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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Are you a parklands lover? Enjoy a little bit of adrenaline rush? Or simply want to have an active outdoor adventure? Then you should visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. It is an inspiring place with lots to see and do and both adults and kids can expect to have a great time.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London
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Post the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games which saw over 6 million people come to London to cheer on the athletes and enjoy the games; the Olympic Park underwent an 18-month transformation project. The 560-acre space was reinvented for a long-term future and was re-opened to the public in 2014. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is free to visit and since its re-opening, it has welcomed millions of visitors from all over the world.

A day out at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park


Because the park is spread over such a vast area (it is about the same size as Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens put together) and because there is so much to see and do, it can be difficult to fit everything into a day out. And so, I have listed down the top four things you could do at the park on a day out.

The London Stadium (The Olympic Stadium)


For most visitors to the park, the main attractions are the sporting venues - the London Aquatics Centre, the Lee Valley Velopark (where you can hire bikes & helmets and try out new styles of riding), the Copper Box Arena (which is a multi-use sports facility for fitness lovers) and the London Stadium (the main stadium which is now home to West Ham United in the Premier League).

The London Stadium offers a part guided part multimedia tour that is an excellent way to go behind the scenes and learn more about the former Olympic Stadium. We went on this tour during our visit to the park and loved it. Highlights of the tour included walking down the players' tunnel, exploring the players' changing room, visiting the hospitality restaurant and not to forget the fabulous panoramic views into the stadium. There are a number of unique photo opportunities along the route too!

The London Stadium - West Ham United

West Ham United Guided Tour

West Ham United Guided Tour

West Ham United Guided Tour

The tour is highly recommended for those who are fascinated by the 2012 Olympics or those who are West Ham United fans. To check out the prices and book your tour, visit www.london-stadium.com


ArcelorMittal Orbit


Want to enjoy enthralling views of the London skyline? Then the ArcelorMittal Orbit is where you should be heading to. Designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond for the London 2012 Olympics, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is the UK’s tallest piece of public art at 114.5m height. It is 22m taller than the Statue of Liberty and offers an excellent view of the various sporting venues of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

ArcelorMittal Orbit

We entered the Orbit through the visitor centre at the base of the sculpture and made our way up via the lifts. The ride up (80m) was over in just 34 seconds and we headed to the viewing platforms to enjoy the panoramic views of London. We spotted many of London's popular buildings - the Shard, the Gherkin, and the O2 Arena, the BT Tower, Canary Wharf and even parts of Epping Forest!

And then it was time for some thrill - the Slide! The Slide is the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide, weaving its way through the red steel frame of the ArcelorMittal Orbit. After having been kitted out in the safety gear (a soft helmet and protective elbow pads), we were ready to slide down. A quick briefing by a member of staff and we were on our way down. The ride, with its twists and turns, takes around a minute but felt longer than that. As you zip down the slide, you will catch glimpses of the Olympic Park and the London skyline and there are some sections where you will be plunged into darkness guessing which way you are gonna drop next! It is a fun and exhilarating experience and if you love thrill, this is definitely not to be missed.

ArcelorMittal Orbit

ArcelorMittal Orbit

The Slide is very popular with visitors and tickets sell out several weeks in advance. So, if you plan to visit the Olympic Park and experience the Slide, it is recommended that you book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

You can check the ticket prices and book your tickets at www.arcelormittalorbit.com

There is also the opportunity to abseil from the ArcelorMittal Orbit - it is the UK’s highest freefall abseil from the UK’s tallest sculpture! We plan to try this out on our next visit.

Park trails and tours


You can explore the park's gardens and playgrounds either on a guided walking tour or on a self-guided tour with the help of the free 'Parkland and Wildlife' and 'London 2012' trail leaflets available at the Information Point located at the entrance to the Park. The London 2012 trail includes photo opportunities and sound & active experiences allowing you to relive the London 2012 adventure.

The Parkland and Wildlife trail is perfect for nature lovers. On this trail, you can discover animal habitats, and see colourful flowers and plants as well as a variety of birds and waterfowl.

There are a couple of other trails as well - Children's Adventures in the Park trail and the Art Trail.

If you do not feel like following a set trail, you can simply stroll around the beautiful parklands and enjoy the fountains, gardens and waterways. The fountains outside the Stadium especially seem to be very popular with visitors of all ages.

Fountains at West Ham United

Olympic Stadium Walking Trails

Carpenters Road Lock

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

You can even bring our own picnic and enjoy it on the banks of the River Lea!

Park Boat Tours


And finally, sit back and enjoy a boat ride along the river that runs through the Olympic Park.

Following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the neglected waterways around the venue were given a new lease of life - they were cleaned and restored and today, boat tours run on parts of the route offering visitors a new perspective of the Olympic Park.

Lee & Stort Boat Co Ltd. are the boat tour operators and currently, they offer:

- Regular boat tours which are of 45 minutes duration and are available daily with no booking required.
This tour will take you past landscaped parklands and some of the main sporting venues like the London Stadium, the Aquatics Centre and the Lee Valley VeloPark. You will also pass by the ArcelorMittal Orbit. The tour is a fun way to experience the Olympic Park while learning fascinating facts about the Olympic Park and the 2012 games from an expert tour guide on board.

Boat tours at London Olympic Stadium

Boat tours at London Olympic Stadium

Boat tours at London Olympic Stadium

- Extended 'Stadium Island' East London Waterways tours: This two and a half hour guided river tour takes you past all the sporting venues mentioned in the regular tours before entering the Lee Navigation and St Thomas Creek. These tours are currently only available on selected dates for organised groups of 30 or more.

You can even rent a pedalo and explore the waterways on your own!

Pedal boats at London Olympic Stadium


Plan your visit to the Olympic Park


Located in Stratford, around 10 minutes from Central London, the Olympic Park is easily accessible by public transport. The nearest train, underground and bus stops are at Stratford, Stratford International, Hackney Wick, Pudding Mill and Leyton stations. If you are arriving by car, do note that there is no general parking facility at the London Stadium. There are car parks near the London Aquatics Centre and the VeloPark.

The Park is open every day of the week and is free to visit.

For more information on the Park, the attractions, things to do and to plan your visit, check out
www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park | Stratford, London E20 2ST
Telephone | London Stadium 020 8522 6001
Telephone | ArcelorMittal Orbit 0333 8008 099

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Thank you to London Legacy Development Corporation for organising our visit.

2 comments:

  1. Not a mad fan of football so the stadium is not a big attraction, but That Slide . . . that's definitely on my "must do" list next time I'm in London.

    ReplyDelete
  2. what a lovely park,ive never been but after reading this id love to

    ReplyDelete

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