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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 11:25 EDT

The London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Spectacular – Experience it for real!

July 30, 2012

NEW YORK, July 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — More than a billion people around the world enjoyed the Opening Ceremony and appreciated its unique blend of British spirit, creativity and humor.

If you watched the show and wished you were taking part, here are some ideas how to live it for real when next on vacation in Britain.

If you liked the countryside … The countryside scene that opened the show took inspiration from the Somerset village of Glastonbury whose ‘Tor’ (hill) sat at one end of the stage, crowned by a tree. In reality the Tor is topped by a 15th century church tower and is one of the most spiritual places in England, from which you can see three counties: Dorset, Wiltshire and Wales.

If you liked the festival atmosphere … Folk singer Frank Turner, a Winchester-born former Eton student, played on the Tor, creating the atmosphere of the British festival season. Still to come on this year’s calendar are V Festival and the Strummer of Love, both of which have Frank Turner on the bill. Other highlights are Festival no. 6, a new boutique festival in Wales and old favorite Bestival on the Isle of Wight, with Stevie Wonder and New Order.

If you liked the cottage … Book romantic retreats and even lighthouse keeper cottages on Rural Retreats, stay in a National Trust property, or take it even closer to nature and stay in a treehouse.

If you liked the towering chimneys … The countryside idyll gave way to towering chimneys, hailing Britain’s Industrial Revolution. The industrial cities of Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool recently ranked 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively in a survey of the most popular destinations in the UK. Manchester attracts football fans to Old Trafford and the new National Football Museum, Birmingham boasts the Bullring, a state-of-the-art shopping center, and Liverpool is a thriving cultural city that hosts the Liverpool Biennial – the UK’s largest contemporary art festival – in October.

If you liked 007′s dramatic entrance … Possibly one of the most exciting points in the Opening Ceremony was the arrival of 007 with The Queen. Like James Bond you can visit inside Buckingham Palace this summer until the end of October, and see the State Rooms and the Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration exhibition. An exciting event after the Games will be the release of the 23(rd) Bond film Skyfall. It is the 50th anniversary of Bond in film, which began with Sean Connery in Dr No. The Barbican is celebrating with an exhibition of 50 Years of Bond Style.

If you liked Lord Voldemort … The Dark Lord was vanquished again at the stadium to the delight of Potter fans. The films were shot all over Britain, and it is possible to visit Platform nine and three quarters at Kings Cross, the Great Hall (Christ Church College, Oxford) and the site of Madame Hooch’s first flying lesson (Alnwick Castle) as well as dozens more Harry hotspots.

If you liked Mr Bean’s triumph … The opening scene of Chariots of Fire, spoofed by Rowan Atkinson’s well-loved character Mr Bean, was filmed on West Sands beach in St Andrews, Scotland. It’s one of the finest beaches in Britain with golden sand and has the famous golf course just behind it.

If you liked The Full Monty, Trainspotting and ‘I think I love you’… Dozens of British film favorites featured in the ceremony and it is possible to visit hundreds of iconic film locations all over Britain. The British Film Location app features more than 300 locations from Bridget Jones to Braveheart.

If you liked Hey Jude … Sir Paul McCartney played and Beatles tunes featured on last night’s soundtrack. Liverpool celebrates 50 years of the Fab Four this year, with a Love Me Do weekend festival that will include a record-breaking attempt on 5 October, with thousands singing Love Me Do at the city’s historic Albert Dock.

If you now want to go clubbing … The soundtrack to the Opening Ceremony, put together by DJ duo Underworld, had hundreds of dancers on stage in brilliant neon. If this has inspired you, head to any of Britain’s buzzing cities for a night on the town. Fabric, the Dalson Superstore and Plastic People are good London options, The Factory in Manchester was recently reopened by New Order’s Peter Hook, Liverpool has Cream, Newcastle has digital and Edinburgh – where Trainspotting is set – has Cabaret Voltaire.

And if you liked the torch … Find out more about Thomas Heatherwick, the architect who designed the flower-shaped Olympic cauldron at the Victoria and Albert museum in London, which is staging an exhibition on Heatherwick Studios – or catch a London bus. Heatherwick was behind the newly designed red buses.

About VisitBritain:

  • Americans made 2.8 million visits to the UK in 2011 and spent US $3.7 billion (GBP £2.4 billion) – placing them in the UK’s top three most important markets for visitors. The US remains top spot in terms of market value for inbound tourism.
  • VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, is responsible for inspiring the world to explore Britain and for developing the UK’s visitor economy.
  • Visitors traveling to Britain can find out more information from visitbritain.us plus purchase money and time saving local transport, sightseeing, attraction, theatre and tour tickets from visitbritainshop.us.
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Source: PR Newswire