Travelling To and Around London for the 2012 Olympics

For travelers going to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, it is best to be fully informed about your travel options to, from and around the city. Making sure you get to all the events hassle-free could make or break your Olympic experience.

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At the start of 2012, it was announced that up to 20 percent of the flights in and out of London Heathrow could be cut back during the Olympics to prevent delays and long lines at the airport.

The good news is regularly scheduled flights to Heathrow will not be affected, but unscheduled flights – such as charters and private planes – will be temporarily banned from the international airport and redirected to nearby Stansted, London Gatwick and Luton – all of which are close to Olympic venues.

Some 500,000 international visitors are expected during the Olympics which runs from late July through mid-August. The UK’s leading airlines – British Airways, bmi, Virgin Atlantic and EasyJet – have already expressed their concerns about the expected surge in air traffic due to the Olympics and vacations.

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There are various options in London to accommodate tourists on vacations, from hostels and camp-sites to luxury hotels. Activity vacations in and around London are an ideal way to make the most of your visit to the 2012 London Olympics.

Holiday Inn is the official hotel provider of the London 2012 Olympic Games while VisitBritain has over 37,000 places across the UK listed in its accommodation directory.

Below is a list of the closest hotels to the Olympic stadium and village. Remember to book early to avoid disappoint.

  • Holiday Inn Express Stratford (0.51 miles from stadium)
  • Travelodge London Stratford (0.53 miles from stadium)
  • Holiday Inn London Stratford City (0.57 miles from stadium)
  • Staybridge Suites London Stratford City (0.58 miles from stadium)
  • Premier Inn Stratford (0.61 miles from stadium)

International Travel Necessities

2012 Games ticket holders can buy train tickets in advance and train companies have arranged value fares from every station on the National Rail network to London and all co-host cities.

You can buy 2012 Games Train Tickets for travel between July 18 and September 14 that include a stay in London or one of the co-hosting cities before or after your chosen event.

If you’re going to an event in London, you will get a one-day Games Travelcard with your Games ticket. This can be used for travel in London Zones 1-9 and to/from Watford Junction on the day of the event.

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Park-and-ride sites will be available to access the Olympic Park. Regular park-and-ride shuttle bus services will run directly to the Olympic Park from these sites. Park-and-rail services are available from Ebbsfleet International station where trains run directly to Stratford International and the Olympic Park. Park-and-ride and park-and-rail services are not included in the price of your event ticket and must be booked in advance.

On the busiest day alone, 800,000 tourists are expected to flock to the 34 venues putting a strain on public transport services. Ticket holders are advised to book well in advance to take advantage of special services and discounts. Visitors should not panic, as there are endless options for reaching their venues from catching a train or bus to cycling or getting a boat across the Thames River.


About the Author
Dennis Morgan writes regularly on adventure and activity holidays for a variety of outdoor pursuit magazines and blog sites.


Published: April 24, 2012