Pleasure Gardens

This area, once almost entirely paved as the main pedestrian plaza for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has been reinvented as a series of amazing pleasure gardens, with outdoor spaces boasting climbing walls, play areas, theatre spaces and lush beds of intricately planted grasses and bushes. 

It was designed by one of the world’s leading landscape architects James Corner Field Operations (responsible for New York’s famous High Line)  and world-famous planting designer Piet Oudolf, and opened in April 2014.

Stretching through the Pleasure Gardens is a long peninsula – 2012 Walk.  This is a place of entertainment, activity and discovery, featuring a long, tree-lined promenade hung with beautiful spherical lanterns and a series of exciting spaces designed to inspire creativity in people of all ages. 

These are surrounded and enclosed by a ribbon of perennial planting  to create the feeling of outdoor ‘rooms’ of different sizes.  They include spaces dedicated to:

  • Play, with activities for kids of all ages, including sand pits, water play areas, swings and even a climbing wall down to the riverside
  • Music, with larger than life instruments that kids can play on  - not there yet!
  • Theatre, featuring a stage for performances both arranged and ad-hoc!
  • Water, with a giant fountain with 195 individual computer controlled jets

Around these spaces lie play lawns, formal gardens, planted areas and spots to sit and appreciate the view.

At the end of the gardens sits the breath-taking ArcelorMittal Orbit, and you can buy food or drink from kiosks along the promenade or at The Podium Bar & Kitchen at the base of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, or bring your own and have a picnic along the waterways that stretch up to the centre of the Park.