Tuesday July 27th 2010 marks two year countdown to the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games
NEW YORK, July 22, 2010 – Tuesday July 27th marks the two year countdown to one of the world’s biggest events: The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. With just two years to go until the Opening Ceremony, London – and indeed all of the UK – already has their game face on as they prepares to welcome the world.
Travellers visiting London before the Games will also benefit from the close proximity to other legendary locations, which will host Olympic events. Before the Games kick off, why not check out some of these places in person and then sit back and relish in the fact that you have been there and done that for yourself, when the eyes of the world turn to Britain in the summer of 2012.
VisitBritain, the national tourist board for England, Scotland and Wales, has pulled together this list of top Olympic hotspots to visit right now.
10 Places to Visit Now
1. Olympic Park – View Tube
Watch the Olympic Park rise from the ground in front of your eyes. The View Tube is a community venue located on The Greenway, right next to the Olympic Park. It includes a cafe, education, arts and information spaces with a panoramic view over the Olympic Park and Stratford City.
2. Horse Guards Parade
Located directly across from Buckingham Palace is the Horse Guards Parade, a parade ground that is used daily as the starting point for the Changing of the Guard. In 2012, this historic area will be transformed into London’s own beach, as the site of the Beach Volleyball events. This is sure to be an unbelievable site to see!
3. Dorney Lake
Dorney Lake, located just 30 minutes by train from London, is a world-class rowing and canoeing center that will host the Rowing, Flatwater Canoe/Kayak, and Paralympic Rowing events in the 2012 games. Dorney Lake is owned by world-famous Eton College – where Princes William and Harry both studied. Windsor Castle, an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen, is also nearby.
4. Hyde Park
Hyde Park, one of London’s Royal Parks, will host the Triathlon in 2012. This 350-acre park is one of the most well known parks in London, and is home to the Diana Fountain Memorial, in tribute to the late Princess of Wales. It’s also a wonderful spot for a picnic on a sunny afternoon.
5. North Greenwich Arena,
The North Greenwich Arena is a major music and entertainment venue and will host the ever popular, Basketball and Gymnastics events. Also known as The O2, in recent years, it has hosted some of the biggest concerts in Europe. In fact, Michael Jackson was slated to play his final ‘This is it’ concert series here, before his untimely death last year. Before the Games kick off, you won’t want to miss the British Music Experience – the UK’s most amazing interactive museum of popular music.
6. Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour
England’s South Coast
Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour will be the venues for the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing competitions and offer some of the best natural sailing waters in Britain. Unrivalled coastal views will be sure to inspire, as this world-class facility sits within England’s Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site – the only one on the UK mainland.
7. Greenwich Park
At the east of London is Greenwich Park, which will host the Equestrian, Modern Pentathlon and Paralympic Equestrian events. This park is the oldest Royal Park in London, and has close historical ties to the monarchy of King Henry VIII. The park is situated on a hill and offers spectacular views of the River Thames and the entire Olympic Park.
8. Regent’s Park
Visitors to London can take a stroll or bike through Regent’s Park, which will host the Road Cycling events in 2012. Another Royal Park, it is also home to the London Zoo – the world’s oldest.
9. Trafalgar Square
In the centre of London is Trafalgar Square – one of the most famous squares in the UK and the world. During the Games, this historic gathering spot will be home to one of the cities ‘live sites’ ‘an outdoor venue where fans without tickets can watch Olympic events on huge screens and share in the excitement. See it in its original state first and then watch it be transformed in 2012!
The home of the All England Lawn Tennis Club and the setting for the internationally renowned Wimbledon Championships since 1877, this venue will host the Tennis in 2012.
Located in south-west London, visitors to Wimbledon can enjoy a guided tour of the historic grounds and even have a chance of seeing John McEnroe’s ghost in The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum’s interactive exhibition.
Tips for U.S. Travellers
For those planning to visit London before, during, or after the Olympic Games, VisitBritain offers travel cards, tickets to the city’s top attractions, and tour suggestions at www.visitbritainshop.us. In time for the two year countdown, VisitBritain is also offering a brand new Olympic-themed walking tour, where you will have views of the 2012 Olympic Stadium and other venues. You’ll also learn about London’s innovative plans for the Olympic Site, after the Games come to an end
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