The Olympics may be over but London’s Cultural Olympiad is still in full swing! Also, the Paralympics are just around the corner, kicking off on 29th August for another two weeks of sporting highlights.

This summer, London is buzzing with activity and the city is aglow with pride for GB’s winning athletes. If you’re planning a visit, here are a few events not to miss, whether you’re looking for family fun or taking out your date.


1) Up at the O2

Everyone’s been talking about the Up at the O2 experience this summer, where thrill-seekers can take a 90-minute expedition across the roof of London’s best-known entertainment venue. At the top, visitors get 360-degree views over the city.

The attraction is open daily with tickets starting at £22 for adults. If you haven’t had enough of heights after your climb, you can hop on to the new Thames cable car, linking the O2 with the Olympic ExCeL Centre for even more panoramic views of London.


2) National Theatre Pop-Up Workshop

Ever wonder what it’s like to go backstage? This summer, you can do just that at the National Theatre, which is hosting a pop-up workshop until 9 September. Learn about puppetry and how the company brings War Horse to life or try your hand at slapstick in a comedy workshop. Little ones will also enjoy special storytelling performances throughout the event. For more information about what’s on, click here.


3) Lollibop Festival

The Lollibop Festival, 17-19 August in Regent’s Park, is an annual event designed just for kids. Whether it’s disco, arts and crafts or science that your child is into, there will be something for them here. Look out for Bike City, where aspiring Chris Hoy’s and Victoria Pendleton’s can tear up the track on a mini obstacle course.


4) Candoco Unlimited

Candoco Unlimited is a presentation of two works by the disabled choregraphers Marc Brew and Claire Cunningham, created to reflect the Olympic and Paralympic spirit. The performances will star 12 disabled and non-disabled dancers from China, the UK and Brazil, representing Olympic host cities past, present and future. The performance runs 7-9 September; book your tickets via the Southbank Centre.


5) Bandstand Marathon

At exactly 1 p.m. on Sunday, 9 September, bandstands and outdoor performance spaces across the UK will come alive with live music. The annual Bandstand Marathon, which this year will close the London 2012 Festival, aims to bring communities together through synchronized live performances that will kick off at the same time on the same day. Find your local venue here.


6) Thames Festival

The Thames Festival, 8-9 September, is London’s free end-of-summer weekend celebration. Concerts, art installations, and workshops run all weekend along the Thames between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge. It all culminates on Sunday with a grand fireworks finale on the river, which this year will also mark the closing of the Paralympic Games.



Whether you come to London for the Cultural Olympiad or the Paralymics, you can now make use of our special summer celebration offer: Book a stay at any of Thistle’s 10 London hotels between now and 9 September and you’ll receive a £29 voucher to spend at our restaurants, lounges, and bars to toast GB’s 29 gold medal athletes.

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