas thanks for this information. I've been looking it the TFL website a lot lately and there are some things that I'm still unsure of. We will be in London for 7 days this July with our son's family staying in a house in zone 3 (it costs a little more for zone 1-3). I think I'd figured out that the 7 day travelcard would be a better way for us to travel around London than using Oyster Cards. I still have this question though after reading your post. I read on the TFL website that "You can get adult and child-rate Travelcards - photo ID is not required. They are issued as paper tickets from the Visitor Shop." There is no mention of a paper card and a plastic photo ID. I was going to have everyone take extra school sized photos so if we do have to have a second type card for each travelcard we'll be OK-- thanks for this information. We are also thinking about getting a Friends and Family Card which I think gives even more of a discount on the travelcard. I will need to do some more research about this before I ask a separate question on the forum. Thanks again for your detail that I hadn't seen!

Posted by
51 posts

I can only speak as to purchasing a 7 Day Paper Travelcard directly from National Rail ticket agent. The TFL and National Rail are separate entities, and perhaps this is the confusion regarding the 7 Day Paper Travelcard as it is issued on a National Rail ticket. Photos are required for those over 11 years of age and the agents I purchased Travelcards from did require passport sized photos. (I also purchased a National Rail Two Together card from a different station which also required passport sized photos).

Posted by
4675 posts

2 for 1 is strictly for fares bought via National Rail ONLY. There is an exception but as this is for a particular type of annual season this does not concern visitors. Do not buy any ticket / card from TfL if you want to do the 2 for 1.

Friends and Family Railcards only gives a discount from some one day travelcards that are in general poor value anyway compared with alternatives. Different matter if you are travelling outside London and have other journeys maybe.

Depending on age there are differing options for children.

Posted by
3107 posts

I think our kids will buy the Friends and Family Card when they arrive because they are traveling to Oxford for a day trip and then to the Isle of Skye (via Edinburgh) and back to London after our week together for a 1 week music camp on the IoS. I think that will pay for the 30pound FaFC fee. They are 2 adults and 2 kids, ages 10 and 13. They will purchase their long distance train tickets to Scotland and back later this spring when they become available.

I've looked at the 2-1 offers and I don't think we'll be doing any of them during the 1 week we're all in London. We have a pretty long wish list of things we'd like to see and do in our limited week with them including musicals the girls want to see, numerous free museums, markets, walks and Hampton Court Palace.

Posted by
79 posts

Since you're unable to purchase online tickets to these sites ahead of time and not able to skip the ticket purchasing queue, did you find that you had longer wait time vs. having pre-purchased tickets in hand?

Posted by
4675 posts

Accompanied children under 11 travel for free on TfL buses, underground, overground, tram and DLR.

For 11-15 year olds it is simplest to buy a child's rate 7-day travel card from a Network Rail station. Discounted Oyster cards ('Zip') are available but for non-UK residents especially for a 1-off trip the hoops you need to go through in advance are discouraging. By contrast the Network Rail application can be done at the station without any prior arrangements. Both need photos.

Posted by
51 posts

Mike:
I was in London in December just before Christmas. Using the Days Out 2 for 1 vouchers, I visited 1) London Tower, 2) Churchill War Rooms, 3) London Eye, 4) St. Paul's, and 5) Cutty Sark. Zero wait time for the attractions.

Posted by
7 posts

Great post--thank you for explaining this Thomas. I will be visiting London next month and wanted to know how to go about getting the travelcards for the 2-for-1 vouchers. But for me, I will only do the 1-day travelcards for a few days (do they still offer 3-days?). Thanks again.

Posted by
4675 posts

And the cheapest one day travelcard available costs £12, although it is also valid in the peak period and covers zones 1-4. There is a strong pricing encouragement to move away from paper travelcards and to use of Oyster or debit/credit cards with daily and in the latter case Mon-Sun capping. None of these are of course any good for the 2-1 offers,