South of the Park
In the south, the flower-filled meadows loved by visitors during the Games now frame an awe-inspiring new pleasure garden, with outdoor spaces boasting climbing walls, play areas, theatre spaces and carousels.
This area, once almost entirely paved as the main pedestrian plaza for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has been reinvented as a series of amazing pleasure gardens designed by some of the world’s leading landscape architects and world-famous garden designer Piet Oudolf in collaboration with James Corner Field Operations, responsible for New York’s famous High Line.
This long peninsula is a place of entertainment, activity and discovery, featuring a long, tree-lined promenade hung with beautiful spherical lanterns and a series of exciting spaces designed to inspire creativity in people of all ages.
These spaces are surrounded by plants to create the feeling of outdoor ‘rooms’ of different sizes. They include spaces dedicated to:
- Play, with activities for kids of all ages, including sand pits, water play areas, swings and even a climbing wall down to the riverside
- Music, with larger than life instruments that kids can play on
- Theatre, featuring a stage for performances both arranged and ad-hoc!
- Water, with a giant fountain with 195 individual computer controlled jets
Around these spaces lie play lawns, formal gardens, planted areas and spots to sit and appreciate the view. At the end of the gardens sits the breath-taking ArcelorMittal Orbit, which will become one of London’s leading tourist attractions.
You can buy food or drink from kiosks along the promenade or at the EastTwenty Bar and Kitchen at the Podium, or bring your own and have a picnic along the waterways that stretch up to the centre of the Park.
North of the Park
If peace and quiet is what you’re after, then head for the parklands in the north of the Park.
Here you'll find a huge area of wide open green space that has been open since summer 2013. A public garden that provides a natural haven for plants and animals, it’s just a short stroll from the neighbouring communities of Hackney Wick and Leyton.
Within this landscape lies the Tumbling Bay playground and the Timber Lodge community centre and Café – perfect stop-off points for families or anyone looking for good food or drink.