Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

 

View of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

After the very successful Olympic Games in London in 2012, the area where many of the events took place was closed to the public and gradually reopened in 2014 as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Picture from London 2012 Olympic Games

Olympic Park sign, London

Some of the temporary structures used during the Games were dismantled and the remaining buildings have been made accessible to the general public. The Aquatics Centre, designed by Zaha Hadid has lost its “wings” built to accommodate the spectators; the wave-shaped building is the first of the iconic Olympic venues that visitors to the Park will see when accessing the area from Westfield Shopping Center.

View of the Aquatics Center in London

View of the Aquatics Center in London

Inside there are two Olympic pools, a diving pool and boards, a gym and a crèche. They can be accessed daily either by joining a membership scheme or on a “pay-as-you-go” basis.

View of one of the pools of the Aquatics Center

View of a lifeguard in the Aquatics Center in London

The diving pool at London's Aquatics Center

Leaving the Aquatics Centre, walking over a bridge crossing the canal, a nice tree-lined promenade leads to the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

Tree-lined promenade in the Olympic Park

Created to celebrate the London Games, it is the tallest sculpture in the UK (114.5 meters); a lift takes visitors to its viewing platform from where there are good views of the Olympic Park and the London skyline in the distance.

View of the ArcelorMittal Orbit in London

The viewing platform on the Orbit in London

455 steps later, back on the ground, the visit to the Park can continue; the Olympic Stadium where many of the events of the London Olympics took place, including the spectacular Opening and Closing ceremonies, is currently closed for refurbishment and it will reopen in 2016 as the new home of West Ham United FC.

Olympic stadium in London

On the North side of the Park, past the Copper Box Arena, a sports and entertainment complex with a 7500 capacity, the velodrome comes into view.

View of the Copper Box Arena

View of the canal and Velodrome

View of the Velodrome in London

It is part of the Lee Valley VeloPark which includes a BMX track, mountain bike trails and the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. Like in the Aquatics Centre, all the facilities here are accessible to the public with the chance to cycle in the steps of Sir Chris Hoy on the velodrome track.

View of the track inside the Velodrome

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has many facilities to keep everyone entertained including playgrounds for the little ones, a number of kiosks selling food and drinks, cafes and restaurants and plenty of spaces to enjoy a picnic (weather permitting!).

Olympic Park Avenue street sign

The area all around the Park is been redeveloped with new buildings being constructed to create a new neighbourhood and the former Olympic Village transformed to provide accommodation in a highly sought after location next to Westfield Stratford, one of the biggest shopping centers in Europe.

Accommodation near the Olympic Park

View of the Olympic Village

Further redevelopment will see the creation of the Canal Park: set around the Lee Navigation canal, it will make this part of East London a focal point for residents and visitors alike.

Buildings by the canal in London

21 thoughts on “Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

  1. I was sceptical about what the promised regeneration of this part of London would be like in reality post Olympics. But I’m glad to say I’ve been proved wrong.

    I was in the park for a concert and the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games last summer and the facilities are fantastic. The park is also very beautiful with lots of water and green space. I will definitely visit again.

    • Thanks for your comment Nikki! I couldn’t get tickets for the Olympics so I was looking forward to visit the park and have a look around of some of the Olympics venues. I really enjoyed my time at the park and all the photo opportunities that it offers.

    • True, I did have the chance to visit other “Olympic cities” and see how the spaces were developed (or in some cases were not!) after the Games and I think in London they have done a very good job.

  2. The 2012 Olympics was the first Olympics that I really paid attention to, and I became quite obsessed with watching it. Haha! Being where the games took place would be awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Thanks for your comment, I also became quite obsessed with the 2012 Olympics; normally I wouldn’t bother but as it was just down the road I got really into it!

  3. Thanks so much for linking up with us in #WeekendWanderlust – this is a really great article showcasing a spot that would be great to explore on a weekend trip!

    One of my regrets in recent years of traveling is not returning home in 2012 to experience the London Olympics. I can imagine it was a really great experience to be there whenever the Games were taking place but it is also cool to revisit these locations after to see how the regeneration has taken place. We recently took a trip to Canada and visited Montreal and the Olympic Stadium there which hosted the 1976 Olympics.

    A great collection of photos that you have included and definitely appreciate the glimpse of London here though it does make me miss England even more!

    • Thank you Chris for giving me the opportunity to link up with you in #WeekendWanderlust, I have seen some previous host cities of the Olympics and so far my favourite is Atlanta.

  4. How cool that your local swimming pool could be an Olympic one! I think you can do the same thing at the pool in Barcelona too. I’m going to have to go one day just to have swum in a real Olympic pool.
    It’s nice that the Olympic park has sparked redevelopment around the area.

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