Tickets, tips for Olympic travellers

The 2012 Olympic mascot Wenlock (left) and Paralympic mascot Mandeville pose for photographers in a...

The 2012 Olympic mascot Wenlock (left) and Paralympic mascot Mandeville pose for photographers in a school playground in London on May 19, 2010. (REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/Files)

Ilona Kauremszky, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

Q: How do I book tickets for an Olympic soccer match at Hampden Park in Glasgow?

-- J. Flores, Toronto

A: CoSport is the authorized ticket reseller for Canada. For information, contact toll-free 877-457-4647 or 1-908-326-2660 or see cosport.com.

You can download a pdf with visitor tips and the full soccer schedule for the London 2012 Summer Olympics at london2012.com.

Soccer -- or football as it's called in most of the world -- is going to be huge this summer. Several venues will host the London 2012 Olympic Football tournament including: Millennium Stadium on the banks of the River Taff in the heart of Cardiff, Wales. The Old Trafford, home to the Manchester United Football Club. St. James' Park, the oldest football grounds in Northeast England, and Wembley Stadium, one of the most famous stadia in the world. Your venue of choice, Hampden Park has recently had a $112-million renovation. It's ranked as one of the greatest football stadia in the world.

Q: Do you have any tips for budget conscious travellers who will be visiting London this summer?

-- L. Luu, Scarborough

A: Visitors to London can save money in a variety of ways. Transit is one. London has a Visitor Oyster Card valid for the underground, buses and trams. The pre-loaded "pay-as-you-go" swipe card is available in various denominations starting from £20. The card is great for families, and children under 11 years old ride for free when accompanied by an adult.

London also has Barclays Cycle Hire, a bike-sharing program similar to Toronto's Bixi. Affectionately dubbed Boris Bikes -- after London's mayor Boris Johnson -- these short-term rentals are good for getting from point A to point B. There are access and usage fees. For instance, the one-day access free is £1 and you get 30 minutes of usage for free. One hours' is pay one pound (about $1.55), two hours is six pounds, etc. For details, see tfl.gov.uk.

For gallery and museum hopping, London has some extraordinary public institutions that offer free admission to the regular collection. See the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum free of charge. View masterpieces from Rembrandt and Gainsborough at the National Gallery for free. Other public venues with free admission include the Tate Modern, Tate Britain, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

VisitLondon.com has a helpful search engine. Simply plug in "free museums" or "free galleries" and the results occur instantly. It provides a comprehensive listings page which is easily navigable. The website also includes details on special offers. In addition, VisitBritain.com has a special offers section listing accommodations, package deals, and more ways for budget-conscious visitors to save.

Q: I'm trying to organize a weekend bike trip for a couple of friends and myself. We're looking for a bike trail option and some camping places outside Pembroke.

-- D. Holman, North York

A. Cyclists will enjoy riding along the Cycloparc PPJ Trail on Allumette Island, which is an easy 10-minute drive along Hwy. 148 from downtown Pembroke. The 62-km island paved trail circles around the island on an old country road and connects to Quebec's Outaouais region, where the path follows an old railway line. You can download a map of the Island Tour at cycloparcppj.org.

This is cottage country but there are a couple of privately run camps. You will see Adventure Source Expeditions (ottawa-river-camping.com) as soon as you cross the Interprovincial Bridge (Hwy. 148) from Pembroke. The camp sites are unmarked with a port-a-potty washroom. You can purchase groceries nearby at Dubeau's Store.

Brennan's Recreational Farms, in Sheenboro, is about a 10 minute drive from Chapeau, Allumette's main town. This rustic no nonsense accommodations (four cabins) that is good for groups of various size. The farm will also arrange horseback riding. See brennanadventures.com.


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