The Glasgow bed race
STAYING AHEAD: Hotels may be hiking up their prices but there are other options for the Commonwealth Games, writes Jeremy Gates.
HE sale of tickets for Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games may not have got off to the smoothest start, but problems with both the website and phonelines didn’t stop thousands of sports fans from trying to get their chance to attend.
But even those who managed to secure tickets may yet face more obstacles – the biggest being where to find affordable accommodation during the Games, which run from July 23 to August 3.
With some reports claiming city centre hotels have hiked up prices to £300 per night, the search is now on for alternative bargain beds. Fortunately several properties have come to the rescue with deals that should stop sports fans from having to fork out a fortune.
A number of good offers, it seems, are to be found by venturing a little further afield. The Turnberry Holiday Park (www.turnberryholidaypark.co.uk) on the coast near Girvan in Ayrshire has launched a special Games rate from just £377 per family for a seven-night stay.
It takes just 90 minutes on a direct train from Girvan to Glasgow city centre. With tickets costing £13.80 per person, adults would need to hold back an additional £165 for the Games period.
“Transport links to Glasgow are so good you can get to your events easily, enjoy the city centre and then explore the wonderful south-west coast of Scotland,” says Lee Elliott, general manager at Turnberry Holiday Park.
“Scottish hoteliers are going all out to make as much money as they can – we hope it’s a strategy that will benefit holiday parks that have lots to offer sports fans who want to explore further afield.”
While in the area, visitors might want to spend some extra time exploring sights in Ayr such as Culzean Castle and the Robert Burns National Heritage Park where many landmarks from the poet’s works can be seen.
But for those who prefer not to move too far, there are still some affordable options in the city, says VisitScotland which has teamed up with community accommodation marketplace Airbnb (www.airbnb.co.uk) to help visitors find a good place to stay.
In the last three months, Airbnb has reported a 67 per cent increase in listings as more and more Glaswegians decide to rent out their homes during the Games.
Based on a recent search, examples of properties available included an art-filled town house in Glasgow’s West End, sleeping five, from £185 per night.
So with a little clever planning and investigation, cost-conscious visitors could find themselves in a winning situation.
IN A TWIRL: Glasgow will be showing off its finest this summer as thousands of sports fans descend on the city.