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Olympic Park
Photograph: Anthony Charlton Olympic Park

Olympic Park

The heart of the London 2012 Olympics

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London, E20

Covering some 2.5sq km of East London, the Olympic Park is a mighty beast of a site. Accessed by no less than three tube and rail stations (Stratford, Stratford International and West Ham), and straddling four boroughs, the Park encompasses some of the Olympic's key venues. To the south of the Park, the Olympic Stadium joins the Water Polo Arena and Aquatics Centre. To the north, visitors will find the Velodrome, Hockey Centre, Basketball Arena, Handball Arena, BMX Circuit and Eton Manor (which features training pools and the Paralympic tennis courts).

RECOMMENDED: See our full list of London 2012 Olympic venues

The long term idea is that none of this staggering investment will go to waste, with all venues together with the Olympic Village (a hub for athlete residential apartments) set to be transformed into useful services and accommodation for a new local community. Environmentalists, meanwhile, may (or may not) be placated by the Olympic organisers' efforts to safeguard and promote the area's wildlife by introducing thousands of British-grown trees, planting wetland plants and installing 700 bird and bat boxes to encourage species to inhabit the area.

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