Top 10 ways to watch and celebrate the Olympic Games from Leicestershire
London might feel a long way away to the county's avid sports fans, but Leicestershire still boasts some winning venues to catch the action from the Olympics.
From soaking up the atmosphere in a lively city centre bar, sitting back in a country pub to enjoying the view on Leicester's giant outdoor screen, there are plenty of spots to cheer on your favourite nation.
Leicester’s Live Site, at Humberstone Gate, will be providing daily coverage of the Games, from BBC Breakfast through to the highlights programme at the end of each day.
Sports fans and passing shoppers will be able to get involved in a range of activities around the screen, such as have-a-go sports sessions, including the chance to test your stamina in an “endless” pool swimming against an artificial tide.
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Deputy city mayor, Councillor Rory Palmer, said: “We are determined to make the most of the big screen for the 2012 Olympics by showing events live from London.
“There will also be a range of activities and special events at the Live Site surrounding the big screen, including sports taster sessions. I hope that people will gather at the Live Site to cheer on Team GB and Olympic teams from around the world.”
Many people will also be choosing to cheer on the athletes from the comfort of one of the county’s many pubs and bars, from the city centre to more rural retreats.
Andrew Southerden, of The Coach and Horses, in Kibworth, pushed the boat out for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, turning his pub into a replica ship. Now he is in the starting blocks for a summer of sport, first welcoming the torch relay to Kibworth with an outdoor celebration on July 2, and planning an Olympic-themed day with competitions.
The venue will be screening the Games and Mr Southerden said he thought a "quintessentially English pub" would be a good place to enjoy the spectacle. He said: "I think people will choose to watch together, especially when you've got the opportunity of supporting some homegrown stars.
"It's different to showing the football, when people are more team-orientated in who they're following. With the Olympics it's more specialist, people follow the different sports, whether it's rowing, archery or something else."
Let the Games begin.
1. Leicester Live Site - This giant outdoor screen has been the scene for thousands of football fans gripped by the 2010 World Cup and celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, where events from London were screened live to revellers in Leicester.
The screen, donated to the city in 2009 by the London organising committee of the Olympics, will now be a focal point for celebrating the Games in Leicestershire, offering seating and a host of events and activities, including British Triathlon’s endless pool and running and cycling machines between August 4 and 8. There will be daily coverage, including Team GB’s football matches and the opening ceremony on July 27.
Where: Leicester Live Site, Humberstone Gate, Leicester, LE1 1WA.
2. The Coach and Horses - After flying the flag for the jubilee, the good sports at The Coach and Horses will be turning their attention to cheering on the athletes at the Olympics.
The pub's screens will be showing the action, while a celebratory Olympics Day of competitions and events is planned, weather permitting and date to be announced.
Regulars and visitors can tuck into modern English fare with a twist in a picturesque village setting.
Where: The Coach and Horses, 2 Leicester Road, Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicestershire, LE8 0NN, 0116 279 2247.
When: Mon 5-11pm, Tue-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm and 5-11pm, Sat 11.30am-11pm, Sun noon-11pm.
3. Rileys Sports Bar - Sport is at the heart of this venue with three snooker tables, seven English pool tables, 12 American pool tables, a darts zone and, most importantly for those keen not miss the Games, a giant three-metre HD screen as well as smaller TVs.
The venue is planning to hold pool competitions to coincide with the GB football team’s bid for glory, food is served all day, and visitors can make a night of it as the club is open until 4am daily. Contact the club for details of becoming a member.
Where: Rileys Sports Bar, Deacon Street, Grange Lane, Leicester, LE2 7EE, 01162 549944.
When: Sun-Thur 11am-4am, Sat 10am-4am.
4. The Chequers - A marquee with a big screen will be the spot to catch some of the Games' main events at this family-friendly village pub.
Raise a glass of real ale to the Olympics and tuck into pub fare such as pies and steaks or choose from a selection of curries.
