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Opening the Park - Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Home > London > Parks | Fun Things To Do | Fun for Children | Family
by Anita K (subscribe)
Published April 2nd 2014
Stratford just got green
You might have already ventured to the north of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which has been open to the public since July 2013 ... but now, as of Saturday 5th April, the south of the park will debut and trust me, it's worth a visit!

The south of the park was designed by James Corner Field Operations. New York City fans may already recognise the name as the guys who created NYC's High Line; transforming a disused railway line into a long expanse of ever changing greenery. That's no easy feat!

With a promenade made up of 100 trees and globe lighting, a computer controlled fountain consisting of 195 jets of water and open spaces split into well-blended zones (play area, structures, music etc) they have certainly succeeded in bringing charm and flair to Stratford.

Promenade, 100 trees, globe lighting
Tree lined promenade with globe lighting for evening strolls

Play area, zones
Play area for kids...and big kids...and bigger kids...ok, adults as well.

Play area, zones, climbing wall
Climbing wall

The main route into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park south is over the F10 bridge (I don't know what F10 stands for, other than being one of the keys on this keyboard), which is next to the aquatic centre and directly across the road from Westfield Stratford City (

Speaking of the aquatic centre, did you know that prices start at 3.50 for an hour?! That's cheaper than my local council gym! That includes use of the 100m pool (if you can handle that) or the 50m training pool.

But wait, there's even more, Tom Daley (go Team GB) trains there regularly. See if you can spot him in the picture below:

Aquatics Centre, Swimming, Tom Daley, Olmpyics, London 2012, Paralympics
Can you spot Tom Daley practising?

Moving away from thoughts of Rio 2016, let's return to talk of the park.

As you enter over the F10 bridge you'll notice that the south side of the park has no gates, which's free to enter the park, and open 24 hours due to some excellent lighting. Safety first after all!

With the whole park spanning 560 acres (that's the same size as Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined) there are plenty of places for exercise, relaxation and last but not least, refreshment. There are mini refreshment stands dotted along the promenade as well as The Podium Cafe, complete with terrace and funky moveable art work outside. Although, the potential for misbehaviour with pictures and words is immense...immensely fun in my opinion.

Olympic Park, Pixel Wall, Terrace, Cafe, Refreshments
Pixel wall outside the Podium Cafe

Before I gush to the point of losing your interest I'll move on to the ArcelorMittal Orbit (what a mouthful).

Standing at 114.5m high, it is the tallest sculpture in the UK. The lift takes 34s from bottom to top with the idea being that everyone takes the lift up, but you can choose whether you decide to walk down or not.

The highest viewing platform is 80m high with excellent panoramic views that stretch to a 20 mile view over London on a good day. Today, with all that Saharan smog/sand/dust/whatever over the city, was not a good day. Despite that, the views were still impressive.

AcelorMittal Orbit, 114.5m, 80m, 76m, viewing platform, sculpture, Anish Kapoor, Cecil Balmond
Views from 80m, Saharan smog and all

The second viewing platform stands at 76m; the only main difference being that the highest platform has an outside viewing area...and, well, it's higher and that's cool.

As the ArcelorMittal Orbit also opens on the 5th April, buying tickets in advance is recommended.

To celebrate the grand opening, there will be activities running throughout the park from 10am - 5pm over the weekend, including music, sports and arts.

See you there!
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*Anita K was invited as a guest
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Why? Outdoor, indoor, family, couples, singles, everyone
When: All year round
Where: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park South and ArcelorMittal Orbit
Cost: Park - free. ArcelorMittal Orbit: 7.00 for kids, 15.00 for adults, 40.00 for a family of four
Your Comment
The prices at the swimming pool really are good.
by Bastion Harrison (score: 4|12626) 2846 days ago
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