Camping at the Games using sports clubs around capital to provide Olympic fans and volunteers place to stay from £10
Very few things connected to the Olympics could conceivably be called a bargain. In the circumstances then, a night’s accommodation for £10 – albeit under canvas and well into London‘s suburbs – might just about qualify.
That is the deal offered by a company, Camping at the Games, which has teamed up with a series of sports clubs around London and further afield to offer Olympic spectators an alternative to the wallet-lightening rates currently available at the capital’s few remaining hotel rooms.
With a nightly charge of £10 an adult and £5 a child, more if you use one of their pre-erected tents, the company will have 3,000 pitches available each night, enough for up to 10,000 people.
Despite a launch photocall on Monday near Tower Bridge none of the six sports grounds-turned campsites are not quite so central. Dotted around east, south-east and north-east London, as far as Enfield, they all, however, promise straightforward travel connections. One, in Waltham Forest, is billed as being just a 15 minute bus ride from the Olympic Park. Outside the capital, one is in Reading, close to the rowing lake, one further north of London is close to the canoeing venue, while there are two in Weymouth for sailing fans.
All but two of the 10 sites are also open for the Paralympics.
The company is particularly targeting Olympic volunteers – some of whom are working fairly erratic and last-minute shifts – offering the chance to change their accommodation date and venue at no extra cost. There are dedicated volunteer-only sections as well.
One of the company’s founders, Rhian Evans, said Monday’s popup campsite in Potters Field Park, near Tower Bridge, was intended to “show people who were put off by accommodation prices that there is an affordable alternative”.
He said: “The price of staying in London over the summer is extortionate but on our campsites a family of four can stay for £30 a night. Even staying in a budget hotel will cost a lot of money this summer and our campsites will have an Olympic atmosphere.
“We’re also helping sports clubs by setting up these campsites on club grounds which will help raise funds for them. The grounds provide lots of space so people won’t be crammed in, like in a festival.”
By Imogen Blake