Update: 27 July 2012 — with the Olympic Games starting today some of the information on this page will become out of date, however many links will still remain useful throughout the Games.
Waltham Forest, which includes Leytonstone, is one of the six London boroughs hosting the Olympics.
The whole area is benefitting from the regeneration these projects will bring. For example, Waltham Forest Council has undertaken works the length of Leytonstone High Road, Whipps Cross Road and in Leytonstone Town Centre. See ‘New Look Leytonstone’ for some pictures.. There have been numerous improvement in Leyton and new flats and other buildings are being built all around Stratford and the surrounding area.
September 2011 also saw the opening of Westfield Stratford City , the largest shopping centre of its kind in Europe and which links the Olympic Park to the original Stratford Town Centre.
A new Docklands Light Railway line linking Stratford International station with the main Stratford station opened on 31 August 2011. Other recent transport improvements include the London Overground service to Richmond and Clapham Junction on the westbound routes and New Cross, West Croydon and Crystal Palace on the southbound section. Work is underway to link the southbound route with Clapham Junction to form a London orbital service. Stratford will also be on the Crossrail service when it opens in a few years’ time.
The Olympic torch came to Waltham Forest on Saturday 21 July. The torch was taken from The Eastway along Leyton High Road to the Town Hall (but not through Leytonstone!). The BBC website has details of the Olympic torch route in Waltham Forest.
Olympic Games 27 July to 12 August 2012
Paralympic Games 29 August to 9 September 2012
Maps of the Olympic Park
- Map of the Olympic Park (London2012 map in .pdf format you can print off and showing the main facilities)
- Olympic Park on Google Maps
Leytonstone Olympic links
There are a lot of websites about the Olympic games, so I’ve tried to pick some of the top ones that will be most useful for Leytonstone residents and visitors to the area. I will add others if I find them (feel free to recommend any, or let me know using the Contact Form if any links become out of date). Do check with the original sources though: some of this information may change and nothing I have written should be taken as official in any way.
If you are a business or local group thinking of promoting or supporting the games in your publicity, do read the section Residents (and Businesses) about brand protection before writing words like ‘Olympics’, ‘London’, ‘2012’, ‘gold’, ‘silver’ ‘bronze’ in anything you produce.
Visitors and residents
London Borough of Waltham Forest
Leytonstone is in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, one of the six Olympic Boroughs, along with Newham (which includes Stratford where the Olympic Park is located), Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.
London Borough of Waltham Forest ‘It’s happening here’ page summarises and links to all the main aspects of the Olympic Games as they affect Waltham Forest residents.
- Waltham Forest It’s happening here
- www.walthamforestbig6.co.uk includes details of the Torch Relay and how residents can apply for tickets as well as 6 major celebration events Waltham Forest Council has organised for 2012
London 2012 website
- London 2012 Home page
- London 2012 About tickets
- London 2012 Olympic venues
- London 2012 Schedule and results
- London 2012 Information for spectators
- London 2012 Access and parking (for residents) General information
- https://www.2012gamesparkingpermits.com/walthamforest/home/ registering your car (for residents in Waltham Forest)
Viewing the Olympic Park
Viewtube is a viewing area, cafe and exhibition near Pudding Mill station on the Docklands Light Railway and will open again in September 2012.
For security reasons and final preparations it’s now difficult to view the Olympic Park, though you can see some of the venues and the Olympic village from the Stratford Westfield shopping centre. I’ve heard there are some good, free, viewing areas from John Lewis and Asper’s Casino, though I’ve not tried them myself and you should check for access/opening times.
Time lapse video of the Olympic Park since 2003
Get Ahead of the Games gives official travel advice for anyone travelling to events, as well as advice for businesses, shops and residents planning for the games period.
- Get Ahead of the Games
- Get Ahead of the Games business advice
- Get Ahead of the Games on Twitter (@GAOTG)
Update 25 July 2012
- Get Ahead of the Games Temporary Road Changes Follow this link, put in your postcode and get up to date information about changes in your area.
