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The London Pass makes England’s metropolis manageable for novice and experienced travellers alike, Cat Allen writes.
Text by: Cat Allen
Country: England

rriving in a city as famous, invigorating, and extensive as London can be a little overwhelming, even for the most seasoned traveller. Which side of the escalator do you stand on? How do you pay for a bus? What delightful English food should be eaten first? These can be just the start of a plethora of uncertainties, even before you decide where to go and what to do.

Cue the London Pass, started just over 15 years ago in 1999, offering what could be called a helping hand of what to see, do, and visit during your time in England’s capital city. Once you have paid for your one-, two-, three-, or six-day pass, you can then enter as many tourist sites as you want, avoiding ticket booths and long lines. As an optional extra, visitors can also purchase an Oyster Travelcard, a passage to the city’s extensive underground and bus network. Paired with the complimentary map, you can now navigate quickly and easily from one end of London to the other.

Excited and intrigued to know more, we contacted Fiona McCoss, content and social media executive of London Pass.

Tea Time Mag: Can you please tell us a little more about the London Pass and what makes it so great?

Fiona: The London Pass is great because it gives visitors everything they need to tick all the boxes when they come to London to see the sights. It’s an all-inclusive pass that gives holders entry into 60+ top London attractions, including the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey and many more.

It is a great product aimed at international visitors coming to the capital. In a nutshell, it facilitates their holiday by giving them free access to world-renowned historic attractions.

TT: So, presumably, if you have the London Pass you don’t have to wait in line at each attraction?

F: Exactly! Once you have purchased the London Pass, you avoid having to queue to buy tickets and standing in line to enter attractions. Even better, you can feel like a VIP with the London Pass as you are granted fast track entry into a handful of London’s most popular attractions.

TT: How do you recommend visitors in London navigate their way around the city? In our past experience, it can be a rather immense destination with a lot of distractions to help us get lost.

F: When you buy your London Pass, you also have the option to add on an Oyster Travelcard. This gives you unlimited travel across the city. Visitors also receive a 160-page guidebook with every adult pass, and of course, a complimentary tube map.

TT: That sounds like just the help every visitor needs on arriving to London. So how did the London Pass start?

F: The London Pass is the flagship product of the Leisure Pass Group and is over 15 years old. Created by city tourism experts for international tourists, it has evolved into the most sophisticated and inclusive sightseeing city card in the UK with its own bespoke technology system, too. [This refers to the special card readers located at all the attractions, used to scan the passes allowing visitors entry, saving on multiple ticket printing.]

TT: To what do you think the London Pass owes its success?

F: The London Pass owes its success to the fact that it has been designed as a must-have companion to any sightseeing trip to London. It’s proven to be a cost-effective, convenient product and easy to use. The London Pass helps international visitors make the most out of their time in London, allowing them to see the best attractions at no extra cost.

TT: How does the London Pass work behind the scenes? Who is the team made up of? How many people work there?

F: The Leisure Pass Group, as a company, is made up of a product team, a web team, a sales team, and a finance team. Each team helps make the London Pass what it is today, whether it be by working with the best attractions, making the website as user-friendly as possible; advertising and selling the London Pass to national and international retailers; and so on. We might be a small office, but we get a lot done!

TT: Where do you and the rest of the team see the London Pass in five years?

F: In five years’ time, The London Pass will be bigger and better, but its integrity will be the same. We will be able to offer customers more for less; we will streamline the process even more and be able to open up even more top attractions to our customers, all the while saving you time and money.

TT: What is in the pipeline for the London Pass? We heard something about the possibility of educational brochures.

F: The Leisure Pass Group has commissioned the creation of infographics which reveal historical insights about top London attractions. They are designed for tourists and factual entertainment, but they are also great for educational purposes—for both adults and children—who want to know more about London and its history.

TT: That all sounds fantastic! It is so important to learn as much as possible when visiting a city, especially one as rich in culture and history as London. As someone who lives in the city, where is your favourite place to visit in London?

