Holidays of a lifetime

By: John-Joshly Legg-Houseman

When you are planning that once in a lifetime journey, then why not consider a Europe break next year? Forget Italy, France, Spain, London is the place to go to, and what is more the city (as well as a few out of town venues) is hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.

What could possibly be more thrilling that holidaying in one of the worlds most unique capital cities, home of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the Queen, Princess Diana, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and so much more? This metropolis of culture has a lot to offer and has never been so tourist-friendly and prepared to take care of itís tourists.

The London Olympics will take place next July and August and will principally be centred on the Olympic Village in London's famous East End. For those who are feeling adventurous, you can plan a vacation to take in not just the Olympics, but the whole UK too. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales all make for lovely day journeys or week 2 destinations and journey across the United Kingdom is simple and cheap. If you are feeling really adventurous and have travelled a good distance, an evening out in Paris, Rome, or Amsterdam aren't beyond the realms of possibility with low cost flights available to all these destinations and journey times of only 1-2 hours.

Hotel accommodation could prove to be a scarce, costly, or both. If you find that the standard accommodation just isn't readily available consider renting a Londoner's home. Renting a local's house can prove to be significantly more cost effective than hotels and can be simply sourced by viewing one of many websites that list homes for short rentals of one or two weeks, to search out one, just type something like 'Renting House for Olympics' into a search engine.

There is so much to do; sometimes itís difficult to know the place to start. Hereís our dream Itinerary;

Week One
Select an airline like British Airways and fly in to London Heathrow or Gatwick. You'll be able to either stay in a hotel, or rent a local property from a web site like London Games Rentals. Be careful to book this part of your trip early though because the Olympics will entice many more visitors to London than normal and lodging will likely be scarce, particularly after the Easter break. Some business insiders are forecasting a further 500,000 visitors to London as a direct result of the games and thatís on top of the normal increase in tourism at this time of the year. Factor in the weak pound and will probably be busy. Perform a little research in to where the varied Olympic events are actually being held as sports activities such as soccer, sailing and shooting are not going to be hosted in the Olympic Village.

Spend the first week following the Games and visiting London. The atmosphere will probably be electric and there is masses to do. Hereís some of the things we would suggest that you try;

Try the popular haunts such as the London Eye and Madam Tussauds, visit the free museums and gallaries such as as the Natural History museum, the Science museum or Tate Modern. Take a boat trip up the Thames, relax by having a bite to eat in Charlotte Street or a picnic in Hyde Park. Do some serious shopping at Westfields, or the famous Oxford Street, an evening meal at the Oxo Tower, or a night at the Opera.

Week Two
Whatís great about London is thatís it is ideally situated to do plenty of different things. We would suggest in the second week that you hire a car and go see Great Britain. Try to end up at a different departure airport, say Edinburgh or Dublin to give you a greater probability to see everything. Our trip would begin with Brighton, situated on the South coast of England. Brighton is a good looking English Victorian seaside town that boasts its own pier and amusement area. This bohemian paradise is at all times a treat to go to and there is always something going on. What is more it is only one hourís drive from London.

Next day a three hour trip, via Stonehenge to Bath to see this lovely old town. Famous for its Roman Spa and Old World feel, a trip to Bath won't ever be forgotten. Stay for a couple of days and get used to the West Country's way of life, it is a slower paced, and remarkably soothing. Make sure you take a day trip to Wales and use the old Severn Bridge.

From Bath, a change of pace - slower - go see Harrogate, or York (similar to Bath however colder) or Newcastle and start making your way North. All these places are worth a visit however as time is getting short, youíll want to begin being selective.

Now is the time to discover further north and cross the invisible border and discover the delights of Scotland. Scotland is a beautiful country, if you have time visit Loch Ness and perhaps spot the monster that's rumoured to inhabit the deep waters. Glasgow is the home of the well-known architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh whose influence may be seen throughout the city. Scotland's other main city is Edinburgh, a very inspiring city steeped in tradition. Scotland would be the proper ending to a glorious journey, the vacation of a lifetime, don't miss the chance because this is one adventure that can never be repeated.

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A freelance journalist and an Olympic historian JJ additionally often contributes to quite a few monetary websites and guest blogs on financial topics. He's presently working with a website that helps people Renting House for Olympics.

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