Holidays inspired by the Olympics
The 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo officially gets underway today, 23rd July with the Opening Ceremony. Running until 8th August, there will be 33 sports featuring at 339 events across the Greater Tokyo area and the northern city of Sapporo. Go for your own PB (personal best) on one of these Olympic-inspired trips from Travel PR:
Mountain biking campervan holiday in the South Downs – from £104 pn with Yescapa
Cross-country Olympic mountain biking will make its 7th appearance at the Games this year in Tokyo. Taking your own mountain biking adventure by campervan allows you to strap on the bikes, get on the road and park up wherever the terrain looks the gnarliest, before retiring to your base each evening to relax around the campfire. The limestone gravel paths, undulating hills and striking panoramic views of the 160 km South Downs Way are made for off-road biking. Your home for the week is Nellie, a lovingly-converted Ford LWB (sleeping four) based in Crawley, with fully-equipped kitchen, bike rack for four bikes, camping table and chairs and awning. The cost for seven nights is £732 including one insured driver, breakdown cover & up to 100 km mileage per day. Flexible cancellation policy up to 48 hours in advance. Bike hire not included. Contact Yescapa (www.yescapa.co.uk).
Go for Gold! London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Tours with a Blue Badge Tourist Guide
Whilst we may not be able to travel to Tokyo for this year’s Games, a professionally guided tour of the park that became so familiar during the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games is bound to strike Gold (Silver and Bronze) with your team. Available as a private itinerary for friends and family, or customised for special interest groups (including sports clubs and associations), a tour of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a qualified Blue Badge Tourist Guide ticks all the boxes. Hear how this part of East London was transformed to host the iconic event, view the London Stadium (now home to West Ham United Football Club), visit sites such as the London Aquatics Centre and Lee Valley VeloPark, ‘Ride the Slide’ on the ArcelorMittal Orbit (the UK’s tallest sculpture) and pose for pics next to the Olympic Rings. A half-day tour costs from £176 per group, comprising up to 30 people. To book, visit www.toursof2012sites.com
Tee off on a championship, original Victorian golf course at Luton Hoo – from £50 pp
One of the one of the longest 18-hole championship golf courses in the UK, the Luton Hoo Hotel course spans 7,107 yards of inland links and mature parkland meandering through Luton Hoo’s beautiful 1,000-acre estate, with a stately backdrop of the Grade I listed mansion house hotel. The par 73 course has in recent years hosted Jamega Tour, EuroPro Tour and European Challenge Tour events, and offers various picturesque tee shots, including six holes with water hazards, as well as a driving range, putting green and chipping green. Tuition is also offered for adults and children with resident PCA Golf Professional Craig Ferris. Relax after a busy round of golf at Adam’s Brasserie, serving a delicious range of pizzas, salads, toasties and burgers. Tee slots costs start from £50 pp while tuition is from £60 pp. Call Luton Hoo on 01582 734437 (www.lutonhoo.co.uk).
Perfect your front crawl in the open waters of Britain’s beaches this summer – with the new Beach Check UK App (free)
One of the most popular spectator sports at the Games, swimming has the second-highest number of Olympic events (a total of 37) after athletics. Work on your chosen stroke in Britain’s beautiful coastal waters this summer, and refuel afterwards with some fish and chips and an ice cream on the beach. Using the new Beach Check UK app (free to download from Google Play and the Apple App store), you can check how busy the beach is before you arrive, so that you can find the best area to swim, with plenty of space and car parking nearby – choose from such gorgeous beaches as Camber Sands in East Sussex and Sandbanks in Poole. The app is currently available in a range of locations across the south coast, with resorts nationwide being added. For more information visit https://www.englandscoast.com/en/blog/beach-check-uk-app.
Have a smashing time at Thurlestone – from £100 pp with Pride of Britain Hotels
Badminton became an official sport at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, and this year’s Olympics in Tokyo will consist of men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Perfect your own volleys and smashes with a stay at Thurlestone Hotel this autumn; its many leisure facilities include a large indoor badminton hall – perfect on a rainy afternoon. The hotel also has two pools, tennis courts, a spa and a nine-hole par 3 golf course, and is close to many of South Devon’s most glorious beaches. Stay overnight in October from £200 per room/£100 pp (two sharing), including breakfast. Call Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).
