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Where to Stay When Paul McCartney Plays in London on December 22

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  Site Where: 49 Brook Street, London, United Kingdom, W1K 4HR
November 5, 2009 at 9:44 AM | by | Comments (0)

Are you one of the lucky people who bagged tickets to Paul McCartney at the O2 on December 22? We want to wrestle them from your hands are really pleased for you. So pleased that we’ll even help you out with where to stay.

But first, a little tutorial on how to get to and from O2.

If you’ve been to the O2, you’ll know it’s in the back end of beyond - otherwise known as North Greenwich. As such, there aren’t really any hotels on site (and if there were, you probably wouldn’t want to stay there – you want happy memories of Macca, after all). Do not fear though, because the place is linked up extremely well with the rest of London.

What’s crucial is that you don’t go by car. Yes, Macca probably will, but he’ll likely have a police escort or something. You, as a mortal, will find it trickier. We tried to drive to the O2 from central London once and it took two hours and a relationship-testing argument. We could have walked in that time.

Public transport links are excellent, though. The easiest, and most fun way, is to get a boat down the Thames with Thames Clippers. They run a special O2 Express service from Waterloo Pier, in front of the London Eye, to the QEII Pier at the O2, which they lay on for special events – like Macca. A return journey is bookable a month before the event, costs £12, and although it’s pricey, it’s very classy – everyone gets a seat, thanks to safety regs, and you can get champagne with your ticket for £7.50 more.

On the return journey, it stops at London Bridge as well. Which means you could stay at the Bermondsey Square Hotel, near London Bridge, or, the Park Plaza County Hall – right behind the London Eye on the South Bank. Doubles there for 22 December cost from £115, while the Bermondsey Square is showing up as £109.

By the way, Thames Clippers also run a regular stopping service down the Thames from the O2. Yes, there are big queues, but a friend who goes regularly says that if you wait around for 20 minutes after the gig, rather than rushing straight out, the queues are fine. Also, he says, if you book your ticket ahead, you get to queue-jump. Awesome!

Otherwise, you can get the Tube - the Jubilee Line goes from North Greenwich (a 10 minute walk from the O2) and will drop you on the doorstop of hundreds of hotels in central London. Again, it passes through Bermondsey, London Bridge and Waterloo, but then it goes north of the river and up through Green Park and Bond Street, so you could make a night of it and stay at nearby Claridges. The journey from North Greenwich to Bond Street takes a ridiculously short 20 minutes, and Claridges have rooms on Macca night from £289.

And although it may sound a bit dicey to rely on public transport in a city that shuts down the Tube when midnight strikes, trust us – the O2 is a completely sanitised venue, they know most people need to train/boat it home, so most gigs are over by 11pm. And what with his impending old age, Macca’s hardly likely to rock out much overtime. Go on - Claridges at Christmas would be lovely. Especially if they festoon the sign with Christmas trees... "

[Photo: Ktylerkonk]

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