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The ViewTube and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

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The ViewTube and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Author: thameswater, Published: 02 May 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 The ViewTube and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Walking Guidestar1 The ViewTube and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Walking Guidestar1 The ViewTube and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Walking Guidestar1 The ViewTube and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Walking Guidestar1 The ViewTube and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Walking Guide
London, Stratford
Walk Type: Garden or park
The ViewTube and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot The ViewTube and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Walking Guide
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A 3 mile linear walk from the ViewTube, a bright green community venue and cafe made from recycled shipping containers and with great views of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The walking route heads out along the Greenway, a raised footpath along the top of the embankment of Thames Water’s northern outfall sewer, before joining a stretch of the towpath alongside the River Lee Navigation. The final stretch of the walk explores the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with its beautiful landscaped gardens and iconic buildings such as the Orbit viewing tower and Aquatics Centre.

The walk is almost entirely flat and follows fairly wide surfaced paths throughout. There are no stiles or gates to negotiate, just a few flights of steps, so it would be possible to complete it with a pushchair if you are happy to manage the steps. Dogs are welcome in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Approximate time 1.5 hours.

The walk starts from the ViewTube, a community venue with cafe and free exhibitions. The ViewTube is just a two minute walk from Pudding Mill Lane Station, served by the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). The walk finishes at Stratford Station which is just one stop along the DLR, meaning the return leg can be completed with a 5 minute train journey. To reach the ViewTube, leave Pudding Mill Lane Station and follow the signs for the Greenway and ViewTube, passing under the railway. You should be able to spot the ViewTube easily, as it is bright green and built from old shipping containers.

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Walk Sections

Start to River Lee Navigation
Start to River Lee Navigation

Start point: 51.5353 lat, -0.0134 long
End point: 51.5365 lat, -0.0209 long

The walk starts from the ViewTube, a community venue with cafe and free exhibitions, which was funded by a number of organisations including Thames Water. It is the perfect place to get refreshments to fuel your journey, whilst enjoying the beautiful views across the park.

With your back to the ViewTube entrance, walk ahead along the paved embankment path passing the various art installations within the shipping containers on the left. Keep ahead along the embankment path (signed to Hackney Wick) which is part of the Greenway, a surfaced footpath and cycleway which sits on top of the embankment of Thames Water’s northern outfall sewer.

Across to the right you’ll be passing the main stadium within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies for London 2012 as well as the track and field events. The stadium is being converted and will be re-opened in 2016 as the home of British Athletics and West Ham FC.

Immediately after passing the stadium, with the start of a belt of woodland on the right, fork left down the tarmac slope which leads you to a T-junction with the towpath alongside the canal, the River Lee Navigation.

River Lee Navigation to Bridge 12a
River Lee Navigation to Bridge 12a

Start point: 51.5365 lat, -0.0209 long
End point: 51.5447 lat, -0.0223 long

Turn right along the towpath and follow this under the bridge which carries the northern outfall sewer overhead. Pass the Water Bus stop and then cross left over the footbridge which crosses the River Lea. Do NOT cross the next footbridge, simply keep straight ahead on the towpath, passing the Old Ford Lock on the left.

On the right you’ll see the gates for the old Lock Keepers Cottage. This building was used to film Channel 4’s popular early morning show, The Big Breakfast, for ten years.

Stay on the canal towpath for some distance, probably passing an array of moored canal boats. On the opposite bank you’ll see several old warehouses, many of which have been converted into cafes and restaurants.

The River Lee Navigation runs from rural Hertfordshire into the heart of London. Unlike the other canals in London, it is a natural river that has been improved for navigation (with straight sections added in to shorten the route), rather than a purpose-built canal. There is evidence of its use as early as the Bronze Age and later it became an important route for the transport of grain from Hertfordshire for beer and bread-making.

Continue past a junction in the canal, where another branch heads off to the left. Just afterwards, pass under a road bridge and then a rail bridge. Continue just until the third bridge passing overhead, Bridge 12a.

