You’d have to have had your head in the sand for a very long time to of missed the news the Olympics are coming! The hype around them has been huge, with the critics concerned about astronomical costs and possible problems, whilst keen sporting fans and those with tickets are simply excited at the prospect of getting to witness one of the greatest sporting events on earth!
We’re not adverse to a bit of sporting fun ourselves, but if like us you didn’t get tickets – don’t despair! You can catch some of the best events on telly and we are here to help you out with other ways that you can make use of that time and still have brilliant fun! So, check out the events that you want to watch and then take a look at some of the quirky and interesting alternatives to the Olympics that we have discovered…
1. Visit Some Great English Pubs
There is nothing quite like a good British Pub in the summer, so why not visit a few with wonderful gardens? The combination of a good pint of ale or a chilled glass of wine and some salty snacks, surrounded by the murmur of good pub conversation can’t be beaten. Here are a few of our absolute favourites, all with great outside space:
The Trout Inn, Oxfordshire, has a wonderful garden and overlooks the Thames. Just lovely, especially if the sun’s shining. The Faltering Fullback, London, has a great decked out door area, with lots of flowers and greenery too. This is a proper old-fashioned boozer, but has a good Thai kitchen as well. Perfect on a sunny day and sports are often shown here too. Buddle Inn, Isle of Wight – has a huge garden with great views to the sea. Their list of real ales is impressive and their food is pretty excellent too
2. Discover Wainright’s Walks in the Lake District
What could be a better time to get out and walk in the beautiful Lake District? Discover why Alfred Wainwright loved it so much and uncover his stunning walks using his equally impressive guides. There are plenty of routes to choose from and most of his walks are available online, or you can buy his beautiful pictorial guides as books and take these with you. Have a look at late cottage deals and see if you can pick up somewhere great to stay whilst your there.
3. ‘Hang Ten’ On A Surf Trip to Cornwall
Surfing is great fun, not too expensive and pretty much anyone can try it. It’s a brilliant family activity too – the kids will probably be standing up way before you and they are sure to enjoy watching mum and dad get wobbled around in the waves! Fistral beach in Newquay is a good beginners spot, but if you want to beat the crowds try Holywell Bay, it’s a little less well known and can be less busy. Why not check out late availability cottages and find yourself a lovely spot to stay and make your surfing trip a good break away.
4. Go Ape! In The Forest of Dean
Why not uncover your wild side and go for a treetop adventure in the Forest of Dean. This is a really quirky and fun day out, that will bring you lots of laughs and get you out of your comfort zone, as you climb high wires and traverse through the tree-tops on this high-up assault course. It’s brilliant fun!
5. Have A Go At Sailing In Norfolk
You don’t actually have to be an expert to get lots of pleasure out of this wonderful maritime activity. Norfolk has a whole host of sailing schools where you can hire little dinghies or make up part of the crew on a larger boat. Don’t forget to chat about the day’s adventures with a drink in a good seaside pub afterwards- after all this is half the fun!
6. See The Lone Twin Boat Project
If physical activities are not really your bag then how about taking advantage of the many other cultural activities happening around the country to support the Olympics. As part of the London 2012 Festival there will be events all over the country from art, comedy, dance fashion, film food, music and performance. Were going to make sure we see the ‘Lone Twin Boat Project’. Last year a team of boat builders took donations from the public of the Southeast and with incredible skill and the help of some brave volunteers have created a seaworthy vessel. Check out the London 2012 Festival website for details of where you can see it
7. Catch Some Comedy in Cardiff.
Also as part of 2012 Festival is Laurence Clark’s Comedy Show, in Cardiff, where he will pose the question why do people call disabled people inspirational for just getting on with everyday activities?! It promises to be really funny, totally disarming and hugely refreshing, whilst making fun of the reach for the sky mentality – Clark talks about just getting on with life instead. This one will make you laugh ‘til your sides hurt.
8. Bounce Stonehenge! On The Artist Jeremy Deller’s Amazing Art Piece.
Also as part of Festival 2012, the Artist Jeremy Deller has created a wonderful interactive sculpture that is touring the country. In this playful piece that is sure to capture the imaginations of children and irreverent adults alike, we, the public, get the chance to bounce on a full size replica of the countries most famous historical artefact. Brilliant!
9. Visit the real Stonehenge
One of the things that gets people all hot under the collar when it comes to the Olympics is the sheer sense of history surrounding the games, well why not carry this theme on and explore some of Britain’s great historical sites? You could visit the real Stonehenge in Wiltshire – just remember not to try to bounce on this one!
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