Greenwich Park, one of London’s grandest locations, has been selected to host Equestrian eventing, Dressage, Jumping and Modern pentathlon riding events during the London 2012 Games.
Established in 1433, the 183-acre Greenwich Park is the capital’s oldest enclosed Royal Park. It is part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site and is host to the Prime Meridian Line, Old Royal Observatory, Royal Naval College, National Maritime Museum and Queen's House.
The decision to choose it as a Games venue was not universally popular, with some local residents forming an action group against it. However, Games organisers got their way after promising to protect the park and return it to its original state after the Olympics, by clearing away the six-kilometre equestrian cross-country course and taking down the 23,000-capacity provisional arena which has been constructed to the south of Queen's House for the dressage, jumping and modern pentathlon.
Located to the east along the river from central London, the park provides stunning views of the capital’s many landmarks, with St Paul’s Cathedral prominent in the skyline. Along with events at locations such as Wimbledon, Lords, Horse Guards Parade, Hampton Court and The Mall, London 2012 will visit some of Britain’s most iconic and historic venues.
Set against this spectacular back drop the temporary 6km cross-country course will see riders do battle over a number of water obstacles, slopes and hills, in events which are sure to provide wonderful viewing for television audiences and spectators who attend in person.
Once the Games are concluded all the temporary obstacles, the cross-country course and the viewing arena will be removed carefully, in order to protect the heritage of this famous park.
Public facilities: The Pavilion Tea House, which is situated in the centre of the park, serves meals, snacks and drinks, while in the summer there are four additional refreshment points. The park also contains a playground, boating lake and wild deer enclosure. The Games Mobility service will be present, plus there is a London 2012 Shop. There will also be London 2012 information points for venue and sports information, transport updates, lost and found services and pushchair and wheelchair storage.
History: As a World Heritage site since 1997, Greenwich Park in south-east London is one of the capital’s oldest established parks, dating back to the 15th century.
What’s On?: Equestrian eventing (July 28-31), dressage (August 2-9) and jumping (August 4-8); modern pentathlon riding and combined event (August 11-12).
How do you get there?: Greenwich Park is accessible by all forms of transport with the exception of the tube, although National Rail, Docklands Light Railway and the River Thames bus service are the recommended routes. There are three National Rail stations with access to the park — Greenwich, Maze Hill and Blackheath — as well as two DLR stops (Greenwich and Cutty Sark) and one boat (Greenwich). Also, there is a plentiful supply of local buses in the area. However, coaches and a park-and-ride service will only be provided for the cross-country section of the eventing competition on July 30.
Find Greenwich Park on the map: here.
Location – in relation to other venues: Greenwich Park is approximately six miles to the south of Stratford’s Olympic Park, on the south bank of the River Thames, not far from the North Greenwich Arena.
Location – on the tube: The London Underground is not the best option for this venue, so use the National Rail stations with access to the park — Greenwich, Maze Hill and Blackheath — or one of the two DLR stops (Greenwich and Cutty Sark).