Bridge 12a to Velopark
Bridge 12a to Velopark

Start point: 51.5447 lat, -0.0223 long
End point: 51.5493 lat, -0.0161 long

Pass under this and then turn immediately right onto a surfaced path. Continue up the three small flights of steps that lead you into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Keep ahead passing the Copper Box Stadium on the right. The Copper Box was home to the handball and fencing during London 2012 and has been converted for use as a community sports arena.

Stay close to the road on the left, and at the junction use the zebra crossings to cross the main road ahead. Keep ahead on the path which continues opposite. After just a few yards you’ll come to a crossroads of major wide tracks, with some additional smaller paths heading off at the diagonal points. Take the smaller path at about 10 or 11 o’clock, a surfaced footway heading downhill. This path will soon run alongside the River Lea to the right. On the far side you’ll be able to see the flats of the Olympic Village.

Immediately before the road bridge overhead, turn left up the steps. Turn sharp right at the top of the steps to cross the bridge over the river. On the grass banks to the right you’ll pass a set of Olympic Rings. Continue until the next crossroads with the Velopark just ahead/left, home to the track cycling and BMX events at London 2012.

Velopark to Carpenters Lock
Velopark to Carpenters Lock

Start point: 51.5493 lat, -0.0161 long
End point: 51.5421 lat, -0.0164 long

Turn right at this crossroads and keep ahead on the path which leads you past an elaborate timber play house and climbing frame on the left. Further along on the left you’ll pass the Timber Lodge Cafe/Unity Kitchen Cafe, should you require another pit stop.

Immediately after the cafe you’ll come to a mini-roundabout. Cross over to the far pavement and turn right along this (signed to Copper Box and South Park). Down to the left you’ll see the wet woodlands habitat, recognisable by the water-loving willow trees. Stay along the left-hand edge of the bridge as it crosses back over the River Lea.

Continue until the next crossroads (the one you crossed earlier) and turn left onto the main wide level thoroughfare, heading directly for the main stadium (with the Copper Box over to the right).

Keep straight ahead to cross over the main road through the park (Westfield Avenue) and then follow the thoroughfare ahead which arches over the rail line and another road. Stay close to the railings on the left and the path will lead you past some outdoor gym equipment. After this, keep left to cross a branch of the canal, with Carpenters Lock directly below.

Carpenters Lock to End
Carpenters Lock to End

Start point: 51.5421 lat, -0.0164 long
End point: 51.5428 lat, -0.0042 long

Keep straight ahead on this long path passing the Pleasure Gardens to the right, with the iconic red and grey Orbit viewing tower across to the right. Beyond the river which is running on the left you’ll be able to see the Westfield shopping centre. The landscaped grounds of the Olympic Park have been designed to enrich local ecology and the planting includes many native species.

Continue until you reach the crossroads with a fountain set in the pavement on the right and just before the Aquatic Centre. Turn left and follow the thoroughfare over the canal, passing the Aquatic Centre on the right. The Aquatics Centre, which was home to the swimming and diving events during London 2012, has one of the most distinctive designs, with its wave-like roof.

Continue over the rail line and on the right you’ll pass a tree with an iron-work Olympic ring suspended horizontally within the branches, perhaps one of the five rings forged within the opening ceremony? You will emerge to a T-junction with Westfield Avenue, with the restaurant plaza directly opposite.

Cross over the road and keep ahead along the restaurant plaza. As you reach the doors into the shopping centre ahead, fork right down the outdoor shopping walkway called The Street. At the end of The Street, bear slightly left down the flight of steps and at the bottom of these turn right where you’ll find Stratford Station where this walk ends.

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network The ViewTube and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author thameswater and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 responses to "The ViewTube and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park"

pleasant walk and really easy providing weather is fine. Little or no shelter from rain. This was my first use of the app and I was most impressed. The Olympic Park was also a surprise, far better than I envisaged. If you wanted you could come off the walk at almost any point as you are never far from civilisation. Really enjoyed it and coffee and toilet break at the cafe was welcome too.

By Beepeejay on 2015-03-05 21:26:38

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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