Olympic Park

Going to the Closing Ceremony? Consider Eton Manor Gate to avoid the Stratford crush

Olympic Park London06
Above: Velodrome and Basketball arena

If you’re going to the Olympic Park and are worried about the crowds at Stratford, don’t forget you can also use the Eton Manor Gate on Eastway (near Spitalfields).

Get off at Leyton tube and walk down Ruckholt Road or through the Leyton Mills trading estate past Asda.

It’s about 15 minutes’ walk from Leyton tube, or you can get the W15 bus from Leytonstone tube station (Leytonstone Plaza side) to Eastway (or the W14 to Ruckholt Road then walk about 5 minutes).

Parkland near the Velodrome looking towards the Olympic StadiumEton Manor Gate is the nearest gate from Leytonstone to the Velodrome, BMX Track, Basketball arena, Riverbank Arena and Copperbox and the bandstand and Park Live screen, but is the opposite end of the Olympic Park to the Stadium and Aquatics Centre. It’s a good 20 minute walk from Eton Manor Gate to the Stadium, but a very pleasant one along the river and newly planted parkland.

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 (If you don’t know the area, beware, some people have tried to gain a marketing advantage by marking up the Olympic Stadium wrongly on Google Maps, the correct location is near to Stratford Station).

Olympic Park photographs

Olympic Park London04For the many people frustrated that they haven’t been able to buy a ticket to the Olympic Park, I’ve created a page with some photographs I took this week.

The photographs concentrate on the park, rather than sport.

Please share, there are a lot of people who are missing out on this surprising new addition to London’s park life.

Towering high over Leytonstone

Panorama from St John's Church towards Stratford

I was delighted to be given the opportunity last night to be in the first party to try the new Sunset over London tour of St John’s Church in the centre of Leytonstone.

Church Lane, the Library and High Road Leytonstone towards StratfordI have been up the tower once before, many years ago, when it was so cloudy you could hardly see as far as Leytonstone Overground station and I was hoping that wasn’t going to happen again after this awful summer. I was not disappointed.

There was cloud in the sky but still some sun breaking through and as the sun went down there was a distinctly red glow from the West.

Leytonstone Overground stationThe tour starts with half an hour of musical entertainment. Last night it was a delightful performance by Rachel Smith who played flute, alto flute and piccolo with works by Bach, Ibert, Piazolla, Debussy and a composer, Paul Lewis, who had written a piece especially for her. Rachel is a professional flautist who has played throughout the world and on BBC radio and television and has recently released a CD Aquarelles. Different musicians will play at each tour.

Hard hats are provided for the tour and you are advised to wear trainers — certainly not high heels — and clothes that won’t mind a bit of dust. It is good advice as the winding stairs to the top are narrow for most of the way and very narrow at the top. It’s probably best to visit one of Leytonstone’s restaurants after the tour, rather than have a hearty meal beforehand, though none of us got stuck!

Looking towards Hackney and Haringey and the sunsetThe views from the top are really spectacular. Although a church steeple may not seem very high compared with the London Eye or the new ArcelorMittal OrbitTower in the Olympic Park, when it opens, St John’s has the distinct advantage that Leytonstone is already one of the highest points in London so the top of the tower really does have unparalled views.

The City of LondonYou have a full half an hour to study the vista.

If you are a local you will see Leytonstone in a completely new light and the first thing that strikes you is just how much greenery you can see compared with many other parts of London.

Even if you have never been to Leytonstone before, you will find you have a good view of the Olympic Park and right over London. You can see the O2 in Greenwich, Canary Wharf, the City of London, the Shard, which was inaugurated yesterday, and even as far as the London Eye.

Looking East you can see to across Newham and Redbridge towards Havering and Barking & Dagenham.

To the West you can see Enfield on the other side of the Lea Valley, and Hackney and Haringey, which if my geography is correct is where the sun was setting.

You are provided with a four page guide to the many sights you can see and you can borrow binoculars.

