Free Olympics Events

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Free Olympics Events
Olympic Marathon
Race Walk
Road Cycling
Cycling - Time Trial
The Mall
Hampton Court Palace

© Jason Hawkes –

Just because you didn't get tickets to the Olympics doesn't mean you won't get to see any of the live sporting action. Cheer on Olympic athletes in the Triathlon, Race Walk, Marathon and Cycling all of which take place in London's streets - for free.

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Free Olympic Events - Marathon

Where to go to catch a glimpse of the athletes without paying

London Olympics: Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Kingston, London, KT8 9AU

Tube: Richmond Station


Dates: 28th July - 01st August 2012


Spectators need not fork out a small fortune to watch the Olympics, with events such as the MarathonTriathlon and Road Cycling all possible to view for free. Both the men's (Sunday 12th August) and women's (Sunday 5th August) Marathons take in iconic locations such as St James's ParkSt Paul's CathedralTower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament and fans will be able to line the streets and cheer on the athletes with the exception of the ticketed area along The Mall in the shadow of Buckingham Palace where the 26.2 mile (42km) marathon route begins and ends. The marathon events pass some of London's most famous landmarks - although spectators will have to save a place early on if they want to stand near popular spots like the Houses of Parliament or St Paul's Cathedral. Some locations in the City - such as Leadenhall Market - could be a safer bet, and will allow double viewings if you play your cards right. Spectators familiar with the famous London Marathon may be surprised to see how few competitors there are in the Olympic Marathon - instead of the 37,500 people we are used to seeing there will be around 80 competitors on the course. All the more reason to cheer them on as they compete to see if anyone can keep the Kenyan off the podium. See the Marathon Route Map.


Free Olympic Events - Triathlon

The free to view cycling route runs from Hyde Park to St James's Park


One of the best showcases for London should be the Olympic Triathlon events, which take place in and around Hyde Park in central London on Saturday 4th (women) and Tuesday 7th August (men). Triathletes are often seen as the fittest all-round athletes in the world - and it's not surprising given the gruelling combination of swimming, cycling and running required. For London 2012, both the men's and the women's Triathlons consist of a 1,500m swim in the Serpentine Lake; a seven-lap, 40km bike ride around Hyde Park taking in both Buckingham Palace and the Wellington Arch; and a final four-lap, 10km run around the Serpentine to the finish. Spectators interested in seeing the triathlon for free should make note of the cycling route and avoid the swimming and running legs which are ticketed. See the Triathlon Route Map.


Free Olympic Events - Race Walk

Find out which areas of the Race Walk course are free to view


The Olympic Race Walks take place on Saturday 4th August 2012 (men's 20km) and Saturday 11th August (men's 50km and women's 20km). Beginning on The Mall (only accessible to ticket holders) the route follows a looped course around Constitution Hill passing the stunning backdrop of Buckingham Palace and the Queen Victoria Memorial, before finishing back at The Mall. While tickets are required for The Mall you can watch for free from certain areas of the Race Walk route, notably from the Queen Victoria Memorial up Constitution Hill where the route loops around three quarters of the way up the hill, not far from Hyde Park Corner. Get there early, as space is likely to fill up quickly and use the Race Walk Route Map to plan your best vantage point.


Free Olympic Events - Cycling - Road Race

The Road Cycling event travels from London to Box Hill, Surrey


The 250km cycling Road Race (July 28 and 29) makes its way from central London to the Surrey Hills and back, passing some of London's top attractions: the Natural History MuseumBuckingham Palace and Richmond Park. The race passes through Fulham and across Putney Bridge, which could be a good spot for viewing if you're in west London. Further out of town, Bushy Park and the area on the north side of Hampton Court gardens will be a scenic spot – and the crowds perhaps thinner. Britain's equivalent of the Tour de France then arrives in Box Hill in Surrey where the riders will face a challenging loop around the steep hill (nine for the men and two for the women) before heading back to London for dramatic finish a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace on The Mall in central London. The men's race on 28th July is around 250km while the women's (29th July) is 140km, allowing plenty of free viewing space for fans of this hugely popular sport. See the Cycling Road Race Route Map.


Free Olympic Events - Cycling - Time Trial

Historic Hampton Court Palace is home to the Cycling Time Trial event


On Wednesday 1st August, on the fifth day of the Games, spectators can watch the Cycling Time Trial event at the historic Hampton Court in south-west London without having a ticket. The riders start at 90-second intervals and will be timed individually over a single-lap course (44km for the men, 29km for the women). The one with the quickest time wins the gold medal. Members of the public can watch the races which start on the driveway of the Palace and finish outside the grounds for free. The course passes through the boroughs of Richmond, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey and Elmbridge. Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara and Germany's Tony Martin will be amongst the favourites in the men's race - although home crowds will be cheering on our best hope Bradley Wiggins. See the Olympic Cycling - Time Trial Route Map.

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