Virtual Tour

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, located in the East London neighborhood of Stratford, is the 490 hectare site of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Click through for an interactive map of key locations in and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Click through for an interactive map of key locations in and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Transport for London has added transportation links that give visitors easy access to the park.

We take the Central Line on the Underground to Stratford Underground station. [Source: Patty Matos]

“Our simple vision to use the Games as a catalyst for change has touched and transformed the lives and communities of millions of people across the U.K. and around the world.”
— Lord Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organizing Committee

A starting line is painted on the ground on Stratford Walk, a pedestrian walkway connecting Westfield Stratford City shopping centre and the park grounds. [Source: Katy Dettmer]
The walkways are lined with flags encouraging visitors to engage with and enjoy the park. [Source: Katy Dettmer]

The park is free to the public and open every day of the week, 24 hours a day.

An information center, across the aquatics centre, has limited hours of operation. [Source: Katy Dettmer]

The information center offers pamphlets with information about the park and upcoming events in the area.

Click through to see Issue 12 of The Park, a seasonal periodical published by the park authority, as well as other pamphlets from the information center.

A temporary wall touting “an Olympic legacy” separates Stratford Walk from a construction site for luxury high-rise apartment buildings. [Source: Patty Matos]
London Stadium, formerly the Olympic Stadium, is now home to West Ham United Football Club. [Source: Katy Dettmer]
The stadium seats 57,000 spectators for football matches and has the capacity to seat 80,000 in its entertainment configuration. [Source: Patty Matos]
A man rides a bicycle on the walkway in front of the London Aquatics Centre. [Source: Katy Dettmer]

We meet Gamon McLellan from Brighton, England. He shares his thoughts with us. 

[Source: Katy Dettmer]
What do you think the Olympics represent as a whole?
I guess as a whole it has become a competition of national pride, which I don’t think the Olympics in Ancient Greece were set up to do.

What did it mean for London to host the 2012 Games?
Oh, it was great for London. It was great in terms of national morale. I think it was good for the regeneration of this area of London. It was a great festival and brought out a great reaction from the locals and the workers. The opening and closing ceremony were terrific. I think there have been a lot of reservations over the Olympic Games, but I think this one went really well.

I don’t think the stadium was well-built, because it wasn’t easily able to be transformed into a football field. I think the aquatics center was amazing. It has been used a lot by the local community.

The Olympics and Paralympics were seen as successes, and I think that has reflected on the country in a positive manner.

Next, we venture into the London Aquatics Centre.

The London Aquatics Centre was used for swimming and diving events during the 2012 Games. After the Games, it underwent minor modifications before becoming open to the public in 2014. [Source: Katy Dettmer]
Today, the London Aquatics Centre functions as a community hub for swimming lessons and clubs. [Source: Katy Dettmer]

In the aquatics centre, we meet Michelle from Northern Ireland.

Michelle, right, is an employee at the swim supply shop in the lobby of the London Aquatics Centre. [Source: Katy Dettmer]
What did it mean for London to host the 2012 Games?
We had it to inspire the youth. It was very well done and organized. A lot of money was put into the projects and Stratford. Stratford was a run-down area with a lot of uninspired youth.

What do you think the British government wanted to communicate through the Games?
Health, fitness, and that you can achieve anything if you put in the hard work.

Chobham Life, the monthly newsletter for the Chobham Manor neighborhood in the park, advertises events and lessons in the aquatics centre.

In the aquatics center we also meet Jeff, from Northern England, and his son Andrew. Andrew has just had a swimming lesson.

What did it mean for London to host the 2012 Games?
I think people feel more self-confident, and everything wasn’t all that bad.

What do you think about the transformation of this area?
It’s unbelievable. I was here before they started anything; [the place had] big piles of tires and [was] chemically contaminated. There wasn’t anyone living here. The area was so run down, and everything was really cheap. The transformation of the area is amazing.

After, we head back outside and walk along the paths.

A map outside the aquatics centre, left, orients visitors. [Source: Katy Dettmer]
Across the water, sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor and engineer Cecil Balmond’s ArcelorMittal Orbit catches the light. [Source: Katy Dettmer]
Painted markers on the park’s walkways commemorate notable records and achievements of the 2012 Games. [Source: Katy Dettmer]

We meet three security guards who protect the area.

We have withheld the names of the three security guards as they wished to remain anonymous. [Source: Patty Matos]

At first, they are reluctant to speak to us, but eventually they open up and reveal key insights.

What do you think about the transformation of this area?
Guard one: Brilliant. If you saw the area before, it was like a junkyard.
Guard two: Stratford used to be really cheap, but now the prices are a lot higher due to the developments.
Guard three: We work to make this place safer so more rich people can move in.

We also meet Mathusa and Ema.

Mathusa (left) and Ema were secondary school students in Stratford when the 2012 Games took place. [Source: Katy Dettmer]
What did it mean for London to host the 2012 Games?
Mathusa: The experience. Different communities coming together. Everyone came together to see the stadiums built and the different competitions.
Ema
There were a lot of different cultures we got to experience and many people coming into town. I think we were in secondary, and we got to see the Paralympics. We went with the school; because we live in the East London borough we got free tickets. Each school got free tickets, and we all went together wearing our school shirts.

What do you think about the transformation of this area?
MathusaIt has done so much. Buildings have gone up and it has become more industrialized.

What do you think the British government wanted to communicate through the Games?
Mathusa: [They wanted to] show other countries we can host Olympics; we can do it too. Encourage tourists to come.
Ema
Also it shows we have different cultures, and we can live in harmony.

As it gets dark outside, we decide to head home. Luckily the area is safely lit and the tube station isn’t far.

The sun sets over construction cranes in the horizon. [Source: Patty Matos]
[Source: Katy Dettmer]

END