Going for the Olympics or not, London has plenty else to offer this summer, with some great last minute deals. An estimated 5.3 million more visitors are set to visit Britain during July and August this year compared to the same period in 2011… and, of course, the majority are coming to see the Olympics. However, if you missed out on a ticket or just left it all to the last minute, don’t worry, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy a host of festivals and cultural events in the Capital.
In addition to being named by TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice survey as the best city it’s easy to see why. For art lovers among you, head over to the Tate Modern to see the latest Damien Hirst exhibition running until the 9th of September? If world-class theatre is more your taste, ten London venues will be showcasing the World Shakespeare Festival which is running right through until October 2012. The Notting Hill Carnival, over the weekend of the 26th and 27th of August, is Europe’s biggest street festival. Or, if you’re looking to soak up some of the Olympic atmosphere, there will be big screens showing the Games in Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square.
With such offerings, there were initial concerns over a shortage of accommodation, but trouble in the Eurozone has meant many would-be-travellers have chosen to stay at home this year. Accordingly, hotels are reducing their rates to attract last minute bookers and there are some good deals to be had. www.hotels.com claim room rates in London have fallen by a quarter in the last month. For the budget traveller, couch-surfing is becoming an increasingly popular option or, if you are looking for something a bit different, sites like www.viveunique.com have great offers on upmarket home rentals, from as little as $80 per night.
ViveUnique is a specialist booking website for unique and upmarket home rentals. With a handpicked collection of apartments and townhouses in London, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin and Rome, guests enjoy a more authentic and boutique experience. Guests stay in real homes and live like a local while the owner is away. With personal recommendations for the local area, each home offers a stylish living experience and excellent value. Homeowners who wish to market their homes and connect with affluent travellers around the globe, can list for free and earn money while they’re away.
With the Olympics just around the corner and having already played host to the Diamond Jubilee and the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in recent months, whatever your reason for visiting London, 2012 is set to be a year to remember.