Just 10 days to go until Danny Boyle’s ‘greatest show on earth’ marks the start of the London2012 Olympic Games. Whether you’re chomping at the bit to get your piece of the sporting action, or the very thought has you running for the hills, there’s no denying it’s an exciting summer to be in England. Here, VisitEngland looks at what’s on offer.
GET INVOLVED – Get set to cheer on Team GB
Those that have tickets for Olympic Park events can take advantage of some fantastic late summer deals, with many top London hotels and guesthouses offering up to 50% off between July and September, while The Camping and Caravanning Club has four temporary city centre sites with pitches from £30 per night – that’s just £7.50 per person.
In other host cities too, accommodation offers abound. Harlequin Guest House in Weymouth, the Vermont Hotel in Newcastle and the Ramada Manchester Salford Quays are just some of the hotels countrywide offering 20.12% discounts this summer through great2012offers.com
Those that weren’t lucky enough to scoop tickets in the ballot are still in with a chance of catching an event. Official London2012 tour operator Thomas Cook has confirmed some remaining availability for Olympic ticket breaks, with one-night packages starting from just £129pp.
Non-ticketed events include the marathon and triathlon in central London, the road cycling race in Surrey and sailing events in Weymouth. Get there early to nab the best seats in the house; settle in and soak up the atmosphere.
Or watch from a distance and the full VIP treatment with The Met Loves the Games package. For £85 per person you’ll get a private room at the iconic Metropolitan Hotel on Park Lake kitted out with a big screen, along with drinks and canapés served by your own butler. Alternatively, grab some friends, pack a picnic and set out for your nearest Live Site. Dozens of big screens are popping up across the capital and countrywide, showing highlights of the summer’s events.
Soak it up
Nibble on a quirky Olympics-themed afternoon tea at the The Capital Hotel, lounge at the seriously chic pop-up members’ bar The Fringe in Swan Wharf in east London, which has Olympic Park views, or sip sport-inspired cocktails at the ever-trendy Jesmond Dene House in Newcastle. For ultimate relaxation, go for gold with the Olympic Spa package at Manchester’s Lowry hotel. Guaranteed to make you feel like a champion, the treatment involves having warm gold oil applied to the skin before a deep full body and scalp massage. Bliss.
GET LOST – Beat the crowds and switch off
Those planning to up and leave this summer can take advantage of some fantastic offers while the rest of the world remains glued to their televisions. Consider an escape to the Lake District with friends – switch your phone off, unplug the telly and head out for a long walk. Or just to the pub. Converted former chapel Chapels House in Prospect near Cockermouth looks out over open farmland to the Lakeland Hills and the Solway Firth. It sleeps eight and is available for the 3rd week of August for just £850 – a 20.12% discount.
Family and dog-friendly, Mainoaks farmhouse in the Wye Valley ticks all the boxes when it comes to a get-away-from-it-all break. Switch off the TV and it becomes an idyllic Olympics-free zone. The property is styled from an original 15th century farmstead, which even featured a traditional Herefordshire cider mill. On your doorstep are countless footpaths, private angling and outdoor pursuits to be discovered. Cottages from £708 per week.
Explore the land of David Hockney on foot or by bike along the 79-mile Yorkshire Wolds Way. New to walking? The ‘Try a Trail’ walks from the villages and market towns of Welton, Market Weighton, Thixendale and Settrington sample short sections of the nation trail. Not a GB tracksuit in sight.
Looking for a little more speed? Take a thrilling motorcycle trike tour of the World Heritage city of Bath and the picturesque village of Lacock with Razorcat tours and save £30 per person this summer with great2012offers.com
In Derbyshire, Airways Airsports is offering two microlight, para glider or hang glider flights for the price of one this summer. Book through great2012offers.com and treat someone to an unforgettable bird’s eye perspective on the Peak District.
The best of the rest
Lest we forget, summer 2012 is not just about sport. Across England, exhibitions, festivals and concerts will keep the Games-averse entertained. Walking is a unique experience coming to Holkham that will combine sculpture, installation and the sweeping scenery of the North Norfolk coast. Frieze Projects East will see a collection of temporary installations popping up in all six of London’s Olympic boroughs, while Paul Cummin’s The English Flower Garden – a beautiful garden comprising 15,000 hand-thrown ceramic roses – will travel to six locations including Blenheim Palace, Castle Howard, Althorp Estate and the secret Gardens of Sandwich.