Travelling with children

Travelling with children

Under 11s

Free travel on Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail services

If your child is under 11, they can travel free if:

  • They have a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard, or
  • Travelling with an adult who is using pay as you go, or has a valid ticket (excluding Group Day Travelcards), a Freedom Pass or an Oyster photocard (up to four children per adult)

Find out how to apply for a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard.

Free travel on buses and trams

Under 11s can travel free on London buses and trams at any time without an adult. They don't need an Oyster card or a ticket unless they look older than 10 - in that case they need to apply for a Zip Oyster photocard.

Free travel on National Rail services

Children with a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard can travel free on most National Rail services where pay as you go is accepted. They are charged child-rate pay as you go fares on:

  • Southeastern high speed services between St Pancras International and Stratford International
  • Gatwick Express
  • Southern and Thameslink services between Coulsdon South and Gatwick Airport

The map below shows where 5-10 year olds can travel free on National Rail services if they have a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard.

Under 11s can also travel free on the following National Rail services without a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard if they are travelling with an adult who is using pay as you go, or has a valid ticket (excluding Group Day Travelcards), Freedom Pass or a Oyster photocard (up to four children per adult):

  • Amersham to Marylebone (Chiltern)
  • Finsbury Park to King's Cross/Moorgate (Thameslink Great Northern)
  • Stratford to Liverpool Street (Abellio Greater Anglia)
  • Tottenham Hale to Stratford (Abellio Greater Anglia)
  • Tottenham Hale to Liverpool Street (Abellio Greater Anglia)
  • Upminster to Fenchurch Street/Liverpool Street via Barking - but can't get on or off a train at Forest Gate/Maryland (c2c)
  • Watford Junction to Euston (London Midland)
  • Watford Junction to Clapham Junction (Southern)
  • West Hampstead Thameslink to Moorgate/Elephant & Castle/London Bridge (Thameslink Great Northern)
  • West Ruislip to South Ruislip (Chiltern)

The map below shows where 5-10 year olds can travel free on National Rail services with an adult or with a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard.

The table below summarises where 5-10 year olds can travel free on each service.

Service Travelling with an adult Travelling alone
Bus and tram Free - no Oyster photocard needed (unless they look older than 10)
Free - no Oyster photocard needed (unless they look older than 10)
Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail
Free - no Oyster photocard neededFree with a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard
Emirates Air LineChild-rate fares for children aged 5-15 - no Oyster photocard neededUnable to travel: children must be travelling with a fare paying adult at all times
National Rail
Green routes

Free - no Oyster photocard needed

Free with a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard
National Rail Blue routesFree with a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard
Free with a  5-10 Zip Oyster photocard
Thames Clipper River Bus services
Child-rate fares for children aged 5-15 - no Oyster photocard needed
Unable to travel - children must be travelling with a fare paying adult at all times

Children without a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard need to pay a child-rate fare on most National Rail services. They don't need an Oyster photocard to buy child-rate paper single and return tickets or Day Travelcards.

11-15s: How to get reduced rate travel

The cheapest way for 11-15 year olds to travel is to use an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard. They can travel free on buses and trams and travel at child-rate on all other TfL services and most National Rail services in London.

Find out how to apply for an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard.

Young Visitor discount

If you're visiting London and travelling with children aged 11 to 15 who haven't got a Zip Oyster photocard, you can still benefit from reduced rate travel for them. You can get a discount set on an Oyster or Visitor Oyster card that will allow them to pay as you go at half adult-rate for up to 14 days.

This discount is called the Young Visitor discount and can be set by a member of staff at:

  • Any Tube station
  • TfL Rail station ticket offices
  • Visitor Centres (except Gatwick Airport South Terminal)
  • Victoria National Rail station ticket office

You and your child must be together when asking for the Young Visitor discount to be set.

You don't need proof of age or identity, but you might be asked to confirm the child's age. One adult can get the Young Visitor discount set for up to four children.

The Young Visitor discount gives the following for up to 14 days:

  • Half adult-rate pay as you go fares and daily caps on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services
  • Half adult-rate on Emirates Air Line and Thames Clipper River Bus services

It doesn't allow free travel and discounted Travelcard and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets can't be added. After 14 days the discount expires and the Oyster card reverts to charging adult-rate fares.

Children aged 16 and over

The cheapest way for 16-18 year olds to travel is to use a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard.

Children aged 16 or over pay adult fares on all services unless they have a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard.

Find out how to apply for a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard.

Travelcards for £2.30

Children aged 5-15 can buy an Off-Peak Zones 1-9 Day Travelcard for £2.30 if the adult travelling with them has a valid:

  • Gold Card
  • Network Railcard or Family and Friends Railcard
  • HM Forces Railcard

To buy discounted Day Travelcards for accompanying children, you must:

  • Show your Railcard/Gold Card
  • Buy a discounted ticket for you, if using a Railcard
  • Have a valid ticket to travel, if using a Gold Card
  • Travel with them throughout the day

They are available from Tube, London Overground, TfL Rail and National Rail stations and Visitor Centres.

For more information, please visit the Railcard website.

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