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Oyster / train card /London pass for 2.5 days in late April?

Will be staying in Pimlico close to Victoria station late April-Sun, Mon, Tues half Weds. Plan on touring Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and would like to do Windsor Castle. Prob. Tower and Westminster one day, Windsor another. Any suggestions for Oyster or train passes, and I'm confused by Oyster website (what are contactless cards?). I don't think Oyster will get me to Windsor-true. Any expertise would help.

Posted by
309 posts

Here is a website to help your start planning ;

Contactless cards are credit cards,etc that you just hold near the payment acceptor: Contactless payment systems are credit cards and debit cards, key fobs, smart cards, or other devices, including smartphones and other mobile devices, that use radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near field communication (NFC, e.g. ATAR pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Fitbit Pay, or any bank mobile . from Wikapedia. Not to be terribly paranoid, but a: just how easy do you want to make it for governments/sales companies/disreputable people to find your exact location and b: just how secure is your credit when you can scan the information on your card and access your account through your clothes, through your wallet? Of course, you can always wear lead lined pants.

Posted by
7193 posts

The Oyster card seems marketed like the greatest thing since sliced bread, in a way that it confuses travelers, (people are always asking about it here).

You can buy the Oyster at the airport. You will use it to get around in London.
Since you are staying near Victoria you will need to go to Vauxhall Transit Station stop to catch to the Southwestern Railway to get to Windsor. You can either walk or take a short ride on the Tube to get to Vauxhall Station from Victoria Station.

However and I'm not really clear and maybe someone will clarify you will need to either buy a separate ticket to take the Southwestern Railway to get to Windsor

It costs £19.30 roundtrip same day return or £25.30 any day return.

Or you need to have enough money on the Oyster Card to cover that cost when you wave it to open the turn style.

Posted by
27740 posts

Windsor and its castle are indeed outside the world of Oyster. A train ticket is required.

The trip to Windsor and Eton on Southwestern Rail is slower and more expensive than the trip on Great Western Railway from Paddington station, if you were on the north side of the river when starting the trip. On Southwestern Rail you will arrive in Windsor at the Windsor and Eton Riverside station which is a little walk up a hill into the town.

Posted by
3683 posts
Think of the Oyster as an electronic wallet. You put money into it, then money is withdrawn by the transport. London is zoned and the cost of a trip depends on zones crossed. The rider not only touches the card on a reader when entering, but then touches another reader at the exit, which calculates how much money to take out of the Oyster. Aside from this convenience (and, for days with a lot of moving about, a cap on the daily cost), it's a fast way to get through the turnstiles.