London Olympics for FREE
by Burlington Bertie
If you are visiting London between 27 July and 12 August, the odds are that you are there for the Olympics. Have you managed to obtain the tickets you wanted? There are still thousands of tickets to be sold. Check the official Olympic website London 2012 for up-to-date details and offers.
There are a number of Olympic events in London which you can watch for free. These include Olympic Road Cycling, the Triathlon, the Marathon and Walking events played out with London as the spectacular background.
The Olympic Road Cycling races on 28 and 29 July take in some of London's iconic attractions; the Mall, Buckingham Palace, Natural history Museum, Hampton Court Palace and Richmond Park i events are open to all for free. Even better, they take place around some of London's loveliest attractions. Beginning at The Mall, the route for the road races (28 and 29 July) passes Buckingham Palace, Richmond Park, Hampton Court Palace and The Natural History Museum, all of which provide excellent free spectator opportunities. Hampton Court Palace will also be the venue for the August 1 Time Trials.
The Olympic Triathlon takes place in Hyde Park, offering spectators a great opportunity to watch competitors run four laps of the 2.5km course, cycle seven laps of a 6.137km course around the park and swim 1,500m down the Serpentine lake for free. Be warned however that this is a popular spectator sport and large crowds are expected on 4 August to cheer on the 55 men on 4 August and 55 women on 7 August.
Much of Central London will come to a halt on 5 and 12 August for the Men's and Women's Marathon which starts and finishes on the Mall. This is a ticketed area but wonderful views of this event can be had at the Tower of London and St. Paul's Cathedral and, best of all, the length of the Victoria Embankment which sees the runners both start and finish. The same can be said for the Walking races on 4 and 11 August which start and finish on the Mall.
Hyde Park will have what is billed as the largest TV screen in the UK, where you can watch for free all London events live other than the ticketed opening and closing ceremony concerts. Capacity crowds are expected on a number of days so you are advised to guarantee your entry by booking Free tickets for each day between 28 July and 11 August from Hyde Park Live. The Hyde Park site has all the fun of the fair with free music and a number of pavilions offering food. A similar facility if offered in Trafalgar Square during the Paralympics 29 August - 9 September. Special facilities at both venues are offered disabled visitors.
London Transport Triathlon & Hyde Park Live: Nearest Tubes. Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge, Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch
London Transport Marathons & Walking: Nearest tubes. Westminster, Embankment.
London Transport Olympics: It is essential to plan ahead for your London travel during the Olympics period, whether attending as a spectator or merely visiting London during this time. Keep up to date with latest travel recommendations at London2012 Travel
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