The Olympics is the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet, and quite possibly in the entire universe. However, it's not for everyone. For some, the sight of all those athletes with their perfectly toned bodies is enough to make our flabby stomachs turn, while for others, sport is simply boring and non-sensical; trying to jump over a high bar using a bendy pole seems simply ridiculous, as does spinning around on the spot several times before launching a heavy hammer skywards.
If you enjoy all that, that's great. There's a lot to love about the Olympics, but if it's not your cup of tea, if you'd rather not partake in the party, then here are five suggestions to take yourself away from the London Olympics.
1. With the majority of people stuck in front of the box, the Olympics will be a wonderful chance to get to know your city's green spaces a little better – though avoid Greenwich Park because it's an Olympic venue! If you've never been, check out the lovely Clissold Park in Hackney, explore Ruskin Park in Lambeth, and don't forget to visit the lesser known but no less charming Gladstone Park in Dollis hill. The biggies – Hyde Park, Regent's Park, Richmond Park – are, of course, also worth visiting.
2. If the idea of the world's biggest festival of sport is enough to send you off to sleep, how about heading to a festival of music instead. There are plenty taking place through August, including Hampshire's Wickham Festival (2nd-5th August), Crash Festival in Wales (2nd-4th August), Farmer Phil's Festival in Shropshire (10th-12th August), and the Croissant Neuf Summer Party in Monmouthshire (10th-12th August). For Londoners, going to one of these events will be a superb opportunity to escape the more-overcrowded-than-usual capital.
3. Check out one of those 100 books to read before you die articles scattered around the web, pick out 20 books, hit your local library and gather them up. Return home, turn the TV off and leave it off for the duration of the Games. Read.
4. Explore the Activities section of WeekendNotes. That's right, there are a ton of ideas for fun things to do in the capital and beyond. A good starting point is the website's Top 10 page.
5. Visit the Olympic Park - OK, I know this sounds remarkably like going to the Olympics, and in a way, it is; however, there'll be no sports to look at and no annoyingly fit athletes strutting their stuff. Instead, take time to explore London's newest park. Admire the grandness of the Olympic Stadium (from the outside). Explore the park's street market. Take a relaxing stroll alongside the River Lea, which runs through the Olympic Park. And take in the view from the top of the UK's tallest art structure, the Orbit, designed by renowned artist Anish Kapoor. Check out a map of the park here (pdf).
So there you have it, a few ideas on how you can avoid London 2012. And if you're really not up for the event, don't worry, it'll all be history in a few weeks, and unlikely to return to the capital for a very, very long time.