Holidays for horses, hounds and humans – Shropshire from £134 pp with Canine Cottages
Equestrian enthusiasts keen to keep their hand – and hooves – in with their favourite Olympic sport, even while on holiday, need look no further than Hopton Gate House (sleeps six). One of several Canine Cottages properties that accommodates not only guests and their dogs but their horses too, this stylishly decorated farmhouse is set in a peaceful Shropshire hamlet with far-reaching views across glorious countryside. There’s room for up to three horses, with full livery available. Saddle up and explore this delightful area on horseback before freshening up and heading to the historic market town of Ludlow (4.5 miles away), renowned for its fabulous restaurants. A seven-night, self-catering stay costs from £134 pp (£801 total) plus £20 supplement for a dog. Visit Canine Cottages (www.caninecottages.co.uk).
Kayaking tuition at the new Llys-y-Frân Lake – Pembrokeshire from £25 pp
First introduced at the Paris Olympics in 1924, kayaking at this year’s Olympics will consist of one, two and four paddler combinations. Be inspired by the Olympians and take to the water at the new Welsh Water Adventure at Llys-y-Frân Lake. Following a multi-million-pound refurbishment, the country park and reservoir has a new Outdoor Activity centre and Waterside Cabin. Visitors can book a 90-minute kayaking coaching session for £25 pp and hire a kayak for two hours from £15 pp. Other water sports include sailing, fishing, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, pedal boarding and, coming soon, swimming. A campsite will open in 2022. Contact Visit Pembrokeshire www.visitpembrokeshire.com.
REST OF WORLD
Diving in the Azores – from £1,122 pp with Sunvil*
Practice your straight, pike and tuck on the island of Terceira in the Azores, where there are a variety of excellent diving sites, known for their abundant sea life and clear waters. For underwater explorers, the Cinco Ribeiras diving site features a number of long and challenging interconnected chambers, and the Dom João de Castro Bank is an underwater volcano emerging from more than 1,000 meters deep to just 15 metres, where the dive starts. Stay at the nautical-themed Do Caracol Hotel, a chic hotel and a great base to explore the island. Featuring a panoramic restaurant with ocean views, a stunning semi-circle outdoor pool (open all year), a wellness centre with heated indoor pool, Jacuzzi and massage room, the hotel even offers its own dive site. A seven-night B&B stay costs from £1,122 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Heathrow via Lisbon) and transfers. Sunvil offers a Peace of Mind promise. Call AITO* member Sunvil on 020 8758 4758 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
Charter your own yacht for a sailing holiday in the original home of the Olympics – from £316 pp with SamBoat
Sailing has been one of the sports included ever since the start of the Olympic games in Athens, 1896 (although it was cancelled that year due to severe weather). Channel GB’s Giles Scott and Hannah Mills on your own sailing holiday, taking it back to the Games’ roots in Athens. Within just a two-hour boat ride there are many idyllic islands to cruise between, such as the Saronic islands of Hydra and Aegina, the charming car-free island of Spetses, or the under-the-radar Cycladic island of Kythnos. Your vessel for the week will be the Fluid 1 Bavaria 39 Cruiser, a 12-metre three-cabin sailing yacht sleeping six, featuring solar panels, GPS plotter, fully-equipped kitchen, two toilets and shower. Available throughout July to September, a seven-night bareboat hire costs from €367 (approx. £316 pp) based on six sharing. SamBoat offers a Covid-related insurance policy (additional cost). To book, visit www.samboat.com.
Beach volleyball on Copacabana – Brazil from £5,090 pp with Sunvil*
Thought to have originated on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii in 1915, beach volleyball reached the sun-soaked shores of Rio de Janeiro’s beaches in the 1930s, and has been an Olympic sport since 1996. Copacabana is a mecca for the sport and hosted the matches at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. When the sun is out, the beach is buzzing with bronzed volleyballers competing professionally or for fun, and there’s tuition, and nets available for hire, for anyone who wants to get involved. Try it for yourself on a two-week tour of Brazil, starting off with three nights at the PortoBay Rio International Hotel in an ocean-view room overlooking Copacabana, before spending time in the Amazon rainforest, the Brazilian Pantanal and Igauzu Falls. The tour costs from £5,090 pp (two sharing), including BA flights (Heathrow), transfers, 14 nights’ B&B and excursions. Call AITO* member Sunvil on 020 8758 4774 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
*AITO is The Specialist Travel Association: more than 120 specialist travel companies and 80 specialist travel agents providing an unrivalled collection of holiday ideas that cover every corner of the world. Consumers booking with AITO can be assured of high-quality holidays, excellent personal service and full financial protection. Visit www.aito.com for further information.
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