Alcove in Victoria Park
Designated one of the key routes into the 2012 Olympic site, Victoria Park is to benefit from a £10 million refurb, the biggest investment in the 'park for the people of the East End' since it was opened in the 1840s. Architect LDA Design's plan include creating wildflower meadows, a boating lake, a skate park, sports pitches, and inevitably, the headline-grabbing stuff: an artificial waterfall dropping into one of the existing lakes, and an urban beach on the other. Yep, another London sandspot — add it to the Thames beach and the surfers' paradise at Silvertown, and the city's reputation as Bondi-on-Thames will be complete. Keen swimmers will be a little disappointed to see that the plans don't (as yet) include re-opening the Victoria Park lido, which was closed and subsequently demolished in 1990 — the one in London Fields, which was re-opened in 2006, is immensely popular — but swimming in a freshly-scrubbed lake, as locals were wont to do in the 19th century, will suffice. Tower Hamlets has ponied up half of the money required, while the other £5 million will be sourced via a Heritage Lottery Fund bid.
Last Updated 01 September 2009