Next year sees the 2012 Olympic Games being held in London and the surrounding areas for the first time since 1948. The various venues for different sports are nearly all located along the Thames valley.
Londonsguide lists below all the main locations for each of the various Olympic disciplines. We hope that this guide is helpful and illustrative. First and foremost, the focus for the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Olympics will be the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford East London.
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stratford East London
Image Credit-ODA. Reference: Anthony Charlton.
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford East London is part of a huge regeneration scheme which will not only host the major athletics, swimming, cycling, hockey and water polo events, but which will provide accommodation to the Olympics competitors in the new Athletes' Olympic Village and host the World Media Centre for the Olympics.
image credited to ODA
Image credit SouthBank Consultancy
The Olympic Park consists of several purpose built constructions including the main Olympic Stadium and is well connected to Central London by public transport - buses, Docklands Light Railway, Central and Jubilee Line Tube and overhead trains all serve Stratford Station, from where it will be a short walk over specially constructed bridges to the heart of the Park. The Park is 6 kms. from the centre of London and about 3 kms. north of the River Thames.
Image Credit -Jeannette Briggs.
Once inside the Olympic Park you can access the following buildings:-
The Aquatics Pool
This will be host to the Diving, Swimming and Synchronised Swimming events.
Credit for the above two images -Jeannette Briggs.
The Aquatics Pool has been likened to a giant ray fish and is a permanent venue which will be part of the Olympic Legacy after the Games are over.
The Basketball Arena
This is a temporary structure built specifically to host the Basketball and Handball contests. It will be dismantled after the end of the Olympic Games.
The Basketball Arena
The BMX Track
Credit for the above two images -Robin Briggs.
This will be the venue for the BMX Cyclingevents. It will be a permanent course.
This temporary building will house the Handball events and part of the Modern Pentathlon.
Again, this is a temporary venue for the Olympic Hockey events.
The Olympic Stadium
This amazing structure will host all the Athletics disciplines and will also be the focus for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics. it is destined to become the new home of West Ham United football ground after the Olympics finish.
This remarkable building has been christened "The Giant Pringle" because of its similarity to the famous snack. The Velodrome will host all the Track Cycling eventsand be a centre of excellence for cycling after the 2012 Olympic Games end.
Image Credit-Jeannette Briggs.
The Velodrome (Image Credit ODA)
The Aquatics Centre (Image Credit Jeannette Briggs)
Water Polo Arena
Image credit ODA.
This temporary building hosts the Water Polo events.
In alphabetical order the other venues for Olympic disciplines are as follows:-
Coventry City Ricoh Football Stadium
This stadium is one of several throughout Britain which will host the rounds of the Football contests. No, it's not near the River Thames but included here fo completeness!
Earls Court Exhibition Centre
This building will be the setting for all the indoor Olympic Volleyball events. It is in west London and easily accessed by the tube - District and Piccadilly lines.
Eton - Dorney Lake
This purpose built centre for the Olympic Rowing and Canoe Sprint events is located near Windsor and is next to the River Thames. Accessible by road (M4 and A4). and by rail to Windsor and Eton station.
Eton Manor Sports Centre
This is the centre for Wheelchair Tennis and is an existing building just north of the Olympic Park.
ExCeL Centre Royal Victoria Dock East London
This huge exhibition gentre will be the setting for all the Olympic Boxing, Fencing, Judo, Table tennins, Taikwondo, Weightlifting, Wrestling and Boccia events. The ExCeL centre is only 2 km south of the Olympic Park and is accessed by Docklands Light Railway.
This beautiful park will host the Olympic Equestrian events and parts of the Modern Penathlon events. It is located 5 km. south of the Olymic Park Stratford and just beyond the River Thames, and is well served by public transport - Docklands Light Railway and trains from London Bridge station.
Hadleigh Country Park Essex
This Country Park is directly fronting on to the estuary of the River Thames about 40 km. east of London. It will be the centre for the Olympic Mountain Bike course eventsand is accessible both by public transport from Fenchurch St. Station London to Leigh on Sea station and by road.
Hampden Park Stadium Glasgow Scotland
Again, this is one of the football stadia that are located throughout the UK that will be hosting the initial rounds of the Olympic football event.Nothing to do with the River Thames of course but it is included in this list of venues for completeness!
