Please sign in to post.

Using Railway for 2 for 1 deals and other London tube and bus questions

Once I get to London from heathrow (using an Oyster card). I will be in London for 9 days, taking the tube and bus to many locations within zone 1-2. But I also want to visit Bletchley Park and Kew Gardens, which I see have 2 for 1 admission deals.
I am going to purchase a 7 day travel card from Euston Railway Station in order to take advantage of the 2 for 1 deals for those two locations. I know that I will have to bring a passport photo to affix to the card.
So what are practical details to use the card, once I have the card?
Do I just board the train at Euston Station to Bletchley park and sit anywhere? Or do I have to get a reserved seat ticket from the ticket window after showing my travel card? How do I validate the card in order to board the train?
Do I have to validate this 7 day travel ticket at some machine at Euston Station and (on the return - Bletchley station) before I enter the train? Do I have tap out at a ticket machine once I arrive at the destination? (This is for the railway card. I know I have to tap in and out for Oyster card.)
Same questions when I travel from Waterloo Station to Kew Bridge Rail station?

These two destinations are the only ones that will be outside Zone 1-2. Should I just get a 7 day travel card for zones 1-2 and then just pay the supplement at the ticket window for zones 6? Or should I just pay for a 7 day travel ticket for all zones?

As for using the7 day railway card on the Tube and Bus. Its a paper card. how do I validate it when using the Tube. How do I validate it when using the Bus?

Thanks for any insight and information from you London transportation users!

Posted by
1065 posts

Bletchley Park is way outside the London travel zones (in Milton Keynes), so you will need a separate train ticket, your travelcard will only get you 2 for 1's in London (AFAIK).

Posted by
23130 posts

Since Bletchley Park requires a regular train ticket, you only have one destination outside Zones 1-2, Kew Gardens, so the Zone 1-2 travel card is the right purchase for you. Just stop at the ticket window and pay the excess before boarding the Underground train to get to Kew.

Although you must buy the travel card at a railroad station in order to qualify for 2-for-1 deals at attractions, it is not a "railway card"; it doesn't help in any way when it comes time to take a train (as to Bletchley Park).

When using the paper travel card for an Underground trip, you will feed it through a slot on the entrance/exit gate. Those are usually obvious. If in doubt, look for the uniformed staffer standing near the gates and ask. I'm sorry that I don't remember what I did on the bus; whatever it is, it is done only upon boarding, not when you exit.

I am confused about something in your post: You used the singular pronoun, "I", but 2-for-1 deals don't work unless you have a travel partner who wants to go to the same sight at the same time. If you are a solo traveler, you will get no benefit from any 2-for-1 deals. If you're going to take a lot of trips on the Underground, you might still benefit from buying a weekly travel card, but if there are no 2-for-1 deals in your future, you can simply buy the travel card at an Underground Station. If you aren't taking a lot of Underground trips, the weekly travel card may not save you any money.

Posted by
2970 posts

When I started to read this topic I had to check to make sure I didn’t write it. Anyway, we will also be in London for 9 days (April -May 2020) and also are planning to go to Bletchley Park. I will be reading along for any suggestions.

Posted by
304 posts

Thanks for the info. I use the pronoun "I" but it's actually "we". so the 2 for 1 discounts are applicable. Sorry for the confusion.

(deleted) Watford Junction is in Zone 9, so looks like even a zone 1-6 travel card won't apply,
but interestingly enough, you can use an Oyster card to go out to Watford Junction.

I wonder if I can just pay a supplement on my zone 1-6 travel card to go there and back?

Posted by
704 posts

As you already have an Oyster card I would just load this with pay as
you go funds for your journeys within London and out to Watford
Junction. You can use your return train ticket to Bletchley to get the
2 for1 at that venue. To get the 2 for1 at Kew you could just buy a
train ticket for that journey. As the funds on the Oyster card are pay
as you go and refundable you aren’t losing anything by not using the
card for that trip.

^^I'm with Emma here, including just buying a train ticket to Kew Gardens ("train" ticket, not Tube ticket).

  1. Don't mess around with a travelcard - paper or on Oyster - for the Tube. Just get an Oyster card and load it with "pay as you go" funds.

  2. You tap the Oyster card on entry and exit at Tube stations. But for a bus ride, you only tap the Oyster card on entering the bus, no tapping out when you get off.

  3. Be sure to print out the 2 for 1 vouchers you'll need to get that deal at Bletchley Park and Kew Gardens. You'll buy paper rail tickets for those trips. Be sure, when arriving at your destination, to NOT put the paper ticket into the turnstile to exit the platform/station. Instead, show it to a staff member and explain that you need to keep it, and they will open the gate to let you exit manually.

  4. I hope you enjoy Bletchley Park. It's a delightfully short walk from the Bletchley train station and I spent several happy hours there on my visit last November.

  5. Yes, the whole London transport ticket thing - railcard, travelcard, 2-for-1 deals and all? As Emma said, quite a subject to crack!

Posted by
119 posts

Just for info, Watford Junction is in zone 10 not zone 9, there are 15 zones allocated and TfL are running out of them, although these higher outer zone numbers are not written on network maps.

See the video below from 1m:40s regarding the 15 zones, made by transport enthusiast Geoff Marshall, (153k subscribers) although his video is about the introduction of contactless only, non-Oyster card stations, the zone info and background info in the video is interesting.

The Rail & tube map he shows in the video is very useful, PDF version also available,

PDF maps

Posted by
14137 posts

We used the 2-4-1 offers for both Bletchley Park and Kew Gardens by taking the train ( not tube) to each venue. For Kew, we took the train to Richmond and then bus right to the gate.
Make sure you print out and bring the appropriate vouchers.

Posted by
304 posts

Thank you to all that responded to my questions.

I did the math calculations on how much each tube and bus trip would be for my planned itinerary during the 9 days I am in London (zone 1-2) ,(noting the daily cap of £7) which with all the places I am going to visit is around £48 (which includes a RT to Watford Junction, which you can use the Oyster card) plus the additional costs of the train to Bletchley (£20 Round trip) and the train to Kew VERSUS the cost of a 7 day travel card plus getting a passport photo and figuring out the extra 2 days and the decision is that....

it's less of a hassle to just buy an Oyster card at Heathrow, put £50 plus the £5 deposit and just pay for the train ticket to Kew and Bletchley separately to get the 2 for 1 deals.

Thank you again for all who gave advice.

Posted by
4937 posts

I presume from all of the above that you aren't going to use the 2-For-1 offer in London at all.

It might still be worth considering the 7-day travel card but on the Oyster. No photo required. If you do this buy any rail ticket from the boundary of Zone 2 and not from the terminal. Have a PAYG balance for journeys out of Zone 2.