Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
- Get down to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London for a fun and active family day out.
- Relive fond memories of the London 2012 Olympic Games by taking part in sports activities in the venues around the park.
- Explore the biodiversity of the park’s gardens and waterways on one of the nature trails.
- Take part in the unique experiences on offer at the park, including the world’s longest tunnel slide.
While many of us will remember the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as the site of the incredible London 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, there’s, even more, to do at this brilliant park, which is said to be one of the most interesting parks in London.
There are so many unique and interesting activities for families to do at the park. There are four different wildlife trails that you can explore, each with a different theme. The park is spread out over 560 acres, with plant life from all across the globe in celebration of the international community that attended the 2012 Games. There are several different gardens in the park, which are beautifully kept and have a wide range of wildlife to see.
There are also state-of-the-art playgrounds for kids at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. The kids’ park includes the Tumbling Bay playground features rock pools, sandpits, tree-houses, and wobbly bridges, letting kids experiment and play safely. There’s also the Pleasure Gardens Play Areas, which feature rock climbing and huge slides. The incredible Waterworks Fountains feature 195 jets of computer-controlled water, which kids and adults alike can run between and jump across on warm summer’s days.
The river that snakes through the park can give you a fantastic view of the sites of some of British sport’s most iconic events. The Park Boat Tour runs three times a day and teaches you all about the fascinating history of the park. Or, if you prefer to be your own guide, you can rent one of the park’s swan pedalos for a chance to take your own trip around this London waterway.
One of the most exciting things on offer is the opportunity to take part in sports in the very same venues that hosted the 2012 Olympics. Whilst the iconic Olympic Stadium is now the home of football team West Ham United, many of the other venues are now open to the public to get active and have fun.
Take a dip in the pool at the London Aquatics Centre, where Ellie Simmonds won gold for Team GB at the 2012 Paralympics. You could also try out a new sport at the Copper Box Arena, which hosts lots of different sports including handball, netball, badminton, and fencing. There’s also the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, which hosted both those sports at the 2012 Games and is now open to the public to come and play.
See the world from above with a trip to the top of the Orbit Tower, the tallest sculpture in the UK. Designed for the Olympics by British artist Sir Anish Kapoor, this unique structure stands 115 m in the air and gives brilliant views of the Olympic Park, Stratford, and the rest of East London.
While there’s only one way to get to the top of the Orbit, there are actually two ways to go down! Take a trip on the world’s longest tunnel slide at the Orbit. Stretching for an impressive 178 m, the slide twists around the tower, offering great (and fast!) views of London. It’s a must for any daredevils or thrill-seekers. Children aged eight and above can go down the slide.
What to know before you go
- The park is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. However, some of the venues inside the park have differing opening times.
- There’s plenty of food and drink options at the park, whatever you fancy. The two main cafes at the park are the Timber Lodge Café, which is located near the Tumbling Bay playground and serves drinks, breakfast, and lunch. The other main café is The Last Drop, which is just outside the orbital and sells snacks, drinks, pastries and cakes.
- Newly-built in 2008, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has done lots to be as accessible as possible. The park is step-free, with wide paths accessible for wheelchair users and buggies.
- The park has plenty of toilet facilities. The baby-changing facilities can be found in the toilets near the Orbit Tower. There are also toilet facilities in each of the main venues.
- Queen Elizabeth Park is a 30-minute train ride from Central London.
- Parking is only available if you are attending one of the park’s venues, such as the London Aquatics Centre or the Copper Box Arena. If you’re visiting the park itself, the staff recommend that you take public transport instead.
- Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was built to be very accessible from public transport. Nearby Stratford Station is a 5-minute walk away from the park and has Jubilee and Central Underground lines, DLR service, London Overground, and National Rail services. The other Station, Stratford International, has DLR and Southeastern service and is also a 5-minute walk away from the park’s entrance.
- There are also plenty of bus routes running near or inside the park. The 308, 388, 339, and 108 all service routes within a few minutes walk of the park.