Where To Watch The Olympic Opening Ceremony in London

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Sheep, a huge bell, a miniature Stonehenge, David Beckham and some NHS nurses. This much we know will be in the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday evening. A global audience of four billion people are expected to tune into the show which is called Isles of Wonder, inspired by a line in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Artistic director Danny Boyle has kept most details under wraps, but we can say with certainty that it starts at 9pm, and that you’d be mad not to watch it.

London Live
Friday is the opening night for the Olympic London Live sites at Hyde Park and Victoria Park. In Hyde Park, the ceremony will be shown on screens alongside a celebration concert with acts representing each part of the UK – Snow Patrol from Northern Ireland, Stereophonics for Wales, Duran Duran representing England and Paolo Nutini waving the flag for Scotland. Tickets are £60 and are still available. If you just want to watch the ceremony in a crowd, you can head to the Victoria Park site which is free entry.

Tower of London
If you’re feeling flush, you could pay for an exciting Opening Ceremony dinner at the Tower of London House of Nations for just £139. Hosted by four-time record breaking swimmer and Strictly Come Dancing star, Mark Foster, you’ll enjoy a champagne and Pimm’s reception in the Tower of London’s moat, an exclusive private tour of the Crown Jewels, a delicious three-course meal with all inclusive drinks, footage of the Opening Ceremony and live entertainment.

You can also catch all the Opening Ceremony action at Greenwich Summer Festival’s Gala Weekend. As well as the big screens, there’ll be live entertainment, starting with music on the bandstand at 6pm. Greenwich’s very own Hangar Arts Trust will then perform a cabaret of aerial circus in a high-impact, thrilling show full of beautiful and apparently impossible human feats, before the Opening Ceremony kicks off at 9pm.

General Gordon Square, Woolwich
General Gordon Square in Woolwich is hosting one of two big screens set up by the BBC in London for outdoor summer screenings. It will show the ceremony outside for free in the newly landscaped square, which offers bench seating and food stalls and street performers to get you in the party mood.

Walthamstow Town Square
Another BBC big screen will be beaming the ceremony to Walthamstow Town Square in North London. Seating will be set up so crowds can watch in comfort.

The Broadgate development in the Square Mile is home to some of the world’s biggest companies, and this summer it is also the base for three big screens which will all show the Opening Ceremony. Take your pick from Exchange Square, Broadgate Circle and Finsbury Avenue.

Novikov’s Beach Party at Waterside House
Top Mayfair restaurant Novikov is heading east this Friday to set up an all-day Opening Ceremony beach party – complete with sand and beach loungers – at Waterside House in Royal Victoria Dock. You can watch the show while sipping cocktails and listening to DJ sets. Tickets are £25.

In The Pub
Hundreds of top London pubs will be showing the all action on big screens, so have a look at the watering holes near you. We suggest The Hanbury Arms in Islington, The Lauriston in Hackney, the Water Poet in Spitalfields and the Clapham Grand in Clapham Junction, all of which will be putting on amazing parties.

Where will you be watching? Let us know below.


  1. Zoe Craig says:

    There’s also a 14ft screen in Duke of York’s Square:

    “In true British style, strawberries and cream will be on sale, along with a glass of bubbly from the Pommery champagne tent. Partridges have prepared luxury picnic boxes to help spectators stay charged for the most highly anticipated events of the sporting century, washed down with a traditional glass of Pimm’s.”

  2. Zoe Craig says:

    If the weather stays like this, you might want to keep up with the Olympic sporting action on Camden Beach at the Roundhouse:

  3. Claire Doble says:

    And you can, of course, watch it online!

  4. Pollie Hall says:

    We’ll be watching in our bar with beers, burgers & baited breath! Or Pimms & pies? No boking necessary, enthusiasm & good spirits a must.

  5. We’re showing the opening ceremony & hosting a TOGA party in its honor. Free entry with lots of fun. We have 2 giant screens & 5 LCD TV’s all showing the games in HD including one in the beer garden. We are the place to watch sports for all living or working in & around W9 or NW6.
    See you here

  6. Tara says:

    Everyone is welcome to join our Members at Holborn House (266 High Holborn, WC1V 7EE) this FRIDAY 27 from 6pm. We will be screening the Olympics Opening Ceremony on our big projector screen in full HD.

    Complimentary entry, welcome drinks and canapés for everyone. After party from 10pm.

    Please contact tara@holbornhouse.co.uk.

  7. Kerry Mclean says:

    The Birdcage Pub, 80 Columbia Road. Celebratory Karaoke straight after the ceremony. Open until late!!

  8. Anna says:

    What about Trafalgar Square?

  9. Londonette says:

    Just spotted that All Star Lanes bowling alleys in London have got big screens showing the games http://www.allstarlanes.co.uk

  10. gareth jones says:

    Is there a big screen at tower bridge tonight.?

    • Zoe Craig says:

      Hi Gareth. According to twitter, there won’t be a big screen at Potters Field by Tower Bridge until tomorrow:

      Picture Potters Field will not be showing the London 2012 opening ceremony this evening; it will be open from tomorrow http://ow.ly/cxFar

      This was a tweet from Southwark Council @lb_southwark

  11. Bavarian Beerhouse Tower Hill and Old Street are showing all Olympics on large screens.