Guests can also test their skill at traditional pub games, including darts, table skittles, dominoes, and card games of crib and solo.
Where: The Chequers, Swinford, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 6BL, 01788 860318.
When: Mon closed lunchtime, 7pm-midnight, Tue-Sat noon-2.30pm, 6pm-midnight, Sun noon-3pm, 7-11pm. Food served Tues-Sun noon-2pm and Tues-Sat, 6pm-9pm.
5. The Old Plough - Celebrate an historic occasion at an historic pub. The Old Plough, on the edge of Watermead County Park in Old Birstall, dates back to 1789.
Nowadays it offers live sports, keeping a keen eye on rugby in particular, and will be showing the Olympics while visitors drink and dine.
Where: The Old Plough, 18 Front Street, Birstall, Leicester, LE4 4DP, 0116 267 4836.
When: Daily from noon.
6. Yates's - This popular city centre venue will be showing the Olympics on its six TVs and two large screens behind the bar.
Billing itself as the "busiest bar in the city", the venue has a thriving lunchtime trade and is popular with the night-time party crowd. It has a range of offers on food and drink throughout the week.
Where: Yates’s, 17 –23 Belvoir Street, Leicester, LE1 6SL, 0116 254 1001.
When: Mon-Wed 10am-11pm, Thu 10am-1am, Fri 10am-1.30am, Sat 10am-2am, Sun noon-11pm.
7. O'Neill's - We're on track for "a summer like no other", according to O'Neill's, which is promising to offer extensive coverage of the Olympics and Paralympics.
A favourite with Leicester Tigers fans and offering a "home from home" to supporters during Irish provincial matches, the bar's sporting credentials are good.
Billing the Games as "the biggie" among a packed programme of sporting coverage, the venue is inviting sports fans to enjoy the craic and celebrate the Olympics together, right up to the closing ceremony. Visitors can enjoy food and drink inspired by the Emerald Isle.
Where: O'Neill's, 16-20 Loseby Lane, Leicester, LE1 5DR, 0116 262 8709.
When: Sun-Wed 10am-11pm, Thur 10am-12am, Fri 10am-1am, Sat 10am-2am.
8.Varsity - Billing itself as "mad about sport" and boasting two big screens and five TVs, there is no doubt this venue will be following the action from the Games.
Guests can ensure a prime view by booking a gold party package at £40 per head, which includes a drinks package, buffet food, table service, drinks on arrival, a goody bag and a host for the event. Silver and bronze packages are also available at £20 and £10 per head.
Food is served until 9pm and if sitting on the sidelines isn't enough, the venue has two pool tables, a dartboard and table football.
Where: Varsity, 146 London Road, Leicester, LE2 1ED, 0116 255 99 13.
When: Mon-Wed 11am-11.30pm, Thurs 11am-midnight, Fri-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-12.30am.
9. The Blues - This community-focused venue is planning to show the Olympics on its three plasma screens and, with individual feeds, can show different channels simultaneously to keep viewers updated.
Visitors can spice up their experience with a meal from the authentic Indian menu in the Roti restaurant, enjoy a quiet pint or play pub games like darts.
Where: The Blues, 167 Uplands Road, Oadby, Leicester, LE2 4NW, 0116 271 8928.
When: Mon-Thur 3.30-11pm, Fri 3.30pm-midnight, Sat 11am-midnight, Sun 11am-11pm.
- Eight plasma TVs and one giant screen will make sure all the Olympic action is covered at ever-popular live sports venue Walkabout.
Proudly boasting that it’s “officially the best venue in Leicester for sport”, guests can tuck into Aussie-inspired fare from the menu and give the athletes a run for their money when it comes to stamina by partying into the night.
Where: Walkabout, 30-32 Granby Street, Leicester, LE1 1DE, 0116 251 5816.
When: Sun-Thur 11am-midnight, Fri and Sat 11am-2am.