You will have done well to miss the fact that the 2012 Olympic games kick off in the United Kingdom on July 27th this summer. A truly spectacular event for lovers of Olympic Sports, but what about those (like me) who could not give a monkeys about it. The type of people who would rather be at the dentists than spend all day watching people run round and round, or jump over things!
I have nothing against the Olympics and hope it’s a truly great event and all those visiting have a great time, but it’s not for me. I do appreciate my idea of sports heaven, watching loud fast motorbikes go round and round, would be the equivalent sports hell for those who like watching people run and jump over things ;-)
So what is there to do during the 2012 Olympics for those (a) who are being dragged along against their will or (b) those who can only watch so much jumping, diving and running and/or (c) those who love all of this stuff but only have tickets for a few events and would like to discover other parts of the UK on their well-earned days off!
Read on, and use the below links for 1,000's of great activity ideas around the Olympic venues!
When are the 2012 Olympics on?
The 2012 Olympics take place from the 27th July 2012 until the 12th August 2012.
Where are the 2012 Olympic Venues?
There are numerous venues for different sports.
The majority of the action is centred around the new Olympic Park, which is just north east of the centre of London, with a host of other events taking place at other locations around London.
Glasgow in Scotland, Cardiff in Wales, Coventry, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East, will be hosting the football.
Weymouth in the south west will be home to the sailing event.
Brands Hatch, south of London will be home to some of the cycling events.
Hadleigh Farm in Essex will be home to the Mountain Biking (actually I have found one I could enjoy here!)
Eton Dorney will be home to rowing.
Lee Valley will be home to the white water events.
So what else is there to do at the Olympic Venues?
Obviously, as London is the Capital City of England, you are spoilt for choice, with over 500 great things to do in the area on the YouGoDo guide to things to do in London. Most visitors have probably heard of, or have even previously visited, the top London attractions like Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, The Natural History Museum, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. So how about making this the trip where you try some of the unusual things to do in London, activities like ice climbing, horse riding, cookery courses, roller skiing or taking a tour by taxi, classic mini or pedal pub!
Now there’s a lively city for a night out! Glasgow is greatly located for exploring both Glasgow and nearby Edinburgh. Witness the amazing Forth Bridge, Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish scenery. Taste a dram or two of the local whiskies and take in those accents! Here the unusual choices include classic car hire, quad biking, mountain biking, helicopter tours and even seaplane tours.
Enjoy your time in Wales, the Millennium Stadium itself is an amazing structure. And there are plenty high thrills fun opportunities on offer around Cardiff, including canyoning, high speed rib rides, quad biking, archery, karting and horse riding.
Go visit the superb Coventry Transport Museum, or get active and try kayaking, or have a go flying a helicopter! Take a break in a traditional Narrowboat on the local canals, or rent a VW camper, hunt for ghosts, swing in the trees in the treetop parks or simply visit Coventry Cathedral.
Lots to see and do in the home of Manchester United, Manchester City and the band Oasis. Enjoy a spicy night out on Manchester’s famous Curry Mile, try indoor snow skiing, swing in the treetop parks, enjoy a ghost hunt, or take a night out in the boogie bus! Go karting, watch stock car racing, visit the local museums or take the kids to Legoland.
Newcastle, home to the distinctive Geordie accent and the birthplace of my parents, is a buzzing location, especially on a night. St James Park, the football stadium, could almost be described as Newcastle Cathedral, a place the locals go to worship Football on a regular basis. Located, as the name suggests, on the River Tyne, Newcastle is a great place to discover the beautiful and rugged Northumbrian countryside, the rugged North East coastline and visit national treasures like Hadrian’s Wall and Holy Island. Within the city itself (and Gateshead which is located just the other side of the river) you have options for Trike Tours, Boat Trips, aquariums, Taxi Tours, the futuristic Sage music venue and much more. Shoppers looking for the ‘mall’ experience will find this in the huge (by UK standards!) Metro Centre on the outskirts.
Try gliding, visit a swannery, go paragliding, try off roading or pilot a hovercraft. Or take the family to the aquarium, military museums and local farm parks.
Now were talking, get along an see some real sports – take a look at the Brands Hatch circuit racing calendar - you have a choice or bike racing and car racing on during the Olympic period! And for non motorsports fans this is a great location to explore the delights of Kent and London.
Plenty of fun things to do here also, Diggerland looks proper silly fun for all ages, or try hot air ballooning, ghost hunting, karting, jet skiing and scuba diving. Mad Science looks a great place to explore with the family!
Plenty of new things to try here including top notch cookery courses, sphering, performance driving courses, mountain bike skills courses, ghost hunts, helicopter gourmet lunches and indoor climbing to mention a few. Shame while you are in the area it’s not the football season so you will not be able to get along to see my team Arsenal, but go along and take a tour of the magnificent Emirates stadium!
So its not so bad - loads of other great things to do ;-)
So no matter if you are visiting to enjoy people running round and round and jumping things, or if you are being dragged along, or you just happen to be here during the Olympics – there's plenty great things to do - have fun!