Unless you’re one of the select few (now financially strapped) individuals, that requested tickets for almost every event going at the London 2012 Olympics, and was successful, it is highly likely your schedule will allow you some free time to enjoy the alternative attractions that London has to offer. If you’re short of time during your visit, then it will certainly be a wise decision to base yourself in a convenient area of the capital, where you will be within easy reach of the Olympic events, while also benefiting from great access to some of London’s most-loved landmarks, nightlife, and famous parks. Here are the top 5 places to consider when searching for your London accommodation, and the reasons why.
1. Canary Wharf – Canary Wharf may be the largest financial business district in the capital, but it also has a great deal to offer for those in search of entertainment or sport. Located just across the River Thames from the North Greenwich Arena, Canary Wharf is the ideal location for spectators for the Olympic events of Artistic Gymnastics, Trampoline, Basketball, and Wheelchair Basketball. A one stop journey on the Underground, you can travel from Canary Wharf to North Greenwich in just 3 minutes. The Olympic Park is also easily accessible, taking just a further 10 minutes on the Jubilee Line. In between performances of pirouettes and slam dunks, you can experience the delights of the Museum of London, located within Canary Wharf, or take a stroll around Greenwich Park, which is set to host the Equestrian events during the Olympics.
2. Bermondsey – Nestled along the South Bank of the Thames, Bermondsey offers not only great transport links to the various Olympic venues, but also fantastic views, and endless attractions to visit. Tower Bridge - one of London’s most iconic structures - is just a short walk away, and if you’re looking to enjoy the city’s infamous nightlife, then you will not be disappointed by Bermondsey’s selection of stylish bars and restaurants. Staying in Bermondsey, you can hop on the Jubilee line to the Olympic Park, which takes approx. 15 minutes.
3. Farringdon – Located north of the City of London, Farringdon is extremely well connected to the rest of the capital, along a variety of Underground lines and rail services. Farringdon’s transport links make it a desirable location for holidaymakers, as it is just a short journey from the likes of Covent Garden, Leicester Square, and Embankment. Recently redeveloped, Farringdon has an endearing combination of traditional buildings and modern bars and restaurants, offering a buzzing social atmosphere, day and night. Travelling to the Olympic Park from Farringdon takes about 20 minutes on the Underground, changing at Liverpool Street straight up to Stratford.
4. Camden – Known for its market culture, Camden is a unique area in London where you will find everything you would expect from a city market, and much more. Camden is known for its individuality, attracting residents and visitors looking to express their alternative culture, whether it be through music, fashion, or art. Camden is an exciting area of London, and while home to many attractions itself, it is also easily accessible to and from the Olympic Park. There are many possible routes, and perhaps one of the easiest is to take the Underground to Bank, and change to head towards Stratford.
5. City of London – The City of London is the area considered most central to the capital, and is where London’s great expansion originated, with the development of historic buildings such as St. Paul’s Cathedral. The City of London now has an impressive skyline, with iconic towers such as Tower 42, and the Swiss Re Tower, or ‘The Gherkin’, as it is more commonly known. You will be spoilt for choice with places to visit and things to do, and being located in the heart of the business district, you will get a real feel for the busy, thriving atmosphere London is known for. It couldn’t be quicker or easier to travel to the Olympic Park from the City of London, with a variety of Underground stations offering direct routes. Travel from Bank on the Jubilee line, or on the DLR, or from Liverpool Street located nearby.