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Tube/Train Question

Hi - My plan is to purchase the National Rail 7 day travel card for zones 1-2. I think I'll also get an Oyster card with pay as you go money on it to cover our travels outside of zones 1 and 2. I'm having a difficult time understanding the tfl website. If I'm going from Heathrow to zone 1 (but not back - leaving from Gatwick), Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle, and Watford Junction, approximately how much should I put on an Oyster card? I leave in a little over 2 weeks and I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row!

Thanks!
Bonnie

Posted by
211 posts

Bonnie: You will need money on your Oyster card to get to the train stations, so I'd start with £10 just to be on the safe side. You can always top your card up. When you go through a turnstile at a tube station, you can see the amount remaining on your card.

Posted by
4689 posts

Windsor is outside of the Oyster card area. You would buy a day return ticket from the Zone 2 boundary to Windsor.

If you want to get the value out of your travel card you should not use Oyster but buy extension tickets for use with your travel card for the other journeys too.

This is the downside of using a paper 7 day travel card. If it were in Oyster you could just run a PAYG balance and not buy extra tickets each time.

Posted by
45 posts

Ok so I should just pay cash fare from Heathrow and then buy extension tickets for anything beyond zone 2?

Thank you so much for your help!

Posted by
4689 posts

You will need to weigh up the cost saving of buying extension tickets against the inconvenience of having to do so, particularly if you are starting from a busy station. They aren't available from machines as far as I am aware.

If you did what you were originally suggesting you would need to use the Oyster card at the start of the journey, so it would be as if you didn't have a travel card at all.

Posted by
324 posts

What sites do you plan to see that are offered under the 2 for 1? I ask because if it's only one or two, you could spend more time and money between extension tickets, PAYG, and cash fares than you would save on the discounted fares.

Posted by
45 posts

That's what I'm thinking now. We can only use the 2 for 1 at the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace. We are 2 adults and one child so would save just £20 on the child admissions. I think I'll just get the 7 day zones 1 and 2 travel card on Oyster and put extra money for anything beyond zone 2. It doesn't look like I can get the youth rate for oyster because you have to get a child card well in advance or something. At least that's how I'm reading it. We'll only be there for six days so saving time not waiting in lines for tickets may be worth it.

Posted by
324 posts

You can get paper child rate tickets for 11 - 15 year olds instead of paying adult Oyster rates.

Posted by
506 posts

Oyster card has to start off with 15 pds, 5 is for a deposit and then 10 to start. Then we would just add 10pds as you go. Beware that if you don't have a chip and pin credit card the auto machines won't take your cards. You need to recharge at a manned booth, just watch the hours because they are not there 24/7. We exclusively used the underground and took the train out to York and still needed the underground to get to Kings Cross Station. I agree that the system in the UK is the hardest to decided what your best option is.

Posted by
45 posts

It looks like I'll have to wait in lines no matter what I choose. Thanks to you all for the advice!