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London’s most exciting attraction is open!

From play spots to coffee shops, find your perfect day out

How the British Olympic diving team adapted PAGE 1

WELCOME As lockdown continues to ease, we’re so happy to be able to welcome more of you back to the Park this summer – in a way that’s safe for everyone. These past few months have shown more than ever the crucial role parks have to play in public life. Throughout the period of lockdown, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park proved a lifeline for the communities surrounding it, first as a place for daily exercise and then for families and friends to meet for socially distanced walks, bike rides and picnics. With school holidays and sunny weekends on the horizon, the Park is the perfect place for a summer outdoors. Whether you prefer shady spots or sun traps, the Park’s 560 acres of parklands offer plenty of space to enjoy fresh air while following social distancing guidelines. With many of the cafés and restaurants open and most offering takeaway, make a day of it and enjoy a picnic in the sun (and yes, you’ll find our loos open too!). It’s been amazing to see so many organisations on and around the Park working to help those in the local community – and beyond! From sharing inspiring digital content for all ages, to providing invaluable support to vulnerable residents and those isolating, they’ve done east London proud. You can read more about this on page 8. We’ve been proud to keep Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park open for those who need it most throughout lockdown, and through the hard work of our security and garden teams – along with visitors following guidelines – we’re thrilled that even more people can enjoy a summer on the Park. All information correct at time of going to print, however due to the ongoing health crisis guidelines are subject to change. Visit for the most up to date information before planning your visit.



See some of our favourite visitor snaps and get inspired to share your own

How local organisations worked to help the community


Picnics on the Park never tasted so good

Ideas for days out on the Park – and how to enjoy it safely

6 – ARCELORMITTAL ORBIT Discover Britain’s tallest sculpture – now open again for visitors

7 – JANE FIGUEIREDO’S LOCKDOWN DIARY The diving coach discusses the impact of lockdown on the British team

9 – FOOD AND DRINK 10 – OPPORTUNITIES ON THE PARK From apprenticeships to training courses

11 – WELCOME TO EAST BANK Discover how East Bank is really taking shape, on and off site





Whether you visit for exercise, to have fun or to soak up the peaceful parklands, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the Park! We love seeing how you spend your days here, so don’t forget to tag us in your pictures – we share our favourites on our Instagram and Facebook.





@NoOrdinaryPark @QueenElizabethOlympicPark /QueenElizabethOlympicPark



KEEPING YOU SAFE We know that days out are a bit different at the moment, and the safety and enjoyment of all our visitors is at the heart of everything we do. We have toilets open at the Park at The Podium and The Timber Lodge which have a robust cleaning schedule in place. On-site teams are also patrolling the Park, cleaning and landscaping. And of course, there are acres of Parklands in the north of the Park – perfect if you want the reassurance of social distancing as you relax.

Iconic venues Experience world-class sporting facilities – not to mention the UK’s most exciting attraction – as venues begin to reopen around the Park! From outdoor tennis courts and well-stocked gyms to the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide, book in an activity or two to make your day out even better!

Free trails



Looking for fun, free outdoor activities this summer? Download our free trails to explore the Park while learning something new about the area. From reliving the 2012 Games to discovering artworks installed around the Park, there’s a trail to suit everyone!

Find out more and plan your day at

Free to enter and with hund gardens and winding canal perfect escape from city life Explore some of the ways to Park, along with more inform to keep the Park safe fo



dreds of acres of parklands, paths, the Park offers the – and all within Zones 2/3! spend your summer on the mation on how we’re working or everyone to enjoy.

Food and drink With so many cafés, bars and restaurants around the Park offering delicious food to take away, the days of soggy sandwiches on picnics are long gone! There are plenty of places offering dine in options too, while those looking to grab a cold drink or ice cream to go are also well catered for.

Parklands, gardens and playgrounds There’s space to suit everyone’s summer plans on the Park! Find a grassy spot for a picnic, relax in the tranquillity of our flowerfilled gardens, or let the little ones explore the Park’s playgrounds with swings, slides and climbing walls.



London’s most unique attraction is back! Whether you want to soak up Skyline Views or enjoy an exhilarating ride on The Slide, a trip up the ArcelorMittal Orbit is a day out you’ll never forget.

If you’re not brave enough for The Slide, 455 steps can take you back to ground level while you experience the sounds of east London in the soundscape.

