Never to be confused with Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, London’s Stratford is a whole different kettle of fish. While we can’t claim Shakespeare as our own, we still have much to be proud of. Once an Essex settlement and then part of the County Borough of West Ham, we’re now a district of east London in the London Borough of Newham.
Millions saw some of Stratford’s landmark buildings when watching the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – from the Aquatic Centre, to the helter-skelter to the ArcelorMittal Orbit, all now much-admired tourist sights. People also know Stratford for the enormously popular Westfield Stratford City, where you can shop till you drop. What you may not know is that in addition to being East London’s main shopping, leisure, and cultural hub, we’re also a significant business location, second only to Canary Wharf. We have fabulous theatres and this country’s largest casino, a rooftop film club and the lovely Queen Elizabeth Park that features a state-of-the-art playground, boat tours and dozens of species of wildlife. We have an Olympic pool, the unique Children’s Story Centre and some of the best local pubs you’ll ever find. We were even featured in Batman Begins, as Abbey Mills Pumping Station was used as the filming location for the lunatic asylum.