Canary WharfAs a bonus we also got to see the fireworks display from one of Waltham Forest’s Urban Classic event, part of its Big6 events season.

After descending the tower there was a choice of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and biscuits (all Fairtrade and included in the ticket) and a chance to chat to others in the party.

Wanstead Flats and looking EastPart of the reason for introducing these tours is to raise money for the church to pay off the expenses it has incurred in its recent restoration,.

However, Rev Draper is also keen to stress that he sees the church very much as part of the community and wants to welcome everyone from the community. There’s no attempt to enrol you and anyone from any denomination, or no denomination, would feel just as comfortable visiting.

This is one part of the community opening up a facility to the whole community and it is one of Leytonstone’s hidden gems that everybody should take the opportunity to enjoy.

More information

St John’s Church has a regular programme of concerts open to the public, many of them free, and there is also the churchyard trail.

Leytonstone Olympic Links

2012 Olympic site August 2011 2012 Olympic site in August 2011

There are lost of organisations involved in delivering the Olympics and with only 38 days to go and more and more people searching on this site for Olympic related content I’ve completely updated the Olympics 2012 page to bring together many of the most important links that locals in Leytonstone and visitors alike might find most useful for the Olympic and Paralympic period.

So you’ll find links to local council information, London 2012, travel, car parking permits, information for business and a whole lot more.

Let me know if you find any links out of date or you think I’ve missed anything.

Don’t forget if you go to the Translation page, then click on one of the forty languages shown, the whole of this site will translate into that language (well, into Google Translate’s interpretation of that language, which isn’t always spot on, but it may help visitors and show we try to be welcoming here in the East End).

Please do share this page on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media sites and with anyone who would find it useful!

You can give a direct link to the page as www.leytonstonetoday.net/olympics-2012/ (more information about the name of this site coming shortly …)

Get ahead of the Games: TfL launches transport advice campaign

Transport for London has today launched a campaign called Get ahead of the Games to encourage Londoners and people from outside London to get their transport plans in place for the period covering the Olympic games. (more…)

Westfield Stratford City opens

Stratford CityJust two miles down the road from Leytonstone Westfield Stratford City opened its doors this week, and it was packed. Certainly busier than your average shopping day in Leytonstone. Read my review and see my pictures of this huge new complex, which, like it or loathe it, is going to shake up this area one way or another. (more…)

Welcome to Leytonstone London E11

Leytonstone doesn’t have an official website, but I created this website to act as a link to all the other main official and unofficial community and resident association websites in the area.In Free time you can find out about the increasingly lively arts and music scene in Leytonstone, our own local Woodhouse Players and the Pop-up Cinema, sports facilities and where to eat out. Take a look at the Calendar for key dates of major events in Leytonstone and the borough.There’s practical information on doctors and dentists under Health, on schools and colleges under Education, and who your councillors and MPs/MEPs are under Democracy.There are profiles of the different areas and links to residents’ associations under Areas and a page for local Charities.

At the bottom and side of each page you’ll find useful links and/or live feeds to Transport for London, The Highways Agency, the Waltham Forest Guardian, Evening Standard and the local weather forecast.

If you live in Leytonstone, bookmark this site, I hope it will be the best one-stop-shop for everything that’s happening in the area.

If you’re new to Leytonstone I hope it will give you the best introduction to the area and prove that, whatever people may think about the rest of London, in the East End we’re friendly and welcoming.

The site aims to be accurate and informative, unbiased and to give a balanced view. It aims to work with, and support the local community, not compete with any other resources. It’s not an official site by any means, and nobody has paid anything towards it, so it is entirely free of influence!

I hope you enjoy the site and find it useful. The site is constantly being updated, so keep coming back: and pass on the link to anyone you know who will find it relevant. If you have suggestions for new content, or spot anything that’s no longer correct, please do let me know using the Contact Form.

Best wishes

Leigh Horton

Hollow Ponds