Olympic Games - Where and when to watch the Games for free

If you were not lucky enough to get tickets for the London 2012 Games, or you want to fill your agenda on days when you don’t have tickets, check out our guide for watching some of the world’s top athletes for free.

Olympic Games - Where and when to watch the Games for free

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The Mall will host several events this summer

Fans from around the UK are making final preparations for enjoying the Games - and millions of spectators have already cheered the Olympic Torch relay as it journeys across the country.

Although hundreds of thousands of Olympic tickets have been snapped up, there are plenty of fans without tickets - but fortunately there are numerous opportunities to watch events for free.

Those events include Road Cycling, Triathlon, Marathon, Open Water Swimming and Race Walking, in and around London.

The main road race cycling events (Men’s Road Race on 28th July, Women’s Road Race on 29th July) will start and finish at The Mall heading south west through the city, via Fulham, Putney, Richmond and out into the Surrey Hills where a ticketed looped area at Box Hill will test the riders’ pace and stamina. To plan your viewing check out the route map, where you’ll be able to see the likes of Mark Cavendish, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins chasing medals for Team GB.

Meanwhile, the Road Cycling Time Trial events take place on 1st August and the men’s competition will see the likes of Froome and Wiggins in medal contention again. The race route commences and finishes at Hampton Court Palace, which will host a ticketed area, but spectators are able to line the cycle route in the areas outside the palace for free, with the riders due to hit the streets of Esher, Oxshott, Teddington and Surbiton. The men’s individual Time Trial commences at 2.15pm.

Hyde Park will host several Olympic events and is also the venue for an official Olympic ‘Live Site’, where all the action will be broadcast on a big screen. The venue hosts Triathlon action on 4th and 7th August, with a 1,500m swim, 40k cycle ride and a 10k run in and around the picturesque surroundings of the Park.

Meanwhile the Olympic 10k Marathon Swim will see the world’s best long distance swimmers complete six laps of Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake on 9th (women) and 10th (men) August. The events start at midday on both days and will last approximately two hours - the southern perimeter of the lake will be open to fans without tickets.

The Men’s Olympic Marathon starts at 11am on Sunday 12th August at The Mall and the race route takes in such iconic landmarks as Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London and Trafalgar Square. The women’s event takes place from 11am on Sunday 5th August.

Also part of the athletics programme are the Men's 50k, Men’s 20k and Women's 20k Race Walks. The men compete on 4th August (the 20k race starts at 5pm, the 50k race commencing at 9am) and the women do battle on Saturday 11th at 5pm, the race route consisting of 2km laps of The Mall and Constitution Hill in each instance.

Even if you can’t make it to one of those events, be sure to join in the party elsewhere. The London 2012 Games will be broadcast live on big screens in Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square, in addition to further celebrations in Olympic ‘Live Sites’ at numerous other locations across London, including Potters Fields, Waltham Forest and Woolwich.

Also the rest of the UK in city centres and beyond are also joining the party with live big screen broadcasts, with Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Plymouth amongst the cities participating.

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