With major world events including London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, 2012 is the year to be in England. VisitEngland is highlighting how visitors can get involved in the action – on any budget.
Accommodation from just £7.50 per person…
In the face of an unprecedented demand for hotel rooms, England’s tourism industry has responded in a creative way bringing a vast array of new accommodation options to London. Wicked Campervans, offering motorhomes for rent, provide transport and accommodation rolled into one, meaning easy transport to Olympic venues and somewhere to stay once there. Customers who book before May 31, 2011 can benefit from prices from as low as £15 per person, per night (based on five sharing a multi-seater van.)
Camping is an ideal budget accommodation option and next summer the Camping and Caravanning Club will be popping up four temporary sites in central London – two of them just 10-15 minutes from the Olympic Village – with pitches available from £30 a night. That’s just £7.50 per person. Even those unsuccessful in obtaining tickets can still enjoy watching the games on big screens, taking in the carnival atmosphere and celebrations for this global showpiece.
For a home away from home in London, homestay accommodation is a great option and gives visitors a locals’ view of the city. Many Londoners will take advantage of the Olympics to take a break from the city, leaving empty houses and apartments behind them. HomeExchange.com makes the connection between Londoners who want to take a break from the city, and visitors who want to come.
Campinmygarden.com advertises private gardens as affordable, micro-campsites, and the Pop-Up hotel creates luxurious hotel-style accommodation in temporary structures.
Those preferring to bed down in a hotel will be pleased to know that London has over 100,000 rooms in total. England’s compact nature also means that it’s simple to stay outside the capital – in Essex or Kent for example – and still easily travel in for the games. There’s plenty of availability across a whole range of accommodations.
A capital experience in every city…
While London is the host city for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, events and celebrations will be taking place across England. In addition to the new Olympic Park in London’s Stratford, football matches will take place in Coventry, Manchester and Newcastle, sailing events in Weymouth, cycling in Surrey, rowing in Eton Dorney, mountain biking in Essex and canoe slalom in the Lee Valley.
Cultural offerings for non-sports fans…
Opening on June 21, 2012, the London 2012 Festival will see household names such as Alan Ayckbourn, David Hockney, Cate Blanchett, Tracey Emin, Yoko Ono and Damien Hirst participating in world-class cultural events across England to celebrate the arrival of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. There will be over 10 million opportunities to see free events across the country during the London 2012 Festival, which will run until September 9, 2012.
Theatre buffs will appreciate the opportunity to catch one of two plays by Alan Ayckbourn – one a premier of his 76th play and the other a revival of a best-loved classic, at two award-winning theatres of international importance, the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and Chichester Festival Theatre. Art lovers can see the first substantial survey of Damien Hirst’s work ever to be held in the UK at the Tate Modern, or Tracy Emin’s major exhibition, She Lay Down Deep Beneath The Sea, at the award-winning Turner Contemporary in her hometown of Margate. Full details at www.festival.london2012.com
Free events are just the ticket…
For those that missed out in the ticket ballot, there are still several ways to get involved in the action. There are several sporting events that can be seen without tickets. Weymouth in South West England will be welcoming 60–70,000 visitors a day to watch sailing events from its shores. Big screens are being rigged up, and there will be ‘Have-a-Go’ Sports Arenas, bands, food stands and activities for all the family. The cycling route in Surrey and marathon route in central London can both be watched from the side-lines.
Thousands more can watch the action on big screens hosted around the country – from beaches to village greens. The BBC is running official Big Screens in 22 locations throughout England – from Norwich to Plymouth and from Dover to Middlesborough. (www.bbc.co.uk/bigscreens)
For more ideas on what to do in England in 2012, visit www.visitengland.com and www.enjoyengland.com.
For inspirational ideas on how to fully experience England download a free Enjoy England iPhone app
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HomeExchange can be win-win for visitors, Londoners for 2012 Olympics