London Hotels during the Olympics? Consider hostels and camping!

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"Camp in London" will offer an affordable sleeping option for the 2012 Olympics. Photo: When I was a lad
"Camp in London" will offer an affordable sleeping option for the 2012 Olympics. Photo: When I was a lad

By Tom Meyers—

Finding affordable hotels in London during this summer’s Olympic games is turning into a sport itself, as many hotels are pumping up their rates 100 percent or more during the event, which takes place July 27 – August 12, 2012. All is not lost for Olympic-bound Cheapos, however.

Here are a few suggestions for cheap-ish places to sleep in London during the summer games:

Bunk it at the Clink.

Youth hostels

If you don’t mind sleeping in a dorm room with other visitors, there are several hostels in London that still show availability during the game dates.

The Generator Hostel, which boasts a party-vibe (complete with bouncer and thumping music) and a Bloomsbury location, still has dorm rooms available for $70, and private quad rooms (with shared bath) for a not-so-cheapo $314. These rates are for August 1-3, 2012, and are about twice what they cost for the first week in July.

The Clink 261, located near the Generator in the King’s Cross neighborhood, offers candy-colored dorm rooms during the Games for $60 – $67 per person. Still not cheap when compared to their $29 – $38 rates a month earlier, but it’s still much cheaper than a hotel!

See more hostel options in London.

Pitch your own tent or rent one. Photo: Camp in London

Camp In London

A more affordable and adventurous option is Camp In London, the city’s Olympic-season gift to budget travelers. During the Games, the city is transforming the Low Hall Sports Ground in Walthamstow (in northeastern London) into a camping field. Aside from the tents (which you can rent), the park will also feature live entertainment, event screenings on large-screen TVs, food festivals and kid-friendly activities.

The park is located a 5-10 minute bus ride from the Olympic Village—and will be running regular shuttle buses between the camping village and the Games.

Camping options

Camp In London offers three kinds of accommodation options:

1. Pitch your own tent: For those with their own equipment. From £15 per person / night.

2. Pre-erected tents: All set up and ready to sleep. From £40 per person / night.

3. Luxury tents: More space, more comforts, but still a tent. £100 per person / night.

To check rates for your dates and read more information (about showers, food, iPhone chargers, etc.), visit the Camp in London Web site. And hey, even if you don’t score tickets to any of the Olympic events, you could just hang out at the campground all day and watch the events on their big screen!

Take advantage of the campground now—and pray for dry weather. After the Games have concluded, it will all vanish… like a field of tents!

About the author

Thomas Meyers

About the author: Tom created and launched EuroCheapo from his Berlin apartment in 2001. He returned to New York in 2002, set up office, and has led the EuroCheapo team from the Big Apple ever since. He travels to Europe several times a year to update EuroCheapo's hotel reviews. Tom is also a co-host of the New York City history podcast, The Bowery Boys.

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One thought on “London Hotels during the Olympics? Consider hostels and camping!”

  1. Glastonbury George

    Or do what I shall do and stay at home. Hard to beat Glastonbury in the summer and that ‘s where I’ll stay. And my guess is that’s just what most people will be do. Olympic London will probably have huge discounting of empty hotel rooms.


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