Looking at a trip to London, Bath and Cornwall in early May 2012. Just wondering on people's thoughts on the Olympics being that year, opening ceremonies July 27, 2012 in London. Do you think given that much time in between there'd be issues in terms of travel problems, higher costs of hotels, sights/destinations being closed, etc.? Any insights welcomed. Thanks!
Hotels in London during the Olympics are expected to double their normal rates. However, that shouldn't affect you in May.
1) Probably not 2) Probably not 3) Probably not. I lived in LA during their games and nothing changed during their games but a little more traffic. I lived in Montreal during their games and my experience was similar.
John, I see that we are slightly off the OP question but you raise a good point. Thanks to Linda for sharing the webpage. I'm sorry that the lack of accessible Underground stations will keep you and others away. In the railway business all our new trains and most stations are wheelchair and scooter friendly. The Underground is 150 year old infrastructure and it is completely true that most old stations were designed without any consideration that others than able bodied using them. It is worthy of the Transport for London folk that they are retro-fitting lifts and other adaptive kit to an ever growing list. Its not fast but there is movement. Most buses in London are wheelchair friendly. I can't speak of scooters. Virtually all taxis are, and there are lots of taxi vans. I hope that we can tempt you back at some time.
The only travel problems may be any work they might do to the public transport system to get it ready for the Olympics, or any construction for the games that might be going on. Someone more local than me might know the answers to that. I was living here in Atlanta during the games, downtown was really crowded, and I avoided the airport like the plague before and after, but we didn't see any changes in the 'burbs. That far ahead of the games when you'll be there, you won't see higher prices.
I was in London 2 years ago, and I use an electric scooter. I came in from Paris on Eurostar and needed to get to Heathrow. It took 4.5 hours, on the tube, and 3 changes to get me to Heathrow. I passed my hotel on the way in, saw it, but could not get off at that tube stop. No elevator to ground. So, we had to ride another 20 minutes into Heathrow, then take the Hoppa bus back to the hotel. Took an extra hour. With the tube not being handicapped accessible, no elevators or a lot of elevators out of service, navigating London for anyone handicapped will be a real pain in the a@#. Most people do not know, but after the regular Olympics, there is another 10 days of para-Olympics. Can you see 8,000 handicapped participants trying to get around London? Gona be a nightmare for anyone handicapped, unless the Tube stations are fixed in the next 2 years, and in this economy, not seeing that happen. Therefor, I will not be attending the Olympics that year. I have tried using the bus system in London. I cannot get my head around it. Paris, I understand, London, not so much. Anyone with insights on the London buses, I am all ears, eyes, and wheels.
John - here is Transport for London's guide to accessibility on public transport in London. Wheelchair users travel for free on London buses. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/Getting_around_London.pdf
What I found with Vancouver was that within a month of the games, hotels seemed to be booked up, but father than that was fine. There was a lot of construction and cleaning, but nothing was closed yet. I actually WANT to be in London for the Olympics and Paralympics, but am worried about getting a room(s). I've put inquiries in with LSE, Kings, Westminster, and none are taking bookings yet.
@John- I'd suggest you go to the Trip Advisor London Forum. There is a regular poster there that goes by the screen name of travelerplus. She is EXTREMEMLY knowldegable about the London bus system. Can tell you specific routes/stops, times, etc. Maybe send her a private message. She is also very good with the tube and knows which stations are easily accessable etc. @Steve- I'd encourage you to get reservations as early as practical. I'm certain that much of London and closer suburbs will be booked early and be $$$$$. There will be all kinds of support people there ase well as athletes and fans. I expect that the potential Royal Wedding will also add to the demand on rooms and transport. By going early you might not have quite as much competition, but I wouldn't put off booking to the last minute.