This summer in the UK is all about the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the imminent arrival of track and field legends such as Usain Bolt and Paula Radcliffe. The Games kick off onFriday July 27th 2012 and run untilSunday 12th August 2012, presenting over two weeks of action packed sports in London and selected locations across the UK.

Should you be visiting the UK this summer, you may be interested in attending the Games. Unfortunately, however, the majority of tickets have already been allocated and those remaining are priced well above the average budget. Nevertheless, rather than stay at home or in a hotel room watching the Olympics on television, there are a handful of events that do not require a ticket and can be watched free of charge.

Road Cycling

The Road Cycling events offer a great opportunity to watch the London 2012 Olympic Games for free. In fact, you can choose from 4 events within the space of 3 days. The proposed road race route will start and finish at The Mall, however you don’t necessarily have to be in London to enjoy the races. The Road Race covers 250km (140km for women) and stretches into Dorking, Guildford and Weybridge in Surrey.

Important dates to put in the diary are Saturday 28th July from 10am to 4pm (Men’s Road Race) and Sunday 29th July from 12pm to 4pm 9 (Women’s Road Race). Wednesday 1stAugust is the day of the Time Trials, which will take place over a shorter track (44km for men, 29km for women) with a start and finish line in Hampton Court Palace.

Race Walk

Although not everyone’s idea of excitement, there are three Race Walk events that can be watched for free. The races will be competed over a 2km loop route along The Mall, passing St James’s Park, Buckingham Palace and Green Park. The men’s races – 20km and 50km – take place on Saturday August 4th from 5pm to 6.30pm and Saturday August 11th from 9am to 13:20pm. The women’s 20km race also takes place on August 11th, between 5pm and 6.45pm.


The triathlon – 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run – is one of the most gruelling events of the Olympic Games and you can watch it all for free around Hyde Park. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the Games whilst visiting one of London’s most loved public parks. The women’s event takes place on Saturday 4th August between 9am and 11.40am and the men battle it out on Tuesday 7th August between 11.30am and 2pm.


The women’s and men’s marathons – August 5th and August 12th – are to be ran on a circular track around London, with only the finishing line at The Mall ticketed. Try to get in to the city early and position yourself around St Paul’s Cathedral for a superb vantage point. With the events competed over 3 laps of the course, you will have the chance to see the athletes on more than one occasion.

For more information on the London 2012 Olympic Games, visit

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