There’s really no escaping it, if you live in London (or didn’t research your travel plans properly and happen to be visiting between 27 July and 12 August 2012!) the Olympic games are going to dominate everything this summer, both in London and further afield.
With millions of visitors descending on the east of the city for this period, from the UK and all over the world, just the thought of the overcrowding, overinflated prices, queuing and inconvenience can be a real turn off if you haven’t been gripped by “the Olympic spirit”. If you fall squarely within that category and you’d rather stick pins in your eyes than attend even one shot put event, then there are some other options – check out these alternative sports events that are also taking place in the capital over the summer period:
The London Naked Bike Ride (http://www.worldnakedbikeride.org/uk/) is actually part of a ‘world series’ of naked bike rides, taking place in a whole variety of different locations around the UK, including Bristol, Brighton, Manchester and York. The bike ride has been organised as a protest against oil dependency, as well as a celebration of body freedom, and promises to be quite an event for those brave enough to be spectators. The London ride takes place on 9th June in Hyde Park – if you’re going to take part make sure you pack the sunscreen!
If you haven’t been invited to the Cartier Polo, and you don’t know Prince Harry or one of the cast of Made In Chelsea to get you in on the guestlist, then Polo in the Park (http://www.polointheparklondon.com/) is the perfect alternative. The event takes place from 8th – 10th June in Hyde Park and offers ‘glamour, fun and hi-octane Polo for all ages in Central London.’
The annual Sumo Run takes place in Battersea Park in south London and, as you might be able to tell from the name, this is one pretty unusual event. Think charity fun run where all the participants run around the 5km course in inflatable sumo suits and you’re along the right lines! The event happens on 29th June and is organised to support the charity Gemin-I, which helps children around the world work together and share ideas. A good cause and a great event – register at http://sumorun.com/ to take part.
If you thought sports days were just for school days then think again as the Innocent Fruit Sports Day (http://www.innocentdrinks.co.uk/fruit-sports-day), which is taking place in Regents Park on 22nd July, is keeping this old school tradition alive. However, this is a sports day with a difference and the sports on offer here are about as far from the 100 metres, javelin or gymnastics as you can get. Instead, you can participate in the lemon and spoon race, the runner bean relay and the potato sack race, before kicking back with an Innocent smoothie and listening to some live music and (hopefully) relaxing in the sun.
The Friday Night Skate (http://www.lfns.co.uk/) has become quite a sporting tradition in the capital and whether you consider yourself to be something of a pro on two wheels, or you’re a complete beginner, this is still a great way to get together with new people and see the city. The Skate takes place every Friday night, starting at Hyde Park Corner and follows a two hour, 10-12 mile course that takes in some of London’s best sights.
As you can see, even if you don’t have a ticket for the Olympics, you don’t need to spend thousands of pounds trying to get one, as there are plenty of other sporting events to go to in London this summer. Avoid the crowds and the ridiculously priced tickets and check out one of these alternatives instead for a much more unique experience – you won’t see sumo suits or naked bike riders at the Olympics that’s for sure!
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