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London Transport Zones Guide: Exploring London Zones 1 – 6

London zones can be confusing for tourists and students coming to the city, but understanding them is crucial for navigating London’s transport system. Here, we’ve compiled a detailed guide about London travel zones, also known as London transport zones or London metro zones. We’ll provide information about London Zones 1-6. We hope you find it useful!

What are London Travel Zones?

London Travel Zones are a fare system used to determine public transportation costs in London, covering the Tube, Overground, DLR, National Rail, and buses. The system is divided into nine concentric zones, with Zone 1 at the center, encompassing Central London and its major landmarks, and Zones 2-9 radiating outwards to the city’s outskirts and neighboring areas. Travel fares depend on the number of zones crossed, and maps provided by Transport for London (TfL) help travelers plan their journeys and understand fare structures.

Here are London zones 1 to 6, which are the 6 main travel zones in London:

  • Zone 1: Central London – The heart of the city, home to major landmarks and attractions.
  • Zone 2: Inner Suburbs – Surrounds Zone 1, offering a mix of residential and commercial areas.
  • Zone 3: Outer Suburbs – Further out from central London, with a blend of residential neighborhoods and green spaces.
  • Zone 4: Extended Suburbs – Mostly residential areas with some commercial districts and parks.
  • Zone 5: Outer Residential – Quieter suburban neighborhoods with parks and amenities.
  • Zone 6: Outermost London – Predominantly residential areas on the outskirts of the city, offering a quieter pace of life.

How London Travel Zones Affect Travel Costs?

London Travel Zones significantly affect travel costs, as the fare structure for public transportation is based on the number of zones crossed. For example, during peak hours, a single adult fare on the Tube using an Oyster card or contactless payment costs £2.80 for a journey within Zone 1, but increases to £3.70 if traveling from Zone 1 to Zone 3. A journey spanning Zones 1 to 6 costs £5.60. Similarly, daily caps and travelcards are priced according to the zones covered, with a daily cap of £8.50 for Zones 1-2 and £15.60 for Zones 1-6. By understanding the zone system, travelers can better plan their trips and manage transportation expenses.

Single Journey Ticket
Zones Travelled Cash Oyster / Contactless Payment Card
Adult Child (off-peak) Peak Off Peak
Zone 1 £6.70 £3.30 £2.80 £2.70
Zone 1 & 2 £6.70 £3.30 £3.40 £2.80
Zone 1 to 3 £6.70 £3.30 £3.70 £3.00
Zone 1 to 4 £6.70 £3.30 £4.40 £3.20
Zone 1 to 5 £6.70 £3.30 £5.10 £3.50
Zone 1 to 6 £6.70 £3.30 £5.60 £3.60
Zone 2 to 6 £6.70 £3.30 £5.10 £3.50
Notes:
– Return fares are not available.
– Children under 11 travel free, and children between 11 and 15 years old travel free with an Oyster 11-15 Photocard.
– Children’s fares (ages 11-15) on Oyster for any trip within zones 1 to 6 are £1.70 during off-peak times, and range from £4.05 to £7.45 during peak times.
– Peak fares apply Monday to Friday between 6:30am and 9:30am, and 4pm to 7pm, except on public holidays.
1-Day Travelcard
Zones Travelled Oyster Daily Cap Peak Off-Peak 7-Day Cap
Zone 1-2 £8.50 £15.90 £15.90 £42.70
Zone 1-3 £10.00 £15.90 £15.90 £50.20
Zone 1-4 £12.30 £15.90 £15.90 £61.40
Zone 1-5 £14.60 £22.60 £15.90 £73.00
Zone 1-6 £15.60 £22.60 £15.90 £78.00

How London Zones 1 – 6 Affect Rental Costs?

London Travel Zones significantly impact rental costs, with properties in Zone 1 generally being the most expensive due to their central location and proximity to major attractions and business districts. As you move outward to Zones 2 and 3, rental prices tend to decrease, offering more affordable options while still maintaining relatively good access to central London via public transport. For example, a one-bedroom flat in Zone 1 can cost over £2,500 per month. Moving to Zone 2, which covers neighborhoods like Camden and Hammersmith, rental prices drop slightly, with one-bedroom flats averaging around £1,800 per month. Zone 3, encompassing areas such as Stratford and Wimbledon, offers even more affordable options, with one-bedroom rentals averaging about £1,500 per month. Zones 4 and beyond often provide even more budget-friendly rental choices, but with longer commute times.

London Zone 1: Central London

What Areas are Zone 1 in London?

