The cheapest way to get to London by train

I’m very pleased to welcome a guest blog from my friend Vicki Roberts. She has some fantastic tips here on how to save a fortune travelling into London. Do take a look at her blog, she is always posting beautiful pics of garden and amazing crochet craftiness but today she shares with you the cheapest way to get to London by train.

Hi, I’m hopping on the money saving bandwagon, as I have the best tips ever!

shard - selfie

I usually write about crocheting, gardening, kids and chickens at Offthehookforyou so I contacted my NCT friend Mrs Mummypenny to share my news. She suggested I guest blog – so here I am!

My mission was to get four adults, four 7 years olds, one 4 year old and one 3 year old to London Bridge tube station from Hitchin, Hertfordshire train station and back home again for as cheap as possible.

We had already secured a great deal from View from the shard where for half term week – Kids go free (saving £18 per child).
shard - view at bottom

So £24.95 and an adult and up to two children can go up – this saved £36 for me alone. The others in the group saved on three children – so £54 between us and this didn’t include the other lady who we met there with 3 children, and the other mum with 2, so another £90 there too. Current savings are now at £144.

Train tickets – this was where the fun began.

shard - kids

One mum phoned the station – 1 adult and 1 child travel card to London £38.25.

I have a Network Railcard – well worth investing in if you live in the South of England. It costs £30 and covers a huge area, and with this you get 1/3rd off the ticket price for trips made after 10am on a weekday, or all weekend. I can take 3 other adults and up to 4 children with me and as long as we all travel together we get the discount. The difference with one and the friends and family one is that you have to take kids with you on the friends and family one and I’m lucky enough to head out to dinner some evenings without my children in tow!

So I thought – great – lets look into this – I can take everyone as the 4 year old and 3 year old don’t need tickets.

I went to book them £118.40 with the tube included but only £56.80 without it??????

So off to the TFL website to find out about tube journey prices. If you buy a paper ticket using cash its £4.80 per journey. Instant saving to go to an Oyster card …… only £2.30 a journey….. but we didn’t all have Oyster cards. But – they now accept contactless payment cards scanned on the oyster cards readers. Just make sure you tap in and out. So the tube part of the journey £4.60 each, 8 of us, so £36.80.

But then I came across some revolutionary information……….

Kids aged 5-11 travel FREE on the tube and buses if the adult has a Pay as You go ticket (Basically every ticket other than a group travel card)- all info is here TFL travel for under 18’s. I’ve also bought my son a travel card when it appears I didn’t need too! I’ve spent loads on these over the last 2 years when all you have to do as a family is go through the wide gate at the end!

So lets halve the tube costs = £18.40.

Time for a Recap.

Buy the tickets at the station = £153.00 for all of us to travel

Buy tickets online as travel cards = £118.40

Buy tickets as a group with contactless payment tube journeys – the Network railcard was not needed in the end – we were just classed as a group – £75.20

Saving a huge £77.80!!!!

This with The Shard savings of £144 means we in total saved £221.80! The only think we couldn’t fix was the weather

shard - view from the shard

shard - group pic


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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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