While London is going to be undoubtedly busy during the Olympic themed rush this summer, it doesn't have to mean you don't have to miss out on your favourite shows.
SOLT have teamed with TFL to prepare all the information you need for visiting the theatre during the games.
- Plan your journey ahead
Even if you’re a regular visitor to London’s theatres, you will need to plan your journeys carefully during the Games and you might have to make changes to your usual route. The transport network will be running as normal, in fact with extra services, but you should plan ahead to make sure you get to your show on time. To plan your journey, and to check any changes to your route before you leave, be sure to check tfl.gov.uk/livetravelnews for live travel updates.
- Allowing extra travelling time.
TFL will ensure the transport system runs as smoothly as possible during the Games. However, leaving yourself extra time will help make sure you arrive before the curtain rises, even if there is a disruption to your journey.
- Using Transport for London.
Transport for London has a range of tools to help you plan your journey. To navigate a route from the tube stations to the theatres, the link www.tfl.gov.uk/journeyplanner will provide a map with the theatres clearly marked.
Journey Planner can also be used to search for routes based on accessibility needs, for example, avoiding stairs. For more information on accessible travel, attractions and services, visit inclusive london.
By registering with TFL, free travel alerts can be sent directly to your mobile.
- Ordering travel and theatre tickets beforehand.
In London, you can use the Oyster card on all TFL and suburban National Rail services. Buy a card in advance with Pay as You Go credit or a Travelcard to avoid queuing for your ticket in London. You can learn more about Oyster and order one to be sent to you at www.visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk.
Many of London's world-class productions have already announced ticket availability into 2012 and they are selling fast for the period around the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Book the best deal now using Official London Theatre's secure booking system at www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk.
Last minute delays can be avoided by getting tickets posted directly to your door.
- Making the most of your trip.
Many shows will have matinee performances which are a great way to enjoy your favourite show and make the most of your evening afterwards. All venue information, including details of theatres with bar and restaurant facilities, can be found at www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk.
Make a stress-free evening of it and enjoy a pre/post-theatre meal close to your theatre.
During the Olympic Games (27 July-12 August) the Tube, Docklands Light Railway and National Rail services will run until 01.30am, so there's time to relax after the final bow.
- Checking the show information.
It is always wise and recommended to check your show's start and finish times so you can plan your journey – these can be subject to change. All the latest show times and durations can be found at www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/london_shows.
Pick up a free copy of the Official London Theatre Guide from London's theatre, mainline railway stations, airports and tourist information centres. This gives a complete what's on listing as well as show times and locations with a handy map of Theatreland.
Sign up to Official London Theatre's free e-newsletter for all the latest Theatreland news, including up-to-date show and ticket information, delivered straight to your inbox every week. See www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk for more details.
- Thinking about alternative ways to get around London.
Many of London's theatres are within a short walk of major rail stations. For the West End in particular, it is often quicker to walk from Charring Cross or Waterloo, for example, then take public transport. Official London Theatre has developed access maps which can be printed off for easy navigation to theatres around the capital. The routes shown are all step-free to make travelling easier for those using wheelchairs, pushchairs and mobility scooters. For our foreign visitors, the routes are easy to understand, with photographs and a unique time bar-that shows travelling times between each part of the journey.
See SOLT's interactive map here
You might also enjoy using your bike or hiring one from Cycle Hire to get around central London. This could make for a fun trip too.
We are also working with the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association to provide them with updated information on show start and finish times so that plenty of cabs can be available.
For full information, visit http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/servlet/file/store8/item141349/version1/SOLT_TFL_G_v1.pdf