Hold on to your hats – the Olympics is well an truly almost upon us! From 27th July to 12th August 2012, the 30th Olympics Games will no doubt be more than ably hosted by our wonderful city of London, and we welcome all participants, teams, guests and attendees for the Games.
This section will aim to cover Kensington & Chelsea’s part in the Olympic Games, from its direct involvement (as one of the Olympic venues is situated in the Borough) to assisting you if you plan to visit London during the Games and plan on staying in this area.
Kensington & Chelsea’s venues in the Olympics
Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre, on the western edge of the Borough, will be hosting the both the men’s and women’s volleyball competition during the Olympics, from the early preliminary matches (starting on 28th July) right through to the final matches on the 11th August (women’s final) and 12th August (men’s final).
The Exhibition Centre is a long-used existing venue in London, primarily for exhibitions (as its name suggests!) throughout the year, but is also occasionally used as a music venue.
Getting to the Centre couldn’t be easier – it is located opposite Earl’s Court Underground Station (which is on the District and Piccadilly lines). Just make sure you leave the station from the Exhibition Centre exit, which is on Warwick Road, as opposed to the main entrance/exit on Earl’s Court Road. There will be plenty of signs directing you to the proper exit, so don’t worry about getting lost!
See the official Olympics 2012 page on Earl’s Court for further details.
Yes, we know – Hyde Park isn’t really in Kensington & Chelsea. But seeing as it’s adjacent to Kensington Gardens, it’s really not very far from the area! The Park will be used for both the men’s and women’s Triathlon and Marathon Swimming 10km events during the Games, with the Serpentine lake used for the swimming portion of these competitions.
The Triathlon takes place on 4th August (women’s) and 7th August (men’s), whilst Marathon Swimming takes place on 9th August (women’s) and 10th August (men’s).
More on Hyde Park as a venue from the official Olympics 2012 website.
The Olympic Torch visits Kensington & Chelsea
The Olympic Torch will travel across the entire UK from 19th May to 27th July 2012, visiting over 1,000 cities, towns and villages in the country with the aim that the Olympic Flame will come within 10 miles of 95% of all people living in the UK and its islands.
The Torch will pass through Kensington & Chelsea on Day 69 of its route, which will be Thursday 26th July – in fact, the day before the Olympic Games opens! The Torch will appear towards the end of its planned route for that day, passing through the area before going on to Westminster for an evening celebration.
The torch is due to visit Kensington and Chelsea from about 1.30pm on Thursday 26th July – it will cross over the River Thames on Chelsea Bridge, reaching the north side of the river in Chelsea at that time. The torch will then travel west along King’s Road, before going up to Fulham Road – passing Brompton Cemetery – and continuing west (into Hammersmith and Fulham) towards Fulham Broadway.
The torch will then make its way up North End Road, turning right into Hammersmith Road and going along here to Kensington High Street. It will reach Holland Park at about 2.30pm, when the torch will travel up Holland Walk before travelling through it to get to Abbotsbury Road and then continuing up to Holland Park Avenue.
At this point, the torch goes back to Shepherd’s Bush and back Hammersmith and Fulham, although it then returns to Holland Park Avenue just after 4pm, travelling down this road towards Notting Hill Gate, and on down Bayswater Road.
Full details of the torch relay route – and the torchbearers – on the day can be found at the official Torch Relay route website.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea website also has a fantastic guide to the Borough’s torch relay route, and other festivities on the day – including a full day’s fun in Holland Park!
Staying in Kensington & Chelsea
As we’ve detailed above, Kensington & Chelsea will be an ideal area to stay in if you’ve come to enjoy the Volleyball, Triathlon and Marathon Swimming events. It’s also a great location for anyone attending the tennis events at Wimbledon, or the Beach Volleyball (held at Horse Guards Parade) or the Marathon, Race Walk and Road Cycling events on The Mall.
What if you’re planning on attending any of the sports events held in the Olympic Park. Guess what? It’s still a great location to stay in! Kensington & Chelsea is a lovely area to stay in because its a pretty area, is very safe and has great amenities. It would also be very easy to travel from here to the Olympic Park (or to other Olympic venues in the city) – the easiest way would be to hope on the Underground to Notting Hill Gate (or enter there if that’s where you staying!) and then take the Central Line all the way to Stratford, where the Olympic Park is located.
Take a look at our Places to Stay section for details on various options – hotels, apartments and more.