F: One of my favourite places in London is the Southbank, where you can stroll along the Thames and stop in at cafes and restaurants along the way. It’s great for views over the river and the Embankment. On Saturdays there’s a great book market under Waterloo Bridge, too. Another great place to visit is Camden if you want a bit of culture, vibrancy, good food, and good nightlife.

TT: All of those places will definitely be on our to-do list when we arrive in London! Before we go, do you have one last tip for us during our time in London?

F: Despite what people say, the London Underground is one of the best things about London, opening up every corner of the city in an invisible network under the streets. Just make sure you know when the last tube runs; otherwise you’ll be left on a rowdy night bus! I have to say I am looking forward to September this year when tube lines will run 24/7. That will be a blessing to us all.

TT: Thanks Fiona for the advice and for taking the time to chat with us at Tea Time Magazine. We will certainly be joining the other 2,575,669 people who have already bought their London Pass.

TOP ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT WITH THE LONDON PASS

1. Thames River Cruise

A boat ride along London’s River Thames, one of the longest rivers in the country. Many of the city’s famous landmarks can be seen on its banks, including the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.

2. Tower of London A historic castle, in fact Her Majesty The Queen’s Royal Palace and Fortress, located on the north bank of the River Thames. 3. Westminster Abbey A large Gothic church dating back to 1090, located in the City of Westminster, considered to be one of the most religious buildings in the United Kingdom.

4. London Bridge Experience This beautiful area of central London is the home to several historical bridges which span the River Thames, between the City of London and Southwark.

5. Windsor Castle Windsor Castle is the royal residence of the Queen’s family, the Windsors, located in the English county of Berkshire, about 40kms from London’s city centre. It is also the largest occupied castle in the world.

6. Kensington Palace Kensington Palace is another royal residence, set in Kensington Gardens, in London’s Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Some members of the royal family still reside there today.

7. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre The Globe Theatre is Shakespeare’s theatre, originally built in 1599 by his company, “The Lord Chamberlain’s Men”. It is located on the bank of the River Thames.

8. Tower Bridge Exhibition Tower Bridge was built 120 years ago, and it is open today for visitors to enjoy its panoramic views and Victorian engine rooms.

9. Hampton Court Palace Hampton Court Palace is another of London’s palaces, this one belonged to Henry VIII and dates back to the 15th century.

10. Churchill War Rooms The Cabinet War Rooms were used as secret underground headquarters for much of the British government throughout the Second World War. It also holds the wartime bunker that sheltered Winston Churchill during the 1940/1941 Blitz.



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One pass, dozens of London landmarks

Arriving in a city as famous, invigorating, and extensive as London can be a little overwhelming, even for the most seasoned traveller. It is difficult to know how to get around and where to go and it can be expensive to pay for every attraction separately. Luckily, tourists can purchase a London Pass.

The London Pass is a city pass that allows you to access over 60 tourist sites in London for a limited time. You can get a one-, two-, three-, or six-day pass to enter as many tourist sites as you want. And the best part is that you don’t have to stand in line to buy a ticket!

As an extra, you can also purchase an Oyster Travelcard, which gives you unlimited travel on the city’s underground and bus network. It comes with a complimentary map to help you navigate quickly and easily from one end of London to the other.

In five year’s time, the company that produces the London Pass hopes to streamline the process even more and have more top attractions open to its customers, all while saving them time and money. They are also producing infographics that reveal historical insights about top London attractions. These are designed for tourists but are also great for educational purposes.

If you are planning a trip to London, be sure to check out the London Pass and take advantage of all it has to offer!

 

Comprehension

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One pass, dozens of London landmarks

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Grammar in Use

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Elementary: Present Continuous

Adanced:British Expressions

Vocabulary

London Pass

Summary Vocabulary

Discover its sights, sounds, and tastes:

Travel and learn!

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