Horse Guards Parade Central London
This amazing open space just off Whitehall and The Mall and in the centre of London will be the incomparable setting for the Olympic Beach Volleyball event. The Parade is surrounded by the 18th Century buildings that constitute the headquarters of the Household Cavalry regiment. Some of the beach volleyball practice areas will be in St James's Park next to the Parade ground. Accessible by Tube from Embankment station nearby - District Circle and Piccadilly lines.
Image Credit Southbank Consultancy
Hyde Park London
The largest of London's huge open spaces known as the Royal Parks is the venue for sections of the Triathlon (swimming section) and the Marathon. This beautiful park was once owned by the Crown, but was given to the people of London to enjoy for ever and is the scene for such delights as the Summer Proms in the Park and the Winter Festival. Accessible by Tube - Hyde Park Corner station on the Piccadilly line or Marble Arch on the Central line.
Image credit SouthBank Consultancy
Lee Valley White Water Centre near Hertford north of London
This is another purpose built white water centre that has been constructed especially for the Olympics. It is situated about 5 km. north of the main Olympic Park and will host the Canoe Slalom competitions.The centre has two courses for the 500m. course and the 160m. intermediate course. Access is good and the centre promises to be a huge asset post Games for all who love the energetic sport of canoe slalom. Accessible by public transport from Liverpool St. station to Cheshunt station.
Image Credit ODA
Lords Cricket Ground Marylebone Cricket Club (M.C.C.) London
This famous old cricket ground is the home of the world famous "M.C.C". short for Marylebone Cricket Club. It is set to be the venue for the Archery competition. It can be reached by public transport to St John's Wood tube station. The archers will be shooting from in front of the famous old pavilion which was built in 1890.
Image credit Southbank Consultancy
The Mall London
This is the ceremonial route that was constructed in the early part of the 20th century as a carriageway joining Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square. It is lined with venerable old plane trees and flags and is the magnificent setting for the finish of the Olympic Marathon. In addition it will be the location for the start and finish of the Cycling Road Races. Easily accessible by public transport - tube to St. James Park or Victoria stations then a short walk.
Image credit SouthBank Consultancy
Millennium Stadium Cardiff
Again, one of the stadiums that will host the Football Matches - and again, not near the Thames but included here for completeness.
The O2 Arena North Greenwich
This huge arena will be the venue for Gymnastics, basketball and Trampoline competitions. It was originally built on a huge loop of the River Thames in 2000 to celebrate the dawn of the new millennium. It is now a first class sports and cultural venue with wonderful public transport and parking facilities. The nearest tube station is North Greenwich on the Jubilee line.
Image Credit Simon Worsfold.
The O2 Dome area at North Greenwich
Old Trafford Manchester, and The Sport Direct Stadium Newcastle
Again, nothing to do with the Thames but the settling for Football competitions and included in this list for completeness.
Royal Artillery Barracks Woolwich
Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich were built in the 18th century and first opened in 1776. They will be the historical setting for the Shooting events, which include Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun ranges, and are accessible by public transport from central London - trains from London Bridge station to Woolwich station.
Wembley Stadium North West London
This huge national stadium was built about 5 years ago and will host the Olympic Football finals. It is well served by public transport - Bakerloo line tube trains go to Wembley station.
Wembley Arena North West London
A huge indoor arena used for live music, pop concerts and as a sports venue, this will be the setting for the Badminton and Rhythmic Gymnastics competitions. Again, it has excellent public transport links.
Weymouth and Portland Bill
This magnificent stretch of sea in the English Channel on the South coast near the pretty town of Weymouth will be the superb setting for the Sailing events of the Olympics. It is about 90 km from the centre of London and can be reached by fast train from Waterloo.
Wimbledon - The All England Lawn Tennis Club
Again, this world famous centre for lawn tennis, founded in 1877 will be hosting the Tennis competitions for the Olympics. The couurts are available for the competitors to practice and the Centre Court will be the setting for the finals. Reached by public transport (District line tubes to Wimbledon Park) and about 10 km from the centre of London.
Image Credit ODA.
Londonsguide hopes that this comprehensive list of Olympic Venues and Locations will enhance your interest and help you to find out what's going on where during the three weeks when the eyes of the world will be focussed on London and the beautiful and historic River Thames.
This will be a new chapter in the River Thames's 4000 year old story - and what a story!
The River Thames Guide lists below some useful links for you when planning your Olympic visits. Why not make a weekend or longer and enjoy the sights along the River Thames :-
Useful sections of this website:-
London 2012 rooms For those that are looking for accommodation with a UK family
Public Transport Journey Planner - http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/