Zone 1 encompasses areas like West End, Holborn, Kensington, Paddington, and the City of London. It also includes areas like Old Street, Angel, Pimlico, Tower Gateway, Aldgate East, Euston, Vauxhall, Elephant & Castle, Borough, London Bridge, Earl’s Court, Marylebone, Edgware Road, Lambeth North, and Waterloo.

What Attractions are in London’s Zone 1?

In London’s Zone 1, you’ll find famous places like the British Museum, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Houses of Parliament. The West End has cool theaters, and Covent Garden is bustling with shops and street performers. Art lovers can check out the National Gallery and Tate Modern. Borough Market offers tasty food, while the South Bank provides great river views. Don’t miss the London Eye for a cool city panorama.

What Tube Lines are for London’s Zone 1?

All London Underground lines have stations located within Zone 1. Stations in this zone are usually nearby, such as Covent Garden and Leicester Square, which are just 0.3 kilometers (0.2 miles) apart—the shortest distance between any two stations in the network.

London Zone 2: Inner London

What Areas are Zone 2 in London?

Tower Hamlets, Islington, Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth, Camden, Southwark, Lambeth, Lewisham, Brent, Greenwich, Hackney, Kensington and Chelsea, Newham, Westminster, Ealing, and Hounslow are all areas located within Zone 2 of London. However, some of these areas extend partially into Zone 3 as well.

What Attractions are in London’s Zone 2?

Zone 2 offers a diverse mix of cultural landmarks and shopping destinations. In London’s Zone 2, attractions include Camden Market, Hampstead Heath, Notting Hill’s Portobello Road Market, Greenwich’s Royal Observatory and Cutty Sark, Islington’s Upper Street, and parks like Clapham Common and Brockwell Park.

What Tube Lines are for London’s Zone 2?

With the exception of the Waterloo & City line, all London Underground lines have stations located within zone 2. The extensive Tube network in zone 2 provides convenient transportation options for residents and visitors alike.

London Zone 3 – 4: Suburban London

What Areas are Zone 3 in London?

Newham, Ealing, Haringey, Islington, Wandsworth, Richmond upon Thames, Lewisham, Waltham Forest, Barnet, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Hounslow, Hackney, Merton, Bromley, Brent, Lambeth, Camden, Croydon, and Southwark are all located within London’s Zone 3. However, some of these areas extend partially into Zone 2 or Zone 4, providing a diverse mix of urban and suburban experiences within the city.

What Areas are Zone 4 in London?

Greenwich, Brent, Bromley, Enfield, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, Lewisham, Hounslow, Ealing, Haringey, Barnet, Epping Forest, Newham, Bexley, Sutton, Waltham Forest, Richmond upon Thames, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Harrow, and Sutton lie within Zone 4 of London’s travel zones. While some extend into Zone 3, others are situated outside Greater London, offering a blend of urban and suburban experiences for residents and visitors alike.

What Attractions are in London’s Zone 3 – 4?

London’s Zone 3 boasts attractions such as Hampton Court Palace, Kew Gardens, and Wembley Stadium. Zone 3 provides visitors and residents with opportunities for cultural enrichment and leisurely strolls in London’s vibrant outskirts.

What Tube Lines are for London’s Zone 3 – 4?

Tube lines serving London’s Zone 3 – 4 include the District Line, Central Line, Jubilee Line, Piccadilly Line, Metropolitan Line, and London Overground.

London Zone 5 – 6: Outer London

What Areas are Zone 5 in London?

Bexley, Barking and Dagenham, Kingston, Bromley, Enfield, Epping Forest, Harrow, Sutton, Waltham Forest, Croydon, Hillingdon, Barnet, Hounslow, Ealing, Haringey, Hertsmere, Hammersmith and Fulham, Havering, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, and Westminster fall within Zone 5. While a few extend into Zone 6 or lie outside Greater London, these areas offer diverse landscapes and urban amenities.

What Areas are Zone 6 in London?

Reigate and Banstead, Bexley, Tandridge, Bromley, Kingston, Croydon, Enfield, Epping Forest, Havering, Hertsmere, Epsom and Ewell, Hounslow, Richmond, Elmbridge, Harrow, Hillingdon, and Three Rivers fall within Zone 6 of London’s travel zones. Some of the areas extend into Zone 7 or lie outside Greater London

What Attractions are in London’s Zone 5 – 6?

Attractions in London’s Zone 5-6 include the scenic Richmond Park, historical Hampton Court Palace, and the picturesque Kew Gardens. Additionally, you can explore the charming neighborhoods of Greenwich, with its maritime history and Royal Observatory, and visit the iconic Wimbledon Tennis Championships venue in Merton.

