26 July 2012
Last updated at 13:10
The Olympic Park is the heart of the Games and contains eight separate sporting venues. It's also the site of the Athletes' Village, which for the next few weeks is home to 17,000 athletes and officials from 200 countries. Once the Games are over it will be turned into 2,818 homes, almost half of which will consist of affordable housing, and be known as East Village.
The distinctive Olympic Stadium greets visitors who pass through the southern entrance of the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London. The stadium has a temporary layer of seating which will be removed after the Games. Photo: Jason Hawkes
Designed by Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, the Aquatics Centre is another permanent stadium with temporary seating in "wings" which will be removed after the games. This is the venue for diving and swimming, with water polo in a separate arena. All images London 2012/Getty unless otherwise stated
The mattress-like Basketball Arena is one of the largest temporary venues used for an Olympic Games. A crowd of 12,000 can gather under the 20,000 square metres of white pvc fabric, stretched over an arching steel frame. As well as Olympic and Paralympic basketball, the stadium will host the handball finals.
The Velodrome was the first Olympic Park venue to be finished, in February 2011. The track is made of Siberian pine while the exterior is clad in red cedar. Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy was consulted in the design of the venue and has praised the cauldron-like atmosphere. The BMX circuit is next door.
The Hockey Centre is a temporary arena in the north-west corner of the Olympic Park. It is designed as a low elevation venue, allowing views across the Park and into London beyond. The arena will also host five and seven-a-side football during the Paralympics.
The Handball Arena hosted the Olympic test event in 2011. Inside, the seats are finished in bright colours while the building's exterior is clad in copper, much of it recycled. The arena will also host the fencing element of the modern pentathlon in the Olympics and goalball during the Paralympics.
Many events are being held outside the Olympic Park in venues across London and beyond. Hyde Park in the city centre is hosting the triathlon with the swimming element taking place in the Serpentine. The open water swimming marathon will also be held here.
Horse Guards Parade in the heart of Whitehall is staging the beach volleyball events. The creation of temporary venues around the city is intended to showcase London as a backdrop to the Games.
Archery events are being held at Lord's Cricket Ground, with the field of play running between the pavilion and the media centre. Organisers have taken care to protect the cricket square but new turf is being grown in case patching is required at the end of the Games.
The World Heritage Site of Greenwich Park in south-east London is home to the equestrian events and elements of the modern pentathlon. Competitors will take part in equestrian cross-country through the park followed by dressage and jumping in an arena in front of the 17th Century Queen's House.
The London port of Woolwich has a long military history and the construction of the current Royal Artillery Barracks buildings began in 1776. Olympic and Paralympic shooting and Paralympic archery will be held here.
On the other side of the city, Henry VIII's palace at Hampton Court is the site for the start and finish of the Olympic cycling time trials, with the rest of the course winding around Esher in Surrey to the south west of London.
The world-famous All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon, also in south-west London, is hosting the Olympic tennis only a few weeks after the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament.
Clockwise from top left - Wembley Stadium will host football while Wembley Arena will stage badminton and rhythmic gymnastics; Excel - boxing, fencing, judo, table tennis, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling; North Greenwich Arena - artistic gymnastics, trampoline and basketball; Earls Court - volleyball.
Locations outside London will also form part of the Olympic venues family. Dorney Lake at Eton Dorney near Windsor, already a world-class rowing venue, will be used for the rowing events. Existing facilities have been enhanced for warm-up and canoe sprint events.
The world's best mountain bike riders will compete on the Olympic course at Hadleigh Farm in Essex. The course runs around Hadleigh Downs and 500 tonnes of rock and 3,500 tonnes of crushed stone have been used to constructed its tunnels and bumps.
Lee Valley White Water Centre in Hertfordshire was the first new venue to be completed for the Games. The man-made course is fed by a 10,000 square metre lake, from which 15 cubic metres of water is pumped per second to create white water for the canoe slalom events.
Further afield, Olympic sailing are being held off Weymouth and Portland in Dorset, a location which provides some of the best natural sailing waters in the UK. Improvements that have been made to the facilities at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy include a new permanent 250 metre slipway for launching and landing competing boats.
Kicking off before the opening ceremony the women's football began in Cardiff on 25 July. Football stadiums across the UK will be used during the Games; clockwise from top left: Hampden Park, Glasgow; St James' Park, Newcastle; City of Coventry Stadium; Wembley Stadium, London; Millennium Stadium, Cardiff and Old Trafford, Manchester.