Beautiful England - photos of England and the UK

London – Surrey Cycle Classic Race, 14th August 2011

London will host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, which are officially known as the "Games of the XXX Olympiad". They will take place from 27th July to 12th August 2012.

The London organisers have been eager to keep within budgetary restraints and whilst there has been much redevelopment in East London, the Olympic Games will make use of many famous existing venues. Wembley Stadium and Arena, Wimbledon All England Tennis Club, Lords Cricket Ground, the O2 Arena, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, the Excel Centre and Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in Dorset, will all be used.

The Olympic Stadium in the 500 acre Olympic Park, has been built at Stratford, East London, together with 4,500 new homes, offices, hotels and shops. Westfield Shopping Centre at Stratford, which is now open, is the largest urban shopping centre in Europe.

The Olympic Cycling Road Race will start and finish in the Mall and stretch out into Surrey, as far as Box Hill, Dorking. A trial event took place on 14th August, 2011, which was won by Mark Cavendish, MBE, aged 26. He is the top sprinter in the Tour de France, having won twenty stages and in September 2011, went on to win the Road World Championship in Denmark. On 22nd December 2011, Mark was voted the 2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year. He is probably Great Britain's best prospect for a gold medal in 2012. It is hoped that he can repeat his success next year.

Next year, over 200 countries are expected to participate in 26 sports and 38 disciplines, together with 20 sports and 21 disciplines for the Paralympic Games.