Two years from July 27, 2010, the eyes of the world will focus on the city of London as the torch is lit at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic games. The spirit of sportsmanship has already been ignited in the hearts of travelers by VisitBritain.com, which has composed a list of their top 10 choices of sites that will soon be forever linked to Olympic history.
1. Olympic Park – View Tube, London, England
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 café, education, arts and information spaces with a panoramic view over the Olympic Park and Stratford City.
2. Horse Guards Parade, London, England
An attraction that is a must-see for all Anglophiles, the Changing of the Guard begins on Horse Guards Parade grounds directly across from Buckingham Palace. Two years from now, however, the marching of the guards will be temporarily replaced by the patter of bare feet on sand during the Beach Volleyball competition.
3. Dorney Lake, Windsor, England
Located just a half-hour away by train from London, the mirrored surface of Dorney Lake will reflect the competitors in the Rowing, Flatwater Canoe/Kayak, and Paralympic Rowing events. Owned by world-famous Eton College – where Princes William and Harry both studied, Dorney Lake is not far from Windsor Castle, an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen.
4. Hyde Park, London, England
Hyde Park will echo with the thunderous sound of feet hitting the street during the Triathlon. One of the most well known parks in London, the 350-acre urban oasis is home to the Diana Fountain Memorial, in tribute to the late Princess of Wales.
5. North Greenwich Arena, London, England
The North Greenwich Arena, which is a major music and entertainment venue, will reverberate with the cheers of Basketball and Gymnastics fans during the 2012 games. 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
Olympic and Paralympic competitors will skim across the waters of Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour. 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, London, England
The oldest Royal Park in London is a fitting venue for a sport beloved by the royal family– the Equestrian and Paralympic Equestrian events. Situated on a hill, sports fans will also have a spectacular view of the River Thames and the Olympic Park when the Modern Pentathlon takes place in Greenwich park.
8. Regent’s Park, London, England
Bicyclists on a leisurely ride may be a common sight in Regent’s Park, but the bikes will be a blurb when athletes fly past during the Road Cycling events. Another Royal Park, it is also home to the London Zoo – the world’s oldest.
9. Trafalgar Square, London, England
At the heart 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.
10. Wimbledon, London, England
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.
Logo courtesy VisitBritain.com