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Venues Overview

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London 2012 Olympic Park

CGI image of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium at sunset

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London 2012 Olympic Park
London 2012 Olympic Park
London 2012 River Zone
London 2012 Central Zone
London 2012 Olympic Park
London 2012 River Zone
London 2012 Central Zone
Out of London venues


Events for the London 2012 Summer Games will take place in the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London; in the River Zone around Greenwich; and in various venues dotted around Central London and its outskirts.


London 2012 Olympic Park

"Architectural, environmental and logistical achievement"


Built on the site of a deprived, desolate, polluted and neglected chunk of east London, the Olympic Park will transform Stratford and leave a lasting legacy for many years to come. Time Out has described the Olympic Park as an "architectural, environmental and logistical achievement" - and who are we to argue? Completed well ahead of schedule and in keeping with strong aspirations of sustainability and legacy, the Olympic Park should add to the long list of what makes people proud to be British.

Permanent venues dotted around the River Lea and its numerous canals and waterways include the spectacular Olympic Stadium, the state-of-the-art Velodrome and Aquatics Centre, the multi-purpose Paralympic hub Eton Manor and the versatile Handball Arena (aka the Copper Box).

Impermanent structures include the Basketball Arena, Hockey Centre and Water Polo Arena. Meanwhile, the on-site Olympic Village will give all athletes the opportunity to walk to their own events, while everything will be connected to central London by the new Javelin shuttle service, carrying people between St Pancras and the newly developed Stratford City (with its Westfield shopping centre) in less than seven minutes.

The legacy of the Olympic Park is quite substantial: it will be the site of the largest urban parks created in Europe for more than 150 years; a new university will be founded; the Stadium is expected be taken over by West Ham United FC; the permanent sporting arenas - such as the VeloPark and Aquatics centre - will be used for the public and competitions; the Olympic Village will be converted into 3,600 apartments.

Royal Mail has given the postcode E20 to the Olympic Park - previously reserved for the fictional suburb of Walford in the TV soap EastEnders.


London 2012 River Zone

Olympic hub in and around Greenwich


A short ride in the DLR from the Olympic Park is London 2012's River Zone, a selection of venues scattered either side of the Thames in and around Greenwich.

South of the river, the venues include the beautiful World Heritage Site of Greenwich Park, the multi-purpose North Greenwich Arena and the historical Royal Artillery Barracks.

Across the river on the Royal Victoria Docks is the huge ExCeL Centre, which will host seven Olympic sporting events and six Paralympic events. There is talk of linking the two sides of the river with a Cable Car from Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks - although it now looks like this will not be ready in time for the Games.

Spectators can reach the River Zone by tube, DLR or river boat from central London.


London 2012 Central Zone

Iconic buildings to make a wonderful Olympic backdrop


London could never have hosted the Olympic Games without showcasing the historic sites of its spectacular city centre - and the London 2012 Central Zone will allow spectators from all around the world combine their sporting schedule with a spot of sightseeing.

A stone's throw from Trafalgar Square, Horse Guards Parade will be transformed into a Beach Volleyball venue, Earls Court will host the Volleyball, Hyde Park the Triathlon and Marathon Swimming, Lord's Cricket Ground the Archery, while the Cycling Road Race and Marathons will finish on The Mall in the shade of the Queen's official residence, Buckingham Palace.

A touch further afar, the Tennis competition will take place on the pristine grass courts of Wimbledon's famous All England Club, Wembley Stadium will host the Football finals and an array of games in the preliminary and knock-out stages, and Wembley Arena will hold the Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics programme.


Out of London venues

Some within a short ride of town, others all over the UK


Outside the Greater London area - but still within easy reaching distance for spectators - are Eton Dorney (Rowing and Canoe Sprint), Lee Valley White Water Centre (Canoe Slalom), Hampton Court (Road Cycling Time Trial) and Brands Hatch (Paralympic Cycling).

Weymouth and Portland, on the beautiful south coast of England in the region of Dorset, will host the Olympic Sailing events. Meanwhile, the preliminaries of the Olympic Football competitions take place in stadia all over the UK: Hampden Park in Glasgow, Old Trafford in Manchester, St James' Park, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the City of Coventry Stadium in the Midlands.

Sophie Wallace


Sophie Wallace

1st April 2015







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