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London Travelcard - travelling with kids

We will be travelling to London this summer with kids aged 14 & 10 for 7 days. We will be flying in and out from Heathrow, staying at Kensington area.
Tentative itinerary will be staying in London mainly, with one day out to Cambridge or Oxford, and another day joining local tour to Windsor / Stonehegne / Bath.
Would like to seek advice here re questions below:

  1. Originally plan to buy 7 day Paper Travelcards for adults, so that we can use them for 2-for-1 to visit certain sightseeing spots. But note that it may not be worthwhile to buy Zone 1-6 one as we will be using it on Day 1 & Day 7 only, plus that Paper Travelcards with NR logo are not available at Heathrow. So what should we use on Day 1 & 7 for Heathrow to/from Kensington? Just a single fare ticket? (Understand that we may probably need to do 1 more trip to Victoria Station (if that's the nearest) to buy the Paper Travelcards.)

  2. Am i correct that we do not need to buy any ticket / card for the 10 years old one on bus/tram/tube? How about on National Rail to/from Oxford / Cambridge? (On Tfl website it states a 5-10 Oyster photocard is needed to pay child-rate fares on National Rail Red routes, i haven't figured out whether to/from Oxford / Cambridge is Red or Green routes)

  3. Regarding 14 years old one, seems the easiest way out is to buy a 7-day Travelcard. But again, how about Day 1 & 7 for Heathrow to/from Kensington? Single fare ticket?

Tks in advance.

Posted by
4633 posts
  1. Dont bother with 1-6 zone 7-days. Stick with zone 1-2 and buy extension tickets if going further. Cash fares from Heathrow, extension to travelcard back.
  2. Fine if accompanied and your child doesn't look over 10. Oxford and Cambridge are well outside London, so these journeys would require a child's rate ticket.
  3. An alternative for a 14 year old would be the Young Visitor discount applied to an Oyster card as you don't need the paper version for a deal. This is travel at half adult rates including daily caps. You would need to assess from your expected itinerary which might be cheaper. You can get this at Heathrow.
Posted by
17 posts

Dear Marco, tks for your reply.

i hv no Oyster Card on hand.
Do i need an Oyster card myself for fare extension to Heathrow on Day 7? If yes should i just buy it at Heathrow for my trip to Kensington on Day 1?
For point 3, tks for your recommendation. Does it mean that i hv to buy an Oyster card at Heathrow, and apply for Young Visitor Discount for 14 years old one?

Tks for your assistance in advance.

Posted by
4633 posts

Fare extensions to a paper travelcard are themselves paper tickets effectively from the edge of the zone for which the travelcard is valid, to the final destination. In theory you could do this also for your Oxford/Cambridge trip but the saving would be small to zero.

For your half-rate adult oyster you can buy this at Heathrow. You may need to prove the age of your child, but the appropriate passport will be still close at hand!