More areas of Olympic Park to open

The stadium, which will be the new home for West Ham United FC , is not set to open until August 2016. Photo: PA

Another chunk of the Olympic Park will reopen to the public on April 5.

The newly landscaped southern section of the venue in Stratford, east London, which staged the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will reopen but the showpiece Olympic Stadium will remain a no-go area for curious visitors.

The stadium, which will be the new home for West Ham United FC , is not set to open until August 2016 although it will host five matches during next year's Rugby World Cup.

On April 5 a stretch of landscaping of the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park spanning from the south of the main entrance by the aquatics centre, past the twisting 114.5m ArcelorMittal Orbit tower towards the northern tip of the site up to the velopark opens to the public.

The £22.3 million Orbit will also be opening on that day but a pricing structure for tickets to visit the new tourist attraction, complete with its two viewing platforms, will be announced later this month, a London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) spokesman said.

The 560 hectare site has been reopening in stages since the London 2012 Games ended with large scale events - such as concerts and last year's Sainsbury's Anniversary Games - being staged while the area undergoes its makeover from a sporting venue to community use.

More than 100,000 visitors have been to the Copper Box Arena, a London 2012 venue in the north of the site, which was the first reopened in July 2012.

LLDC chief executive Dennis Hone described the opening of the south of the park as "a huge moment in our vision to create a new heart of east London" while London mayor Boris Johnson claimed "no other Olympic city has come close to London's success in delivering a lasting legacy of sporting venues, jobs, homes and simply wonderful park lands."

The Aquatics Centre will open its doors for the first time since the Games on March 1, hosting a series of events, galas and public swimming and diving sessions. Prices are set to cost from £4.50 a session, according to the LLDC spokesman. The centre has two 50m pools, a diving pool and a newly installed gym. It will host the 2014 FINA/NVC Diving World Series and in 2016 the European Swimming Championships in April.

Details on how to book activities are set to be announced from January 20, according to GLL who operate the centre.

Spring unveilings have also been earmarked for two big sporting venues in the the north of the park.

The Lee Valley VeloPark, which will be home to road, track, BMX and mountain biking, is to open in March while Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre will open in May.

The VeloPark is to feature everything from learn to ride programmes to major championships such as the grande finale of the Revolution Track Cycling Series on March 14 and 15

The Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre will boast four indoor and six outdoor tennis courts and, according to organisers, two of the best hockey pitches in the country.These can be used by both the local community and elite players in international tournaments such as the Investec London Cup 2014, the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters 2014-2016 and the European Hockey Championships 2015.

Work has already begun to turn the stadium in to a multi-use venue. It is to be West Ham's new home from 2016 and the new national competition stadium for athletics in the UK which will host the 2017 IAAF World Championships and 2017 IPC World Athletics Championships.

Shaun Dawson, chief executive of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority which owns and operates the Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, said: "We are thrilled to be hosting the finale of the Revolution Series in the velodrome at Lee Valley VeloPark - the first time since London 2012 that the stars of the Games, including the venue's ambassador Laura Trott, return to race in this inspirational, multi-award winning venue. This will give people the chance to relive the memories of the Games and cheer on the nation's cycling heroes.

"We look forward to offering world class hockey and tennis facilities for players of all standards - two sports that are fast growing in popularity.

"We have worked very closely with the sports' national governing bodies - England Hockey and Lawn Tennis Association - to ensure that what we offer will place Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre as one of the country's top training centres and major events venues."