Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opens

By | Category: Travel news
ArcelorMittal Orbit

ArcelorMittal Orbit

In what was once industrial wasteland a whole new exciting area has been created. London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opens to the general public this Saturday, April 5.

The park, which will be free to wander around and enjoy,is dotted with high-tech architecture built for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The landscaped open spaces with trees and children’s play areas, has it’s own iconic sculpture – the 114.5m tall Arcelor Mittal Orbit.

Commissioned by London’s mayor, Boris Johnson,and designed by Sir Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, it has two viewing platforms from which visitors, on a clear day, will be able to enjoy a 350˚ vista as far as Epping Forest, the Shard and Alexandra Palace. Open from 10 – 6pm with entry £15.00; children £7; and £12 concessions.

Since the Games, several of the buildings have been reconstructed to make them more user friendly for smaller numbers. The gigantic aquatic centre has had its side wings chopped off. Open to whoever fancies a swim, entry is kept at a level where everyone can enjoy the facilities – £3.50. Inside are word-class facilities including several different pools, a state-of-the art gym, and a crèche. Tours of the building are available.

Inside the aquatic centre

Inside the aquatic centre: now everyone can use it.

The main stadium used for the Olympics is still having work done to it but will open for the Rugby World Cup in 2015. It will then close until the 2016/17 Season when it will become a multi-purpose venue, and home to West Ham Football Club. Also still being developed is an international business quarter, new housing, and the restoration of the canal waterways.

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has been created not just as a recreational place, but also as a cultural and artistic hub. Guided tours by volunteers will be available. Access to the park has been made very easy as you leave Stratford station (both mainline and London underground) directly into the Westfield shopping centre.

The park may be out of the main stream as a location but there is certainly enough to keep visitors entertained for a whole day if not more.

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