Olympic inspiration on home soil

July 2021


Hot on the heels of Wimbledon and the Euros, the summer of sport will continue with the delayed Tokyo Olympics kicking off on 23 July. What’s more on 28 July it’s only one year to go until Birmingham plays host to the Commonwealth Games, 10 years on from the iconic London Olympics 2012.


With new sports on the Tokyo schedule including surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing, here’s a round-up of ways to try your hand on home soil this summer. Plus, for those feeling nostalgic for 2012, we’ve included ways to plan an Olympic or Commonwealth Games themed day out.




The world’s top surfers will celebrate their Olympic debut this year and whilst we may not yet have Team GB hopefuls, there’s plenty of opportunity around the country to try your hand; from the acclaimed waves of Devon and Cornwall to the likes of Scarborough in Yorkshire and Joss Bay in Kent. Surfing England has a list of accredited surf schools across the country, perfect for aspiring Olympians.


The Wave, Bristol

For year-round consistent waves head to Bristol’s The Wave. Located in a beautiful rural site on the edge of the city, their Wavegarden Cove technology provides up to 1,000 waves of varying sizes and shapes an hour. With heights starting at 50cm and peaking at almost 2m there is something for everyone, from a child stepping on a board for the first time, to a pro surfer training for the Olympics. In fact, the Wave is the official high performance training centre for Team England. Group glamping accommodation opened this year, with safari tents sleeping up to ten people offering peaceful hideaways close to the surf. And from this month there’s a new play area for younger spectators too. Beginner surf lessons cost from around £60 per person including all equipment. A range of lessons and free surf sessions are available. Stays from £105 per tent per night (£200 per tent per night in peak summer season). Tents sleeps up to 8 people, with a two-night minimum stay in the week and three-night minimum stay over weekends.



Skateboarding will be at the Olympic Games for the first time in its history, with 13- year-old Skye Brown already making headlines as the youngest ever Team GB summer Olympian.


The Source BMX and Skate Park, Hastings

Budding skaters of all ages should head to The Source, home to Europe’s largest underground BMX and Skate Park housed in the old White Rock baths below Hastings seafront promenade. Its newly opened Courtyard is also now a buzzing venue in its own right with skate shops, local food, beer, kombucha, coffee and more. Visitors can book skate sessions or lessons in two state-of-the-art skate parks, The Main Room and The Plaza.

Two-hour sessions from £10.



Skateboard GP Summer Camps, nationwide

For children inspired to become the next Skye Brown, a Skateboard summer camp could be the answer. Ranging from residential to family taster sessions, there’s a huge range across the country.



Nass Festival, a four-day festival of skating and more, Somerset

23-26 September 2021

Four days of immense skate action combined with street art, music and BMX will come to Shepton Mallet near Bristol in September. Taking part in their competitions and pop-up jams, you will find the best skaters from around the globe battling it out to claim the ultimate title of NASS Champion. Expect the cream of the crop across street and mini ramp disciplines. A variety of camping and day ticket options are available.

Day tickets from £67.50



Sport climbing


Sport climbing will make its Olympic debut this year and will feature three disciplines: Speed, Bouldering and Lead. Team GB’s Shauna Coxsey will represent.


Dare to try sport lead climbing with Hatt Adventures

Perfect for anyone wishing to learn outdoor sport climbing in the UK, this one-day course teaches how to lead climb on sport routes under the watchful guidance of highly experienced instructors. The course covers climbing briefings, belaying and communication, taking you on a range of exciting climbs. The season runs from March to October and enquiries can be made via the website. Various locations across England. Prices vary with one-day beginner courses from £95/half day £55.



The sky’s the limit at Summit Up, Manchester

Opening August

An exhilarating 1,850m² purpose built climbing centre, featuring the North’s highest and largest Clip ’n Climb is set to open this August, offering an action packed climbing activity for the whole family to enjoy on a Manchester city break or day trip. There’s also two ValoClimb walls using the ‘world’s first’ interactive gaming technology, combining great physical exercise and gaming experience.

Age restrictions apply. Pricing from £12.50 per person



The Climbing Hangar, Sheffield

Opening soon

Designed in partnership with Team GB’s Shauna Coxsey, Hangar Sheffield will open later this year to the general public, giving the chance to climb the very same walls as an Olympic hopeful. The state-of-the-art facility will include a Tokyo replica bouldering wall and is perfectly placed in Sheffield, ‘The Outdoor City’, as a jumping off point for the Peak District, home to some of the country’s greatest climbing experiences including the acclaimed Stanage Edge.





Take a tour of some Olympic heritage hotspots and get inspired ahead of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games


Lee Valley White Water Centre, Hertfordshire

Developed for the London 2012 Olympic Games to host canoe slalom events and set in the picturesque beauty of the River Lee Country Park in Hertfordshire, the Lee Valley White Water Centre offers an abundance of different water sports. Easily accessible from London, visitors to the site can try their hand at white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking, as well as a number of other activities including hydrospeeding, a Water Wipeout obstacle course, hot dogs (inflatable two-man kayaks) and paddleboarding. Activities should be booked in advance and prices vary by activity, date and time. Rafting Unleashed adventure costs from £50 with Family Rafting sessions from £200.



Much Wenlock Olympic Trail, Shropshire

Learn about the heritage of the Olympic games in the medieval town of Much Wenlock, home to the Wenlock Olympian Trail and the Much Wenlock Museum. In the museum a magnificent collection of Wenlock Olympian Society artefacts is on display, illustrating the significant role of Much Wenlock in the revival of the Modern Olympic Games.




National Paralympic Heritage Centre, Stoke Mandeville

The Paralympics will commence in Tokyo from 24 August. Learn how it all began at the birthplace of the Paralympics with a trip to the National Paralympic Heritage Centre in Buckinghamshire’s Stoke Mandeville hospital. Free admission.



Cycling at Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire

Cannock Chase will play a part in the 2022 Commonwealth Games by hosting the men’s and women’s mountain biking on 3 August. There are three cycle trails at the Chase designed for leisure cyclists and families. These trails are open all year round and are free of charge. The leisure trails have been developed from the long-established family routes around Cannock Chase, and all start from Birches Valley. Cannock Chase is also home to two dedicated, way marked, XC mountain bike trails. Both trails are free to ride and open all year round.



Countdown to the Commonwealth games 2022, West Midlands

With one year to go on 28 July 2021 and the main ticket ballot opening from September, the West Midlands is gearing up for its time in the spotlight with multiple locations being used for venues.


For more ways to Escape the Everyday this summer follow @visitengland on social channels #VisitEngland #EscapeTheEveryday or head to www.visitengland.com/escape

Visitors are advised to always check individual websites and government guidance for the latest information. National restrictions are currently in place. Check out www.visitengland.com



For further press information please contact the VisitEngland PR team:

Louise Ferrall / Claire Keenan / Patrycja Woda

Email: vepr@visitengland.org or visit media.visitengland.com    www.visitengland.com

VisitEngland would like to invite you to take part in a short survey about our website, it should take no more than a couple of minutes.

Go to the survey

To add items to favourites …

… you need to be logged in.

If you already have an account, log in.

Or register a

Access your account

Enter your e-mail address or username.
Enter the password that accompanies your e-mail.
Forgot your password? Recover your account
Don't have an account? Register an account