The architecture is of Olympic standard.
The silver facades are even more striking against a blue sky backdrop. The ingrained waves in the roof of the Olympic Aquatic Centre seems to mimic the wind and move even though stationary.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit looked ugly when it was first unveiled as the UK’s tallest structure – and it hasn’t got any prettier with time either. It looks like an evil giant helter skelter or a rollercoaster gone horribly wrong in Rollercoaster Tycoon (loved that game as a kid).
The structure is an observational tower so you can venture to the top of the tower and enjoy the views. An adult ticket costs £12 which seemed overpriced to me. As its in the east end of London, the view can’t be that interesting?
Sure you can get a better picture of the Olympic park and it’s venues, but what else? But for an extra fiver you can buy a ticket which allows you unlimited trips up the ArcelorMittal Orbit for a whole year which seems like a much better deal.
Leaving the confusing eyesore that is the ArcelorMittal Orbit and walking towards the Olympic velodrome, you’ll pass over bridges, sculptured gardens and the canal, with odd giant pencils sticking out… Giant pencils aside, it’s a really nice walk and with you back towards the ArcelorMittal Orbit, Olympic Stadium and Aquatic Centre, it does feel like a regular park.
But eventually, you reach something which symbolises the Olympics. The Olympic rings! It’s a bit of a steep climb but worth it I think you’ll agree.
There are reminders here and there that the Olympics took place, but on the whole those looking to recapture and get swept up in thrilling memories with a great Olympic legacy will be disappointed.
Nuggets of info are written on the ground while wind up speakers describe in further detail what milestones took place. Sure, it jogs the memory, but it hardly inspires does it?
I can’t help but feel there should be more photo opportunities around the park. Instagram was made for documenting a walk like this surely!
A winners podium so you can pose like Usain Bolt? A short running track with starting blocks?
It’s a lovely walk, don’t get me wrong. Beautifully landscaped and maintained, it was perfect for relaxing on a hot summers day.
But we should be more proud of our Olympic achievement for more than just the summer it took place. Not only in terms of the most successful Team GB performance since the 1908 Olympics, but putting on a thrilling event and turning naysayers and shoulder-shruggers like myself to join the rest of the nation in ‘taking part’.
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is just a stones throw away from Stratford’s excellent transport options (Overground, Underground, DLR and bus) plus the Westfield Shopping Centre, so if the crowds get a little too much (is it ever quiet in there?) it’s well worth having a little wander around the paths and green space.