6 of the Best – Caravan & Camp Sites for London 2012 Olympics

12 Jun 2012

As could be predicted with such a major international event like the London 2012 Olympics, prices for pitching a caravan somewhere close to the sporting action are not quite the budget option they would be at any other time.

However, if you check out the price of hotels or other accommodation options, heading off with your caravan, motor-home or tent is still the cheapest choice if you are looking for somewhere to stay to be on the doorstep of one or more of the Olympic venues.

Additionally, many temporary camp sites are springing up to meet the much increased demand which include options from ‘The Caravan Club’ and ‘The Camping and Caravanning Club’.

So, here are some of our top picks for those off to the big games this summer!

The Elms Caravan and Camping Park

Lippitts Hill, High Beach, Loughton, IG10 4AW


Set in the conservation area of Epping Forest, this site is a good choice for those who want the best of both worlds – to be a short hop from the Olympic and Paralympic action but with the promise of a peaceful and tranquil base to return to after each day’s excitement.

Loughton Underground, which is seven stops from Olympic Park, is just three miles from The Elms with Greenwich Park and Excel also within easy reach. The Lee Valley White Water Centre, where the kayaking events will take place, is 6 km from the caravan site.

The family run park is hoping to create a vibrant sporting village atmosphere for the duration of the Olympics with a large TV screen for event viewings and other special entertainment.

Facilities: Mini-market, electric hook-ups, heated toilets and showers, next door to The Owl pub.

Special facilities for Olympic period: Large marquee with TV, weekly free evening barbecue, live musicians, fireworks for closing ceremony.

Cost: £18 per person per night + £4 electric per night (subject to a minimum pitch fee per night of £50). Minimum stay of 3 nights.

Windsor Great Park

The Great Park, Event Campsite, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 2HT


(NOTE: This is one of several temporary camp sites set up for the Olympic period as a partnership between local London councils and the ‘Camping and Caravanning Club’. Other locations include Gravesham, Lee Valley and Romford and offer options from quiet and secluded to full facility sites for families with children.)

Although there are many temporary caravan and camping facilities springing up all over London and the home counties to cater for the Olympic crowds, not all of them offer camping within royal grounds. From 20th July to 16th August, Windsor Great Park has made 286 pitches available for tents, caravans and motor-homes with a planned calendar of arts and theatre events to boot.

The site is only 2 miles from the Olympic venue for canoeing, rowing and kayaking events and will offer site users a transport option in the form of an official park and ride system to ferry Olympic goers back and forth.

Facilities: basic facilities only (best suited to self contained units.- full facility list to be announced), catering options sourced from Windsor estate farms, open-air theatre and arts events.

Cost: £40 per pitch per night with a minimum stay 3 nights (also open to non- members of  the ‘Camping and Caravanning Club’).

St Anne’s Church Temporary Campsite

Limehouse, London, E14 7HP


Another of the temporary sites, St Anne’s offers Olympic goers a caravan pitch in the grounds of an historic church and a location just a short hop to the Olympic event’s hub in London. Transport options include light railway, Underground or canal boat which will take visitors directly to Olympic Park.

Facilities: On-site: hard-standing, gated site, water point, toilets. Off site: Takeaways, shops and newsagents – 2 minutes walk. Canary Wharf shops – 12 minutes walk.

Cost: £60 per pitch per night. All profits will go to the church’s restoration fund.

Riverside Village Holiday Park

Creeksea Ferry Road, Wallasea Island, Rochford, Essex, SS4 2EY


Although much of the Olympic action will be taking part in Central London, there are of course other events outside of this central hub. These include Hadleigh Farm, the location of the 2012 Olympic mountain biking events which is less than 9 miles from Riverside Village Holiday Park. Otherwise, the London Olympic venues of Olympic Park, Excel and Greenwich Park are a 45 minute journey away by public transport.

This site, which accepts tents, caravans and motor-home, provides a tranquil escape from the city, surrounded as it is by unspoiled countryside and rural villages.

Facilities: Shower and toilets, laundry facilities, electric hook-up, fishing lakes on site, small on-site shop, many local pubs and restaurants within walking distance.

Cost: £22 per pitch per night (includes electric).

East Fleet Farm Touring Park

Fleet Lane, Chickerell, Weymouth, Dorset, DT3 4DW


For those interested in the Olympic sailing events, this camp site is one of the closest to the Weymouth venue which hosts these races from 29th July to 11th August and the Paralympics from 1st to 6th September. Overlooking Chesil beach, this 200 acre site is just a short bus ride or 2 ½ mile cycle ride to the heart of the Olympic sailing buzz. This venue will be particularly appealing to those who have been unable to get event tickets as the area offers many opportunities for race watching – non-ticket holders included.

The East Fleet Touring Park, which accepts tents, caravans and motor-homes, is a long standing holder of a ‘Gold’ level David Bellamy Award. This award scheme recognises the outstanding efforts of those practising green tourism and exhibiting valuable conservation ethics.

Facilities: Toilets and showers, electric hook-up, camp shop.

Cost: from £28.50 per pitch per night (includes electric), 7 night bookings only Saturday to Saturday. For Paralympics/1st to 6th September – from £22.50 per pitch per night (includes electric), no minimum booking.

Barleylands Farm Park

Billericay, Essex


(NOTE: ‘Caravan Club’ members only.)

This 400 pitch temporary site available to ‘Caravan Club’ members will be open from 27th July to 12th August. It is intended not just as a base for ticket holders but also as an opportunity for non-ticket holders to be part of the Olympic atmosphere in sharing and meeting up with other fans.

There is a local bus service or a park and ride facility within walking distance of the camp site which will transport spectators to and from the Hadleigh Farm mountain bike events. Alternatively there are also convenient transport links for the London Olympic venues.

Facilities: Fresh water, cafe and restaurant on site, Park and Ride on 11th and 12th August.

Cost: £22 per pitch per night (includes electric).

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