How to get to the London 2012 Olympic GamesBy David Wright
July 26, 2012
Reading Post sports editor at large David Wright has been to the Olympic site in London to preview the games.
Here is his guide to getting the most from the venue.
For those from the Reading area lucky enough to have tickets for the games, the simple advice is to leave very early - and take the train!
Don't even think about driving to east London.
There is a good train service from Paddington to the Olympic site. But leave at least two hours for your actual journey from Reading.
Anything less will be a bonus.
You can go on to St Pancras and pick up another train for a short journey to Stratford International, which is on the eastern side of the Olympic site.
If you go by tube . . there's no direct line from Paddington to Stratford underground station (which is in a different area to the overground). but you will need to change only once. Depending on which line you take (Hammersmith and City will probably be the least busy and the platform is beside the main Paddington station). The best places to pick up the Central line are Oxford Circus or Liverpool Street.
From Stratford station, there are large signs pointing to where to go, but the actual path to the Olympic site will vary, depending on the size of the crowds and at what time of day.
You can't get lost as hundreds of stewards will be lining the route. But it could take another hour at least before you actually get inside the Olympic site.
The security is as tight as any airport - and if you make the slightest 'ting' through the scanner you will be searched.
You can take in your own food and water up to a limit. No bottles over 100ml (less than a third of a can of cola) will be permitted. You can take in empty bottles and fill them up in inside, but expect very long queues, especially in hot weather.
If you take in food, it must be in a small, soft-sided bag (one per person) that can fit under your stadium seat. There are numerous food outlets inside the stadium, but they are not cheap. A sandwich and drink will leave you with little change out of a tenner.
The actual site is massive and it could take at least 15 minutes to walk from the south side entrance to the hockey pitch.
The main Olympic stadium is highly impressive. No matter where you sit, you will have an excellent view of the track.
I have only been there when the stadium was half-full but even there there was a tremendous atmosphere. When it reaches its capacity of 80,000 it will be humdinging electric, offering a never-to-be-forgotten experience.
Cheering plenty of gold medal winners will make it even better.