The whole of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park open to the public
24 hours a day, seven days a week, the park is free for all to use
THE whole of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opened to the public on 5 April for the first time since London 2012.
The opening is the culmination of 18 months of work by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) to transform the site of the Olympic and Paralympic Games into London’s newest park, the north west of which is in Hackney.
It will be free – open 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and features waterways, parklands, picnic areas, cafes, children’s playgrounds, sporting venues, and events space.
The final phase of work saw architect James Corner, who created the High Line in New York, redevelop the southern end of the park into a cultural quarter designed to be the East End’s equivalent to the South Bank.
The park’s five sporting venues are the London Aquatics Centre, Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley VeloPark, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, and Olympic Stadium, which from 2016 will be the permanent home of West Ham United Football Club.
Other attractions include the ArcelorMittal Orbit, which was designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond. The 114.5 metre-high structure boasts two viewing platforms, where visitors can see 20 miles across London on a clear day. Tickets cost £7 for children, £15 for adults and £40 for a family of four.
At the bottom of the Orbit there is The Podium, which features an events space, the EastTwenty Bar and Kitchen and a gift shop.
Visitors can also explore four new activity trails, on the London 2012 themes of: biodiversity, family fun, and arts and culture. They can also experience mini gardens that represent different climatic regions including South Africa, the Americas and the Mediterranean.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park measures 560 acres, the same size as Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined, and is planted with 4,300 trees.