With the Olympics only one week away (Wow!) and many people of us without tickets, the department store John Lewis created an opportunity to see the Olympic Stadium. My family and I discovered the store’s viewing area in late May during a visit to the area.
Seeing the Olympic Park was on every family member’s to-do list and after a short tube ride to Stratford, we found ourselves only inches from the Olympic grounds but sadly blocked by several layers of security. So to make the most of our time, we explored Westfield mall and eventually found our way to John Lewis’ Olympic shop and the top floor viewing area.
It’s not a picture perfect view but through the windows you can see the Olympic stadium, the water polo facility and the aquatics center. For a casual visit, this is great! You can see two buildings that are about to dominate the media - sorry water polo – and you don’t have to bother with the exhausted security guards protecting the perimeter or disappointment.
For those new to the area, the viewing room also provides a unique eastern view of London. On a clear day, the sight lines allow visitors to see the banking district in Canary Wharf, BT Tower and many square mile landmarks like the Gherkin.
How to get there:
The easiest way to get to the platform is take the Central line to Stratford, avoid the indoor mall and immediately go to the second floor of the outdoor shopping area, walk down to far end of the outdoor area to find John Lewis, walk towards the center part of the store to find the escalators and finally, take the escalators to the top floor.
If the viewing area is open during the Games, it will provide an amazing elevated view of the area and a glimpse of London’s international fun.
Updated: To help manager the crowds visiting the Olympic boutique and the panoramic views, John Lewis has introduced a £2 fee.