London has some of the finest historical museums, palaces and monuments in the world. Visitors are often overwhelmed by the choice of what to visit during their trip. Equally overwhelming to some is the cost of visiting these attractions. A couple of city passes try to lighten the financial load of spending a few days in this notoriously expensive city, and one of these is the London Pass. Here, Sarah examines how the history buff can get good value for money out of a London Pass while seeing some incredible historical sites and museums.

Tower Bridge in London at sunset.

Tower Bridge, often mistaken for London Bridge, an iconic London landmark included in the London Pass.

What historical attractions are included in the London Pass?

The London pass includes over 80 attractions which include historical sites, palaces, museums as well as less cerebral activities such as London Zoo, several sports stadiums, cinemas and a shopping trip. For those looking to appreciate London’s history, sites of interest will include the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, St. Pauls Cathedral, Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, Churchill’s War Rooms, the Cutty Sark, Golden Hinde amongst others. There is a full list available on their website. It also provides additional benefits for the free museums in London, such as providing a free guidebook.

How does the London Pass work?

The pass can be bought in durations of 1,2,3,6 or 10 consecutive days. Once you have bought your pass, it is valid for a year, but the clock will start ticking the first time you use your card to enter an attraction, and it will automatically expire at the end of your selected duration. You can opt to add a travel option to your London Pass which gives you an Oystercard which you can use on the underground, overground, buses and DLR at any time of day or night.

The Pass works on a credit value system, which sets a maximum amount you can use your card, based on the gate price for the attractions. You are unlikely to reach your maximum value, as for example the 6 day pass costs £169 but gives you a credits value of £625.

How much does the London Pass cost?

London Pass with Travelcard prices in brackets

1 day pass – Adult £75 (£90), Child £55 (£64.30)
2 day pass – Adult £99 (£119), Child £75 (£93.60)
3 day pass – Adult £125 (£155), Child £89 (£116.90)
6 day pass – Adult £169 (£224), Child £125 (£157.10)
10 day pass – Adult £199 (£254), Child £149 (£204)

The White Tower at the Tower of London.

The ‘White Tower’ within the walls of the outer and inner wards as seen from the Thames River.

Is the London Pass cheaper than paying separate entrance fees to historical sites?

The table below shows entrance prices if you book each attraction online a day before going, to get the best price they offer. Concession prices apply to over 60’s (in some cases over 65’s) or students. Travel time really should be taken into account when deciding the value of the pass, as it can really eat into your day and reduce how many sites you can visit. The travel time in the table is calculated from Trafalgar Square in central London.

The first part of a table of ticket prices and travel times for various attractions in London.
The second part of a table of ticket prices and travel times for various attractions in London.

How do I get the most benefits from the London Pass?

The trick to getting the best value for money from the London Pass is to plan ahead.

– Work out where you want to go the most and target the big ticket items such as Churchill’s War Rooms, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London
– Leave out the low value items such as the Golden Hinde which only costs £5 and save them for days when you are not on your pass.
– Use a map to try to group the sites together so you don’t waste any time travelling between them
– Start your days early in the morning, as even if your first visit is in the evening, it will still count as a full day used.
– The best value passes are the ones of 6 or 10 days, where you will manage all of the attractions you want and get significant savings.

The original Cutty Sark clipper ship, London.

The Cutty Sark was one of the last tea clippers and one of the fastest. Now docked on the Thames and open to the public, this is one of three surviving composite construction (wooden hull on an iron frame) clipper ships from the 19th century.

Is the London Pass right for me?

The London pass will be of the most benefit for people who want to pack in as much sightseeing as they can during their visit to London. The 6 or 10 day passes give good value for money and would take any pressure off from having to rush around without pausing for a gentle stroll by the Thames, or enjoying the peace in one of London’s many parks. Places such as Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace involve a fair bit of travelling and you will not have the time or energy to fit much more in on those days.

It is worth bearing in mind that London does offer plenty of free museums, so if you are on a budget, then this pass may not be right for you. However, if your priority is to see as much as you can, without having to buy lots of separate tickets and worry about all of the different costs, then the London Pass is the one to buy.

How do I buy the London Pass?

The London Pass can be bought online and either posted to your home address (allow up to 15 days for delivery), collected in central London or sent straight to your phone as soon as you have completed the purchase. To buy the London Pass online, click on the image below, or follow this link to the London Pass Website.

Archaeology Travel | Is the London Pass Worth It? | 2