Our new ‘London 2012 Olympics’ playground

A brand new playground on our doorstep. The powers-that-be are slowly regenerating the area that housed the Olympic games a couple of summers ago.  The new Queen Elizabeth Park (we still call it the ‘Olympic Park’, I’m not sure that will ever go away) is taking shape, with play areas, parks, new swimming and sports facilities and a river running through the middle of it.

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We’re very impressed with the unique and ‘natural’ children’s playground that’s been designed and built using tree trunks and branches as the main components, as if it had sprung up out of a forest (well, I can wish). Rope bridges are slung between wild-looking turrets, perfect for imaginary play and adventure. There’s rocks to climb on, water and sand to play in and slides to whoosh down.


It was designed by play space experts Land Use Consultants and Erect Architecture and even includes a piece of art: Heather and Ivan Morrison’s Cross and Cave sculpture, which aims to depict a ‘ruin from the future’. You can watch more about the creation of the piece here:


Little details are found underneath walkways, such as these metal canisters which reverberate like bells when struck and piano strings hidden behind textured branches.

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Glimpses of colour in the planting break up the winter leaves.

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You can see the soon-to-be-opened velodrome nearby, with building works still taking place all around.


Very nearby, the Timber Lodge cafe serves up food and hot drinks throughout the day. We found the service a little shambolic, but perhaps that’s just teething pains.

Tumbling Bay Playground, Queen Elizabeth Park, London


18 thoughts on “Our new ‘London 2012 Olympics’ playground

    • You won’t recognise the area! It’s changed so much… it’s a bit barren in the park, but sure as the planting grows, it will come into its own.

    • I don’t know about you, but when I’m sat at the playground, I’m usually thinking of ways they could improve it but for this one, I think they’ve done brilliantly!

    • It was all warehouses and industrial areas before the Olympics (I might have even gone raving in some parties there in my youth!). So quite different now. Also nearby is Hackney Wick, a hub for artist studios and little cafes, so it feels like you have the grassroots culture as well as the government-led regeneration.

  1. We’ve been visiting London since last year and it amazes me how much green space and wild places there are.I think I’ll have to do some research on how to get there and put it on our places to visit list.

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