Tickets for the men’s and women’s Olympic road cycling events went on sale today, including 15,000 for the managed areas on Box Hill in Surrey. 

Even if you weren’t one of the lucky ones to get your hands on tickets though the notorious official processing system, you can still enjoy the race for free.

For starters there three free cycling festivals around Box Hill over the weekend of the road races (CW May 24): the Box Hill Cycling Expo, the Box Hill Festival of Cycling and the Surrey Hills Road Race Festival.

Surrey County Council also plan to host big screens in public spaces in Dorking, Leatherhead and West Byfleet. 

There are plenty of additional places to watch the race come by too, and we’ve selected our five favourite alternatives to head to on July 28-29.

Richmond Park

London’s cycling hotspot sees the race twice, and the slight slope makes a good natural grandstand. Watch the peloton roll out, enjoy a picnic in the park and then catch the sharp end of the race when it comes back through just a few miles from the finish.

Hampton Court

Pop up out of Hampton Court railway station and you’ll find yourself practically on top of the course. Both races will pass through here twice too, either side of the Box Hill loops, and you can enjoy the festivities at Hampton Court Palace.

Kingston Bridge, Kingston upon Thames

Billing itself as the place to go for those without tickets, fans can see the men’s and women’s races cross Kingston Bridge on their way back into London. You can also hang around for a few days and catch the time trials on August 1.

Elsewhere on the Box Hill loop

The men will complete nine loops and the women two, so there are plenty of chances to watch the race unfold. Finding a spot where the road tilts uphill should ensure the riders won’t just be zooming past.

Staple Lane, East Clandon

More of a drag than a proper hill, the race heads over here just before the approach to Box Hill. Catch the peloton in full technicolour with the perfect backdrop of the expansive views of the capital.

This article originally appeared in the May 17 issue of Cycling Weekly

Related links



Confusion surrounds Box Hill ticket sales



‘Extra’ charges for London 2012 road races and time trials



LOCOG raise Box Hill Olympic capacity to 15,000 fans

  • Carl

    This was such a good / helpful article. And we had an awesome weekend on Box Hill. Now I have the day off for the time trial. But where to watch? Any thoughts?

  • Pat

    Gemma. Aprox race times can be found here – http://www.gosurrey.info/olympic-road-cycling/race-times/

  • Kate

    My daughter lives in Richmond and the race is going right by her door YAY!! Have had lots of info from Richmond Council, barriers go up at 4am throughout the route. Crossing points will be limited, as with the London marathon. Richmond will be rammed as its at the end of the district line. However have heard nothing re a big screen. I think quite a lot of the pubs will have big tellys tho.

  • Pat

    I don’t know which sections will have barriers. From watching other bike races I know it’s not possible to barrier the whole route. Usually police and stewards are around to coax the crowd back out of the way while the race caravan is passing. There might be barriers through Dorking town. There will be a big screen in Meadowbank Recreation ground, which is very close to where the route comes through Dorking. From Dorking to Box Hill the route goes along the A24 which is a dual carriageway and very unlikely to have barriers. There will be a big screen at Denbies vineyard. From Dorking station to Denbies is about 0.8 mile to walk. From Denbies to the foot of Box Hill is just under a mile to walk. It could well be busy on trains back to London, but if Cav wins we won’t care about that! There’s loads of information on the gosurrey website – http://www.gosurrey.info/olympic-road-cycling/olympic-cycling-road-race/

  • Gemma

    Anyone know of or know where to find out the approximate times the race will be passing through Richmond Park etc? Going to try and battle our way down there through the crowds with a 4 month old baby – would be gutted to get there and miss it!

  • NMS

    @Pat re: Dorking That is what I was thinking too but I am not at all familiar with the area of the course. How easy will it be to walk on the course streets/roads (which I assume will be barriered off) with all the multitude of brand new Wiggens/Cav fans doing the same. Long queing for trains back with the throngs is also a bit worrying ( I would take my 10 year old with me).. Perhaps someone who saw last year’s rehearsal race there may have an opinion?

  • Pat

    It’s train down to Dorking for me. Get there for about 10. Watch race on big screen and see them come pass. Walk down to the foot of Box Hill and watch again. Then walk back to Denbies to see the finish on the screen.

  • Grelag

    Great article – nice overview. Did anyone find out if there will be a big screen in Richmond Park? With thousands of cycling enthusiasts flocking together there, I would imagine a large proportion of these actually want to see the race unfold during the afternoon!

  • Rebecca Nicholl

    There’s a big screen at Victoria Park too…

  • Andy
  • dave piurnell

    route and large screen

  • sallyhowdle

    I just want to email my Dad this page so we can sort out going to watch some cycling.

  • Pat

    I know there will be a big screen in Hyde Park and I’ve found another one at Denbies vinyard outside Dorking http://surreyhillsroadracefestival.com/. I’m struggling to find out if there are others. Richmond Park would be ideal. Help!!!

  • laura

    Buy your Olympics Tickets and have the option to pay in installment. Book now and avoid Rush-Hour Booking. Visit us at: http://www.sportingroot.com. We are an Authorized Olympic Ticket Resellers.

  • DJG

    Are there going to be large screens anywhere? Although it looks as if Box Hill would have been the only good spot on a flat circuit.

  • Daniel Morgan

    Do you have alternatives for the TT?