The viewing platform is 80m up in the air, giving you stunning 3600 skyline views over London. You can see famous landmarks and six different stadia, including London Stadium.

At 114.5m, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is the UK’s tallest sculpture. It’s taller than the Statue of Liberty!

The iconic structure is made from 2,000 tonnes of steel – 60% of which is made up of recycled steel, including washing machines and used cars.

The Slide features 12 twists and turns, including a devilish corkscrew section! Sliders reach speeds of up to 15mph along the 178m tunnel slide.

To book tickets and for more information, including the additional cleaning and social distancing safety measures we’ve implemented to keep everyone safe, visit All information correct at the time of going to print.



Lockdown Diary

Head Diving Coach Jane Figueiredo was preparing the British team for Tokyo 2020 before lockdown came into place. We spoke to her about what this abrupt change was like for her and her athletes, and the impact of the pandemic on competitive sport. What was it like going from training for the Olympics to being in lockdown? Obviously it was quite devastating for everyone to completely stop training so suddenly, but we all understood the severity of the situation and everyone’s health was at the forefront of our minds. We had to make decisions to return to our families very quickly which is what we did. Did the athletes continue training at home? Absolutely – they all had scheduled workouts at home including yoga, weights, cardio on bikes or in the yards, gymnastics and home workouts from various internet sites. It was very important to continue doing as much exercise as possible and watching their nutrition so they could return back to the pool in fairly good shape. How much did you all keep in touch? We’ve all done a great job of communicating every week on Zoom – it’s been really nice talking more one-on-one or in groups and catching up with each other on a less formal basis.

What are your tips for people looking to keep more active at home? Try to mix up your workouts and don’t be too hard on yourself. Meditation and yoga are both really good to keep your mental health in check. Did you miss the Park while you were away? Yes, we all have! We saw all the beautiful pictures being posted on social media so it’s been great looking at those. The Park is such a vibrant, fun, exciting place and there is always so much to do there – I couldn’t wait to get back and enjoy the tranquillity of the nature and enjoy a nice long walk on the canals.

For the full interview with Jane visit

The British diving team are back training again, and the London Aquatics Centre is open for visitors too! In order to keep the venue safe for everyone, increased safety measures are in place including a limited capacity in both the pools and gym spaces. Pre-book a slot ahead of your visit online or via the Better UK app.


THE PARK DURING LOCKDOWN While things haven’t been easy, the last few months have shown what a strong community exists around the Park. East London is known for its innovation and this was proved time and again with local organisations quickly changing the focus of their work within days of lockdown being announced. Bikeworks, a social enterprise based at Lee Valley VeloPark, made the most of its network of cycling enthusiasts in order to deliver vital food, medicine and other supplies to those most in need. Hobs 3D, a 3D printing studio based at Here East, began making PPE and other useful equipment to share with local hospitals and care homes. Badu Sports, also based at Here East, was quick to launch One Community – a campaign focusing on all aspects of wellbeing for east Londoners who need extra help. This includes everything from delivering food for vulnerable families and providing an outreach service for the elderly to offering mental health support and home workout ideas for young people. Since @bargeeast

March they’ve delivered over 1,000 food parcels and helped more than 2,000 people! While closed as a restaurant during lockdown, Barge East – the @bikewo award-winning rksuk bar and restaurant on a beautifully restored Dutch barge – instead began preparing and delivering meals for NHS workers to local hospitals and shared over 1 tonne of food with a food bank in Bow. There was also plenty of support for local businesses – and their workers. Economy of Hours, a skills-sharing enterprise, started The Match, a scheme to help pair local charities and organisations with furloughed workers willing to volunteer their time and valuable skills – such as bookkeeping, social media and building websites. This was perfect for businesses that needed to change their way of operating quickly!

For interviews with those behind some of these fantastic community activities, listen to our Park podcast


WHA T'S ON THE MENU ? ? We’ve always been spoilt for choice when it comes to food and drink options at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and we’re pleased that many restaurants and cafés are now offering take away and delivery options so they can be enjoyed safely at home or at the Park. More and more restaurants are also offering a dine-in option – you’ll find the most up to date information on their individual websites. With summer in full swing and the sun shining (when it wants to), why not take a long amble down the canal to Canalside, where you can pop in to Gotto Trattoria for a fresh, traditional Italian style pizza. Looking for a healthier option? Head to MÖTHER who are serving sustainable, plant-based drinks and snacks including salads and smoothies to go. The beautiful Barge East is offering a substantial take away menu, alongside dine-in options on their picturesque canal boat and new garden space in Hackney Wick.

