So what did we get for our £8.77bn? In addition to an expectation-busting Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, there's the small matter of those remaining buildings and all that parkland. Officially known as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the last of E20's green acres are now open to the public.
The immaculate parklands to the north launched in summer 2013, their paths and waterways enhanced by the new Timber Lodge with its cafe. Next came the Zaha Hadid-designed Aquatics Centre (opened in March 2014; £3.50-£4.50 adults, £2-£2.50 concs), which is open for public swimming and diving sessions, followed by the VeloPark, home to road, track, BMX and mountain biking, and the southern section of the park. The latter comprises all the remaining parkland, including children's play areas, four walking trails, a couple of dozen public artworks, plus the attraction of ascending the ArcelorMittal Orbit. The Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre (www.visitleevalley.org.uk/hockeytennis) opened in May 2014, with two superfast hockey pitches and ten tennis courts (four indoor, six outdoor) – you can just turn up and play, although it might be advisable to book ahead.
All that remains is the Olympic Stadium, which is currently being retooled (including the addition of a roof over the seats). It is due to reopen for the Rugby World Cup in 2015, before West Ham take up permanent residence in 2016. Further ahead, the venue will host the 2017 IAAF World Championships and 2017 IPC World Athletics Championships.
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|Transport:||Rail: Stratford; Tube: Stratford/West Ham; DLR: Stratford International/West Ham|
|Opening hours:||24 hours, but check website for individual sports centre opening times|
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