Thursday, 10 May 2012

10/5: Top Pin Trading Locations in London (3)

It's week 3 of our countdown of the top places to trade pins during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and this week we are moving our focus to...

London's Tourist Ares

Last week we talked about how London's streets will be a great place to trade pins - nowhere will this be more evident than at places like Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Leicester Square and the South Bank. These are great places to visit if you are accompanied in London with friends or family. If your companions are not into pin trading, then they can enjoy some of the shopping, cultural or tourist attractions, while you take the time to trade some pins.

Let's take a closer look at these four specific locations in turn:

Trafalgar Square:

Always the first place people gather in London to celebrate national events, Trafalgar Square will surely be buzzing during the Olympics and therefore a great place to swap some pins. It's slap bang in the middle of the action as well, being a stones throw from Horse Guard's Parade and the Mall where the beach volleyball, cycling road races and marathons will be taking place. If you want to take in some culture, the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery are located at the north end of the square. It's also here that you will find the London 2012 Countdown Clock - of course during the Olympics the digits will still be ticking down to the start of the Paralympics.

Leicester Square:

The home of London cinema, this is where world premieres regularly take place. It's always buzzing with plenty of street food, cafes and touristy shops. It's also one of the best places to go to grab last minute tickets to London shows. There are sure to be plenty of Olympic tourists around - might be a good place to swap a pin or two.

London's Chinatown is in the heart of the Leicester Square area

Covent Garden:

Right next door to Leicester Square this is the heart of London's famous theatreland. The streets running off the main square are home to many of London's theatres - perhaps a good chance to get some culture in alongside all the sport? The Old Apple Market has some great little shops, and the whole vibe of the place will lend itself well to pin trading. There are lots of outdoor cafes to soak up the London sun(?!), and usually street theatre to enjoy. Expect plenty of people wearing pins, keep your eyes peeled and you may do some good swapping here.

The South Bank:

Stretching from Waterloo Station all the way along to Tower Bridge on the South side of the River Thames is "The South Bank". This stretch of London is home to London's National Theatre and Cinema, the London Aquarium, the London Eye and further downstream the Tate Modern Art Gallery, Shakespeare's Globe and HMS Belfast. Pin trading or not, this is a great place to visit either on your own, or with family and friends. There are sure to be plenty of people thronging this wide pedestrian route alongside the river taking in the attractions, street theatre, food and drink and the general atmosphere of being in London - the Olympic City. There are no specific locations that can be recommended, but for sure pin trading will happen here - just keep a good look-out!

As with every previous Games, there is no knowing exactly where pin trading will take off - but some of the locations are bound to end up being good spots; and even if they aren't perfect pin positions, they are all places that are worth a visit if you are new to London.