Best Sites for Getting Over The Olympics

They may be over but there's still activities to enjoy across the UK; check out our favourite sites.

To prepare ourselves for the post-Olympic blues that are sure to wash over us like a tidal wave this coming Sunday, we’ve compiled the ultimate survival kit: our list of things to do after the Games (what – life after the games!? Surely not!)

Without these sites, we’d all be wandering the streets of London aimlessly, arms stretched out, remote in hand, our gazes forever fixed on some imaginary television up ahead, our eyes reflecting the UK’s recent glow of Olympic glory.

Yes, it’s leaving us. It’s ending. But fear not. There IS life after the Olympics.

I Waste So Much Time

If you like cute things, comics, hamburgers, Freddie Mercury, making fun of hipsters, freaky Youtube videos, and cat pictures, you’ll love this site. Get geeky with posts like Star Wars Yoga, Hipster Superheroes, the gif of a hedgehog doing punches (aw!), and the post of the entire Bohemian Rhapsody expressed in Emoticons. After the Games leaves us sad, broken and lost, no site is better suited to cheer us up again.

Go Ape

Not happy surfing the web to counteract your blues? Feel like you need to get out there and DO something? Well, Go Ape will cater for your every whim; swing your little monkey arms from tree top to tree top in a beautiful forest setting. And if the whole of London reminds you of everything that was the Games, why not leave the city? Go Ape has 28 different locations across the UK, which means plenty of opportunities to get over the Games, and get away from it all.

Mr and Mrs Smith

Too shell-shocked to make any advanced moves? We hear you. Perhaps Mr and Mrs Smith is for you, with their insider-information styled hotel ratings site. Whether you want a weekend in the Cotswolds, or a getaway in Santorini, Greece, this uber hip site has been before you. They’ll tell you what’s good, why it’s good, and how to get it; that way, you can book yourself an amazing stay in a cosy Florentine hideaway, or a luxurious Mallorcan spa. There’s something for all tastes, but one thing is always included: relaxation. Just what the doctor ordered.

London For Free

After spending a small fortune in the Olympic gift shop (and switching to Lloyds to get the “Olympic” bank card), we greet London For Free like manna from the skies. Check out the Self-Guided Walks; just print whichever you’re interested in, bring it with you, and learn new facts about the city. There are loads more free activities to choose from, including park exploring, historic prisons, cemeteries from the Victorian era, and material to arrange your own sightseeing tour on one of the red buses.

The National Trust has been conserving British heritage sites for 116 years. It’s fair to say that they have one or two things to offer your average Brit bored with the capital. Along with trying to reintroduce the now UK-extinct Large Blue butterfly, as well as hosting a historic jewellery collection including the ring that is rumoured to have inspired Tolkien, The National Trust also offers a range of exciting and educational events to attend. How about visiting a haunted house? You could even stay the night – if you’re brave enough. Their 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ list is brilliant for getting the kids involved in fun, unique activities, and we’re just crazy about the National Trust’s UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites. All in all, there’s an innumerable amount of stuff to busy yourself with after THOSE Games.

Geocaching? What’s that, you ask. It’s a treasure hunt! The best in the world! What’s more (and better), is that it’s not an online game – it’s the real-world deal! Download the free app for your smartphone, or use your GPS, to find a hidden “geocache” or treasure, at specific locations; all incredibly diverse, stretching over parks, pubs, and even underwater. The cache itself can be something small, like a container and a logbook, but it can also be rarer, like a movie-themed cache with original props from the film, or complicated puzzle caches, and there are even virtual caches letting you hunt for the location (instead of the cache container). Far more exciting than the Olympics!

Not fully satisfied with our survival guide? We won’t take it personally. Let us just part with this kind pointer to the Time Out site: the best event listing site out there. There’s new stuff added all the time, it’s only a matter of time. Good things come to those who wait, and amazing things come to those who read Time Out’s listings.

August 2012.