When you’re one of the millions who gathered to watch the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, you may have seen some of the iconic structures that make up the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, including the Anish Kapoor’s twisted helter-skelter landmark, the Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Centre, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, and the Olympic stadium’s large laurel wreath. These structures, along with the acres of parkland that surround them, have become the heart of a thriving and popular leisure destination.
The fantastic Westfield shopping area, on the outskirts of the park, is packed with the best merchants in the UK, as well as innumerable restaurants, theatres, bowling lanes, and the nation’s largest casino. A top-notch theatre, a children’s story centre, a rooftop cinema club, and other independent bars and restaurants are all close by, reflecting the area’s vibrant and creative culture. Read on to discover why a day out in Stratford should absolutely be on your London agenda, just 15 minutes by DLR from London City Airport and 20 minutes by Tube from Oxford Circus
1. Slide off the ArcelorMittal Orbit
This red tower of twisted metal, which launched in June, is the world’s highest and longest tube slide. This gigantic slide, designed by Belgian artist Carsten Höller, will take you down at 15 mph in a 40-second fall. Take the lift to the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, where the observation platforms give unrivalled views of London from the east, if you’re not daring enough to go down the exciting slide.
2. Boat tours in Queen Elizabeth Park
A boat tour of the Lee & Stort Park is a terrific way to learn about the park and see some of the streams that run through it. From Easter until mid-September, tours leave every hour at noon, seven days a week, and last 45 minutes. Look for some of the 84 types of wildlife that call the park’s 560 acres home.
3. Watch Movie on Roof East
A movie theatre on top of a multi-story parking garage? This is, after all, Stratford. From May to September, Roof East hosts regular film screenings. If it rains, an umbrella and a poncho will be provided, and the show will go on. Grab a hotdog and a lounge chair and settle in to watch your favourite movie against the backdrop of a cityscape. A bar and a street food stand are also located on the marvellous rooftop.
4. Stratford City Shopping Centre (Westfield)
The arcade of Westfield Stratford City
Westfield Stratford City, a destination for retail therapy, has extended its hours until 9 p.m., but you’ll still need a couple of days to explore every nook and corner of this massive mall. For some cuisine, head to the “Street,” where restaurants like the Real Greek give you delectable plates.
5. London Aquatics Centre
Swimming in the Olympic pool in this delightfully light and sunny structure costs around £5. Try one of the Aqua Splash activities, where enormous inflatables are thrown into the pool to bring out your inner child.
6. Stratford East Theatre Royal
Theatre Royal Stratford East is a vibrant theatre with a history of generating new plays and musicals. Its work is constantly relevant to and informed by modern Britain.
7. Explore the Sawmill Cafe
The Sawmill is a charming little cafe that provides delectable cakes and coffees, as well as home-cooked lunches.
8. ‘Discover Children’s Story Centre’
This unique children’s section offers a variety of activities for small children, including a year-long interactive Dr. Seuss tale trail. There will be crafts, dressing up, interactive exhibitions, and an outside playground. After a thorough renovation, the centre relaunched recently.
9. Timber Lodge and Tumbling Bay Adventure Playground
This state-of-the-art playground, located at the north end of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, features enough for kids of all ages to explore and discover, including a hidden piano, nest-like tunnels, shaky pathways, and an extensive sequence of sand and water diggers and pulleys. The Timber Lodge cafe offers great coffee and a variety of healthy meal options.
10. British Pub – King Edward VII
This fantastic traditional British pub, known locally as the King Eddie, is within short walk of the Olympic Park. Enjoy the atmospheric dark wood furniture, low ceilings, and open flames while sipping artisan beer and eating homemade pie.
11. German Donor Kebab
Known for its yummy donor kebab roll sandwiches. If you are really hungry then don’t forget the Box Meal of Donor for just 10 GBP along with the drink and sides.
12. Drapers Field Recreation Ground
Just 12 minutes of walk from the Westfield Shopping mall, this open space recreational park is fabulous when it comes to relax in nature. It has play area for kids and a football field to book and schedule your hours. A large open area to jog, run in the early morning makes it convenient for both elderly and young ones.
13. Anytime Fitness
A 24-hour gym for both men and women with modern gym equipment makes it dazzling to join any part of the day or night to keep you in perfect shape. Located just at the roundabout. Easy commutable and accessible, as you can find the Chobham Road Bus Stop(M) just at a minute walk.
14. Vue Cinemas at Westfield Shopping Mall.
Starting from just 6.99 GBP, you can enjoy varoius movie shows at one of the biggest Cinema chain stores in the UK. Located at the 3rd floor of the mall with local restaurants to enjoy along.