While most 2012 Summer Olympics venues are located in London, a few of the events will be held at facilities outside the city. There will be a total of seven venues outside the city, and of these, four will host soccer matches and three will host canoe slalom, rowing, and sailing events. The 2012 Olympic soccer stadiums include venues in England, Scotland, and Wales, though the finals will be held at Wembley Stadium in London. The venues around the UK that will host water events at the Olympics, as well as the Paralympic sailing events, will be easily accessible from the city and provide beautiful views of the English countryside.
Broxbourne White Water Canoe Centre
Boasting a capacity of 12,000 seats, the Broxbourne White Water Canoe Centre will host the canoe slalom event during the 2012 London Olympics. The venue for this sport is near the town of Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, England, in the River Lea valley outside Greater London. The venue will have two slalom courses for the canoe events, and frequent rail service from Olympic Park in London will help spectators reach the area. After the Olympics, the venue will be a hub for travelers to go canoeing and kayaking.
One of the key world-class Olympic venues in England, the Eton Dorney Rowing Centre at the Dorney Lake will host three major Olympic flat-water events: canoe sprint, rowing, and Paralympic rowing. Dorney Lake is an artificial rowing lake developed by Eton College and primarily used for school events, though it also hosted the Rowing World Championships in 2006 with great success. For the 2012 Olympic rowing events, the venue will have a seating capacity of 30,000, and after the games are over, the rowing center will continue hosting local and international competitions. Eton College is located near Windsor, north of Windsor Castle.
Weymouth and Portland
The Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbor combination promises to be one of the most scenic 2012 Summer Olympic venues outside London. With sophisticated facilities, this venue has some of the best sailing conditions in the UK, and Olympic sailing events will be held here. Generally, sailing has been a nonticketed event at the games, so there is not any specific seating arrangement. However, the authorities are providing several Live Sites, including observation points and special ticketed spectator boats, creating an unusual and exciting experience watching the Olympic and Paralympic sailing competitions. This one of the Olympic venues in England, located on the south coast, will be one of the most memorable.
One of the 2012 Olympic soccer stadiums, Hampden Park is located in Glasgow, Scotland. Home to the Scottish national football team and the Queen's Park Football Club, the venue is also used for musical performances and other sporting events, such as track and field. For the 2012 Games, it will have a seating capacity of around 52,000, making it one of the largest 2012 summer Olympics venues hosting soccer.
Also known as the "theatre of dreams," the Old Trafford soccer stadium is one of the most famous in the world. Home to the Manchester United Football Club, it first opened in 1910 and currently it is the second-largest soccer facility in the UK. It will be one of the main Olympic venues in England to host the early rounds of the soccer competitions. Located in northwest England, within a few miles of Manchester’s city center, the stadium also has a café, merchandise megastores, and a museum that highlights the history of Manchester United, one of the most successful clubs in history.
Millennium Stadium, which is one of the 2012 Olympic soccer stadiums, is the United Kingdom's first soccer venue to sport a retractable roof. It has hosted several important sporting events, including the Rugby World Cup finals and the FA Cup finals. Visitors will find excellent facilities during the 2012 Olympics, as well as opportunities for sightseeing in the area and touring the historic venue. Located a short walk from the main railway station in Cardiff, Wales, Millennium Stadium is one of the existing permanent 2012 summer Olympics venues.
Image: London 2012