What Tube Lines are for London’s Zone 5 – 6?

Tube lines serving London’s Zone 4 include the Jubilee Line, Metropolitan Line, Central Line, District Line, Piccadilly Line, and London Overground.

London Travel Zones Map

London Zone Map

Tips for Navigating London Travel Zones

Oyster Card vs. Contactless Payments

When living in London and traveling by tube, both Oyster cards and contactless payments offer convenient ways to pay for journeys. Oyster cards require a physical card that you can top up with credit and use to tap in and out of tube stations. Contactless payments, on the other hand, allow you to use your debit or credit card directly, eliminating the need for a separate travel card.
 
While both methods offer the same fare pricing and daily caps, contactless payments offer the added benefit of not needing to top up credit or carry an extra card, making them a hassle-free option for many commuters. However, some may prefer the anonymity and flexibility of topping up an Oyster card with cash.

Daily and Weekly Caps

Daily and weekly caps on London Tube fares ensure you don’t overpay for your journeys. If you travel frequently across zones, a weekly cap offers savings as it limits your spending for the entire week. For occasional travelers or those staying within the same zones, a daily cap suffices, preventing you from being charged more than needed for daily travel. Choose based on your travel frequency and zones to maximize savings.

Peak and Off-Peak Hours in London

In London, peak and off-peak hours play a significant role in determining the cost of travel on public transport, including the Tube. Peak fares apply during the busiest times of the day, typically Monday to Friday between 6:30 am and 9:30 am, and 4 pm to 7 pm, excluding public holidays. During these hours, fares are higher to manage demand and encourage travelers to consider alternative times for their journeys.

For commuters, it’s essential to plan travel outside of peak hours whenever possible to save money. Consider adjusting your work schedule, if feasible, to avoid the busiest times on public transport. Additionally, for leisure travel, exploring the city during off-peak hours not only saves on fares but also offers a more relaxed and enjoyable experience without the crowds.

Choosing the Best London Student Accommodation According to Zones in London

When choosing student accommodation in London, considering the proximity to your university and the cost of travel is crucial. If your university is centrally located, accommodation in Zones 1 or 2 might be ideal for easy access. However, if your university is further out, opting for accommodation in higher zones can offer more affordable rent while still providing convenient travel options.

Platforms like uhomes.com offer a wide range of London accommodation options across different zones, allowing you to find accommodation that suits your budget and location preferences. Whether you prefer the vibrant city life of Zone 1 or the quieter suburbs of Zone 3 or beyond, uhomes.com can help you find the perfect student home. Consider factors like proximity to public transport, amenities, and the overall atmosphere of the area when choosing your accommodation to ensure a comfortable and convenient student experience in London.

uhomes, useful website for international students to save money on student accommodation

London Travel Zones FAQ

Central London primarily encompasses Zones 1 and 2. Zone 1 is the heart of the city, including major attractions like the West End, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, and the City of London financial district. It is the most vibrant and busiest area, with numerous cultural landmarks, shopping districts, and dining options. Zone 2 surrounds Zone 1 and offers a mix of residential and commercial areas, providing a balance between city access and slightly more affordable living. Both zones are well-connected by public transport, making them highly desirable for both living and tourism.

The best zone in London depends on your priorities. Each zone has its own unique benefits depending on what you are looking for.

 

  • Zone 1: Ideal for those wanting to be in the heart of the city with easy access to major attractions, business districts, and cultural landmarks. It is, however, the most expensive.
  • Zone 2: Offers a balance of central access and residential comfort, with slightly lower costs than Zone 1.
  • Zone 3: Provides more affordable housing options while still being reasonably close to central London.
  • Zones 4-6: Best for quieter, suburban living with more green spaces, though travel times to central London are longer.

Oyster card zones refer to the fare zones of London’s public transport system, where the Oyster card can be used for payment. London is divided into nine fare zones, with Zone 1 covering central London and Zones 2 to 9 radiating outward to cover the suburbs and outskirts. The fare you pay with your Oyster card depends on the number of zones you travel through.

The price cap is the maximum amount you will pay for travel in a day. No matter how many trips you take within a 24-hour period (from 4:30am to 4:30am), you won’t be charged more than this set amount. The price cap applies across all modes of transport, including buses, the Underground, and the DLR.

London offers various modes of transport to get around the city, including the Underground, Overground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), buses, Emirates Air Line cable car, Santander Cycles, and River Bus services along the Thames.

Yes, you can travel between different zones with a single ticket. The cost of the ticket will depend on the number of zones you cross during your journey. Using an Oyster card or contactless payment makes this process seamless and often cheaper than buying individual tickets.

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