Fed Up with the Olympics? Here’s Five Alternatives

If the thought of another sporting event at London 2012 Olympic Games is enough to make you rip off your sweaty ill fitting lycra once and for all, and you are wondering if there is anything else going on in London right now, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we are celebrating all that is non sporting and has absolutely nothing to do with the 2012 London Games this month. So if you need a little inspiration, read on:

BBC Proms 13 July – 8 September Free

Quite apart from all the performances booked to play at the Royal Albert Hall, you can also pack your picnics and gather your friends, for the Proms in the Park is back for September 8 2012. Proms in the Park sees the spectacular culmination of the BBC Proms season, as the world-famous Last Night of the Proms celebrations spill out from London’s Royal Albert Hall, and people come together at venues across the UK to be part of the magic of the Last Night. Events are held in London, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Each show is centred around a live concert with its own high-profile artists, BBC orchestras and presenters. The evening culminates in a live big-screen link-up to the Royal Albert Hall for the traditional sing-along.

James Bond at the Barbican 6 July – 5 September £12 Entry

Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style marks the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise, from 1962’s Dr No to this year’s Skyfall, with a unique exhibition showcasing the inside story of the design and style of the world’s most influential and iconic movie brand. This exhibition is set to be a multi-sensory experience, immersing audiences in the creation and development of Bond style over its auspicious 50 year history. It will explore the craft behind the screen icons, the secret service and villains, tailoring and costumes, set and production design, automobiles, gadgets and special effects, graphic design and motion graphics, exotic locations, stunts and props. Highlights include gadgets and weapons made for Bond and his notorious adversaries, along with artwork for sets and storyboards, and costume designs.

Shakespeare: Staging the World – British Museum Members Free

The British Museum is staging a major exhibition on the world of Shakespeare, in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The exhibition provides a unique insight into the emerging role of London as a world city, seen through the innovative perspective of Shakespeare’s plays. It also explores the pivotal role of the playhouse as a window to the world outside London, and the playwright’s importance in shaping a new sense of national identity. London as it was around 400 years ago is brought to life through contemporary performance and amazing objects drawn from the Museum’s collection and across Europe. Maps, prints, drawings and paintings, arms and armour, coins, medals and other intriguing objects are all examined through the lens of Shakespeare’s plays.

The London Dungeon from July 28 all summer £19 Entry

A great day out for the kids this – Experience The Great Stink of 1858. The Great Stink’ of 1858 overwhelmed London so badly it led to an Act of Parliament to clean up the City. In fact, odious odours were a horrible part of everyday life in times gone by and this summer the London Dungeon will take guests on a smelly step back in time. Special “scratch and sniff” tours will conjure up the pong of the plague and the charred perfume of public execution to name a few. Running regularly over the summer holidays, guests will be given a special “scratch and sniff” card to activate at selected points on the tour. As the Dungeon’s cast of horrible actors bring to life the terrible tales of London’s murky past, the audience will be able to smell what it might have been like at that time in history – from the vile Victorian Streets to the cloying stench of the Medieval City. A special stink squad will also be lurking in the shadows wafting smells under guests noses and beware of three super stench zones around the attraction.

Kew Gardens: David Nash £14.50 Entry Children under 17 Free

With so many events and attractions taking place at Kew, it is hard to focus on one, but there is a special exhibition by esteemed artist david Nash that is definitely worth a visit. David Nash at Kew: A Natural Gallery is an exhibition with the creation of new works on site at its heart. Sculptures, drawings, and film installations are on display throughout the Gardens, in the glasshouses, and in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art. At the Wood Quarry, on Cedar Vista, you can also see new sculptures being made. Nash says, “Most exhibitions have an opening date – you get everything ready for that day, and then the exhibition stays the same. Kew is open to the public all the time so the energy and excitement of building this exhibition is visible. It will evolve through the seasons with new work being made on site – we’re going to grow this show.”