Walk around the famous venues of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a coffee or refreshing ice lolly from The Last Drop – found at the base of the ArcelorMittal Orbit and with views of the London Aquatics Centre and London Stadium, it’s the perfect place for a short break on your trail. You could also head to the East Village where there is food on offer for your every mood. Signorelli, Stratford’s very own family-run bakery, is baking fresh bread, cakes and pastries ready for you to enjoy. Or pick up a cup of London’s finest gelato at La Gelateria and enjoy it in the sun! If you’re missing the pub then you can now pick up your favourite craft beer to enjoy at home from Mother Kelly’s, and join in an online tasting session!

Please remember to use the Park responsibly, and make sure to take your litter away with you so everybody can enjoy the beautiful Park together.


WORKING ON THE PARK Over 375 young people have benefited from apprenticeships on and around the Park since 2013, but what happens next? We spoke to Kamila, 27, about the journey her apprenticeship has taken her on.

What made you choose to do an apprenticeship? An apprenticeship allowed me to gain knowledge and learn something technical after I moved to London from Poland without knowing what to do next. It was nice to have my employer, Balfour Beatty, support and encourage my development too.

What apprenticeship did you do and where did it lead? I completed a Level 3 in Business and Administration, before moving on to a Level 4 apprenticeship in Construction and the Built Environment. My apprenticeships provided an important foundation and I was able to apply to university to do a part-time degree in Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management! For the past three years I’ve been working on the Park as an Assistant Quantity Surveyor.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others looking to start their career? Yes! Doing an apprenticeship was a huge stepping stone in my career, even if I didn’t realise it at the time. It combines two worlds of hands-on experience and theoretical framework behind it, and if you are enthusiastic and interested people go a long way to help you.

EAST SUMMER SCHOOL ONLINE The East Summer School is a programme of unique free courses, workshops and sessions for young east Londoners. We’re excited to have been able to keep the annual programme going this year by moving the school online for summer 2020! This year’s East Summer School is currently underway, offering 12–17 year olds from Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest the chance to try a fun mix of one-off classes, day sessions and more involved full-week courses. The programme is being delivered by world-leading organisations, such as the BBC and UCL – who will be moving to east London as part of East Bank – and others based around the Park including Staffordshire University London and Studio Wayne McGregor.

The courses are as varied as the contributors, and include sessions in creative arts, dance, engineering, architecture, project management, sustainability and computer game design to name a few. We’ve even seen a few famous faces leading sessions on breaking into the music and broadcasting industries! Even in these strange times, we wanted to create opportunities for young people to make new friends and have fun while learning some new and exciting skills, no matter their interests. Find out more at

EAST BANK 11 | 11


London’s new powerhouse of culture, education, innovation and growth is really beginning to take shape on the Park! Work began across two sites – Stratford Waterfront and UCL East – last year with a ground-breaking ceremony attended by the Mayor of London. Over a year later – and with new safety measures in place across all sites, including the third based at Here East – you can now begin to see what will become buildings for the BBC, Sadler’s Wells, UAL’s London College of Fashion, UCL and the V&A growing out of their foundations. As you explore the Park you might notice East Bank having more of a presence on hoardings and information boards – if you’re passing, do take a moment to read all about the development. The brand was designed with the area in mind, including a logo inspired by bus blinds as a nod to east London’s history as a transportation hub! The East Bank partners have been working around the Park long before construction began, bringing exciting opportunities to the area. The last few months might have changed the way we interact

with arts, culture and education but there’s been plenty of ways they are still connecting with east Londoners – including digital entertainment during lockdown (such as the popular Sadler’s Wells dance workshops) and bringing exciting courses to our East Summer School online programme.

Find out more at


Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has something to offer every event organiser, providing totally unique venues for a variety of events. • Iconic sporting venues include London Stadium, London Aquatics Centre, Lee Valley VeloPark and the Copper Box Arena • Enjoy state-of-the-art conference facilities at Here East • Take in stunning views across London from the ArcelorMittal Orbit or ride the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide • Hire the Park’s amazing open spaces and cafés • Great public transport links, just 10 minutes from central London. • Social distancing and safety measures incorporated without impacting experience.

For more information and an online brochure, visit

Profile for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Park | Summer 2020 | Issue 19  

The Park | Summer 2020 | Issue 19  


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