Hello and welcome to 2016 everyone! After a well needed mental break, I am back and very excited to start off the new year with a string of reviews from our recents (pre-Christmas) break to London! 🙂
Let’s start off with the London Pass, since most of the places we visited, we ended up going to specifically because they were included in this pass.
Now, we bought the 6 Day London Pass + Oyster Card and we got ours on sale, so for £145.85 pp, rather than the usual £164. (Tip: I thought I had missed the sale at the end of November, but it came right back 3 weeks later, so if you’re not in a rush to buy it right away, wait for a bit and the sale should come back.)
All in all, I give the card a solid 7/10. It’s very convenient and can, if used correctly, save you a heap of money – definitely check it out for your next London Trip, to see if the included sites are what you want to see.
Here is the full breakdown of what we would have paid, if we had bought all our tickets at the gates:
|Shakespeare’s Globe Tour||£15.00|
|Tower of London||£24.50|
|City Cruises (Westminster to Greenwich)||£18.00|
|Royal Observatory Greenwich||£9.50|
|Churchill War Rooms||£16.35|
|London Transport Museum||£17.00|
|Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising||£7.50|
In conclusion, we paid £145.85 for our 6 Day London Pass + Oyster Card, bearing in mind that £40 of that was on the Oyster Card, s0 you can look at it one of two ways:
Either we spent £145.85 and visited £144.15 worth of sites withe the added bonus of a free £40 Oyster Card…
Or we spent £145.85 – £40 (Oyster Card) = £105.85 on our London Pass and got to see £144.15 worth of sites, amounting in £38.3 savings.
- You can have your pass shipped to your house, no matter where you live, or you can collect the pass in London. To get it shipped allow several weeks before your trip, just to be safe. If you choose to collect it in London city centre, the tourist island where they sell/provide them is near Covent Garden Station.
- Once you’ve bought the London Pass, I recommend that you immediately create yourself an itinerary. We thought that we could just meander through London entering into included sites as we found them, but it turns out, that many of the sites take a lot longer to explore than you would expect, and some of them are a little tricky to reach, so if you really want to get your money’s worth (the guide book recommends 3 sites per day if you have a 6 day pass) then you really need to have a proper itinerary put in place so that you can have the most fun while being most efficient. (We could have probably fit in [and thus saved] a lot more, if we had planned a little better.)
- The Oyster Card add on – it’s definitely worth getting but bear in mind that the London Underground pricing system works by zones with a daily maximum. The £40 pre-loaded Oyster Card that you get with the 6 Day London pass, is enough to cover you for 6 days of travel in Zones 1 & 2 ONLY (daily maximum there is £6.50 and after that you ride “free” as long as you keep swiping your valid pass.) This is one of the things that makes the pass lose points from me, since the London Pass itself covers sites that are well outside of zones 1 & 2, but if you travel there (as we did) you will need to manually top up your Oyster card with more money. (We ended up adding £16 each to our cards, to cover travel to other zones, and back to Heathrow Airport.)
- The Dining Guide – for an additional £10 you can buy the London Dining Guide. It promises discounts at 120 of London’s restaurants, such as “20% off the a la carte menu”, “2 for the price of 1” or “complimentary drinks when you order full 3 course meal”. This was the only aspect of the card that I thought was a waste of money. Most of the restaurants had this little clause on their page in the guide book saying that they don’t accept the card in certain months of the year, or on Weekends, or at peak times… which makes me wonder when exactly one is supposed to use it? We only managed to actually find three of the mythical 120 restaurants where we could try to use the card and the attempts went like this: Restaurant 1) Don’t serve meals before 5 pm (not noted in the book). Restaurant 2) Had a better deal for preset menus than the discount using the card – so we didn’t use the card. Restaurant 3) Refused to take the card because it was December (even though that wasn’t noted in the book) and they only honoured the discount, once we had to send a bad dish back to the kitchen, and they thought it would be a good means of apology to honour the discount (that we had paid for by buying the card). So, let’s just say the Dining Card? No good.
All in all, the pass is most certainly worth checking out if you are looking to really get into the nitty gritty of sightseeing in London, just make sure that you know what’s included, so that you’re not disappointed.
Thanks for reading, Happy 2016 and I’ll be back very soon with my first individual reviews of the places up in that list, and more! 😀