Olympic Park set to reopen to the public


For sports fans, there have been few, if any, events in recent years that have matched the London 2012 Olympics in terms of drama and excitement.

In the UK, certainly, the showpiece managed to capture the imagination of the public, leading to a sense of national euphoria and pride that has rarely been seen.

Britain, of course, enjoyed a particularly good Games, winning more medals than most experts had predicted and also leaving the public with memories that will last forever.

The centrepiece of the event was the Queen Elizabeth Park, which has subsequently been renovated and is set to open its doors this weekend.

The revamped area has been described as the “biggest new park in Europe for 150 years", with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) saying that it covers 230 hectares. By way of comparison, this is roughly the size of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens combined.

Here, visitors will find forests and wetlands, a velodrome and an equatics centre, among other attractions.

Officials at the park have suggested that between now and the end of 2014, it will welcome as many as three million visitors.

"We imagined it as a place for performance and play, markets and festivals, circuses and events," explained designer James Corner, who was responsible for the iconic High Line park in New York.

"We've brought a similar idea of linear choreography and movement, designing the park as a sequential experience of outdoor rooms, connected by an arced promenade of trees."

LLDC chief executive Dennis Hone added: "It is not supposed to be 'of' the area. It is 'for' the area. It's a place for people to come and enjoy activities free of charge, and we want the life of the park to bleed into the surrounding neighbourhoods."

The Olympic Park can be reached using the London underground network, which is easily accessible from the Shaftsbury Hotel.