Quick London Guides: Things to do in Stratford

Quick London Guides: Things to do in Stratford

by Georgia Crump
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Located in the effortlessly cool East End of London, Stratford is a district that has seen a remarkable change over the last 10 years to become one of London’s most vibrant up-and-coming areas. 

For any fans of the Olympics, Stratford’s landmarks will be familiar – from Anish Kapoor’s helter-skelter to the distinctive Olympic stadium, there’s plenty to see and experience here. Situated just 15 minutes from London City Airport and 20 minutes on the central line from Oxford Circus, even if you only have a few hours, Stratford is well worth visiting!

Explore the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

In 2012 the Summer Olympic Games shone the international spotlight on Stratford and the area welcomed many new attractions and facilities, in particular the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Originally built to host the games, the site was designed for the enjoyment of Londoners and visitors long after the Olympics had finished. 

Today, wandering round the park you will find shops, restaurants, parks, trails, galleries, and venues. We especially recommend the guided boat tour, which will introduce you to the beautiful parklands and the key attractions of Stratford with a professional tour guide. 

Tours take approximately 45 minutes and run at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm on weekends, subject to good weather. Just turn up at the pontoon next to the London Aquatics Centre. 

Slide down the world’s tallest slide

The crown jewel in Stratford’s skyline is undoubtedly the twisting red curves of the ArcelorMittal Orbit. Designed by the Turner prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor, part sculpture and part observation tower, it is Britain’s largest piece of public art and offers outstanding views across London from two observation decks. 

And if you’re in the mood to try something different, this unique sculpture also houses the longest and tallest slide in the world designed by Swedish artist Carsten Höller. From the top of the ArcelorMittal you can release your inner child and slide all the way down to the bottom. 

Watch a classic film at Roof East’s rooftop cinema 

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Roof East is one of the coolest rooftop bars in London, serving up cocktails, craft beer, and tasty street food. Here you will find crazy golf, curling, and a regular programme of comedy gigs from some of London’s biggest names in comedy. In the summer months, this expansive rooftop turns into a cinema experience, complete with state of the art headphones and cosy blankets for the ultimate viewing experience. Check out their full programme to see what’s on, and enjoy a new or classic film set to the backdrop of a sunset over the iconic London skyline. 

Westfield Stratford’s world-class shopping centre

The largest shopping mall in Europe, Westfield Stratford attracts visitors from all over London and much further afield to browse the shelves and snap up a bargain at one of their 250 shops, including several flagship stores. You may rack up the step count walking round this vast complex, but there are over 70 restaurants, cafés and bars here where you can refuel and enjoy cuisines from all over the world. 

If shopping isn’t your thing, here you will also find a Vue cinema boasting 17 screens to show all the latest blockbuster hits, a luxury bowling alley, and even a Casino, making Westfield Stratford easily one of the best destinations for a whole family day out in East London. 

Brunch at the Sawmill Cafe 

One of the most loved brunch spots amongst locals, the Sawmill is a family run bakery and cafe that serves a wide range of sweet and savory treats throughout the day, 7 days a week. Don’t miss their weekend brunches, their eggs Benedict have locals queuing up for a table and the freshly ground coffee will give you the best start to your day. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, this cafe has a mouthwatering selection of salads and meals available. 

Soak up some history at the Theatre Royal Stratford East

Often forgotten amidst the new developments of Stratford, the East End of London has a colourful history as one of the most significant industrial areas of London in the 19th century. This history is best glimpsed at the Theatre Royal, which dates back to 1884, making it one of the largest and oldest theatres in the East End. With a varied programme of theatre and comedy, check out their seasonal performances for a historical night out. 

Head outdoors in Lee Valley park

Just a stone’s throw from Stratford centre is the luscious Lee Valley park. This park joins London to the countryside, and a stroll around its leafy walkways will give you the impression that you really have left the bustle of the city behind you. On a sunny day you will find locals taking picnics and walking their dogs amongst the flora and fauna of this idyllic nature reserve. Within the park, you will find plenty of activities from golf to cycling to kayaking, or just take a walk and enjoy the fresh air of the countryside. 

Check out cool neighbour Hackney Wick

Just next to Stratford is the oh so cool neighbourhood of Hackney Wick. Here you will find street art on every wall and bars packed full of hipster crowds sipping craft beer and cocktails in the evenings. Wander down the canal and check out the picturesque houseboats that line the banks, and maybe stop off at Number 90 restaurant and bar which has a trendy outdoor space overlooking the canal. 

Leave Your Luggage With Stasher Before Visiting Stratford

Don’t let your luggage hold you back from exploring all that Stratford has to offer. Stasher offers a plethora of safe and convenient luggage storage destinations all over the British capital. Check out our website to find your ideal London storage location.

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