Travel London 2012
Transport for London (TfL)
Transport for London runs public transport throughout London including the underground (tube), Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground, buses and night buses, river services and Barclays Cycle hire (otherwise known as ‘Boris bikes’ after the current mayor of London, Boris Johnson).
Transport for London is also responsible for road users and management including the congestion charging scheme, emissions zone and licensing taxis and minicabs.
- TfL London 2012 pages
- Tube and DLR maps
- Cycling route maps
- Road users
- Bus map: Leytonstone. The 257 bus is the main bus that connects Walthamstow with Leytonstone and Stratford
- Bus map: Night buses in North East London (including Leytonstone and Stratford)
- Bus map: Stratford North
- Bus map: Stratford (this includes Stratford station, Westfield shopping centre, Stratford town centre shops, the Olympic Park and connections with the O2 in North Greenwich, which is an Olympic venue.
- Bus map: Stratford night buses
- Emirates AirLine cable car from the O2 in North Greenwich to near the Excel Centre in Docklands and is due to open in time for the Olympics.
Search on Google for ‘accommodation for the Olympics’ and you will get a lot of agencies offering accommodation. I won’t provide links here as some look very reputable but one or two don’t and I can’t be the judge. You need to research well, be cautious and be realistic about prices and availability.
I have been reading postings on a LinkedIn site for the last few months with people suggesting bringing campervans and parking in the local streets, camping in school playing fields or the local forest. One person wanted hotel rooms for no more than £15 a night, one would only look at accommodation within walking distance of the main stadium (there’s very little, we have good tubes/buses and nightbuses though!).
Speaking purely as a local resident, if you are thinking of camping unofficially in the area: don’t! You must find proper accommodation. There will be controlled parking in the streets (and it’s difficult enough to park in London at the best of times), camping in the forest is not allowed at any time, and you simply can’t pitch a tent in schools or anywhere else. We’re very welcoming in East London, but you won’t feel very welcome if you arrive with strange ideas about creating your own unofficial accommodation!
VisitLondon is the official tourist information site for London and a good place to search for accommodation:
This is an official temporary campsite for the Games:
More information about accommodation
- Inclusive London: East London hotels with their accessibility symbols
- VisitLondon: Cheap hotels in London
Residents (and businesses)
- See the Waltham Forest Council advice about changes to bin collections during the Games.
Controlled parking zones
- See the Waltham Forest Council advice about controlled parking zones for the duration of the Games
- Map of areas affected by the temporary controlled parking zone in Waltham Forest
Transport planning advice for businesses
- Transport for London: Transport and your business
- London Borough of Waltham Forest: How will your business be affected by the Games
- Get Ahead of the Games: Travel advice for business
Brand protection (LOCOG) of words and symbols associated with the Olympics
- Article about LOCOG’s brand protection guidelines from online bulletin The Wall. Includes a link to LOCOG’s Brand Protection Guidelines, but I could not find the original source on the LOCOG website, so do check this is up to date. The Wall is not officially connected in any way to LOCOG.
- LOCOG advertising and trading regulations
After the Games
- London Legacy Development Corporation includes information about the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the Games.
- ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower: the story of the red tower overlooking the Olympic Park and plans for its opening during and after the Games.
- London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Host Borough Survey results: A survey to assess the views, behaviours and attitudes of residents in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic host boroughs. Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
- London Borough of Waltham Forest ‘It’s happening here’ page
- London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG): responsible for preparing and staging the London 2012 Olympic Games
- Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA): responsible for building the venues, park and infrastructure
- Olympic Athlete’s Hub
- Waltham Forest Area Guide from VisitLondon on YouTube
- London Greeters (Waltham Forest page)
- Waltham Forest Disability Access Guide
- BBC News London 2012
William Morris Gallery. The William Morris Gallery is closed until July 2012 for improvements, but will open in time for the Olympics.
The PAST project exhibition
Free and Interactive Historic Olympics Project Presented by the African Heritage and Educational Centre capturing the histories of Caribbean, Nigerian and Jamaican people who lived and worked in the Boroughs of Newham, Hackney, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets in the early 1950s.