Stratford in East London is home to the Olympic Park, a great selection of arts venues and the largest urban shopping centre in Europe, Westfield Stratford City.
Stratford has changed rapidly during the past few years. Not only does it have a bright sporting future thanks to the stunning Olympic Park, but it is also now home to Westfield Stratford City, a shopping centre so large it has its own postcode! Alongside special events in these marvellous examples of contemporary architecture, Stratford also offers many other cultural opportunities and family attractions.
Stratford was the place to be during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Seventeen of the 26 Olympic sports took place within a 15-minute walk from Stratford Station. As well as the Olympic Stadium, Stratford is home to the Aquatics Centre, the Riverbank Arena, the Velodrome and the Basketball Arena.
There's lots of stations with 'Stratford' in the name. Check which you need before you travel!
These state-of-the-art sporting arenas are joined by the striking ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower. This looping steel sculpture is Britain's largest piece of public art, at 115m (377ft) tall. It offers breathtaking views of the Olympic Park and will re-open along with the rest of the Olympic Park in 2013.
As well as the Olympic Park, Stratford's other notable attractions include the Discover Children's Storytelling Centre, arts venue Stratford Circus, independent cinema Stratford Picturehouse, and the gorgeous Victorian theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East.
Westfield Stratford City is a striking, three-storey curved shopping centre. It houses more than 300 shops, a cinema, bowling alley and more than 60 restaurants. Of particular interest for avid shoppers are the large-scale John Lewis and Marks and Spencer.
There are plenty of places to stay in Stratford, whether you're looking for traditional or budget accommodation. Here are a few options:
Stratford is a transport hub and has excellent rail, Tube and bus links. Close to Stratford International are Stratford High Street Station, on the Docklands Light Railway, and Stratford station, where you can find Central line and London Overground services. You can get a bus to a huge range of destinations across London from both Stratford bus station and Stratford City bus station. National Express coaches, which travel across the UK, also depart from Stratford bus station.
Download the handy Visit Stratford app for iPhone and Android from www.stratfordlondonapp.com.