Your Guide to London Stratford
Where is Stratford?
In 2012, Stratford became 'the' focal point and area for the 2012 Olympics, making it the place to be during any trip to London. You’ll find this town in the London borough of Newham in East London. It's surrounded by districts like Walthamstow, South Woodford, Forest Gate and Shoreditch, and sits outside the congestion charging zone (which is great news if you’re planning on driving here). Even if you don’t have a car you’ll find the transport links here are amazing, due to the improvements and investments that were injected into the area for the tens of thousands of people who visited during the Olympics. This means that you can catch trains from Stratford Train Station, or make the most of Stratford Tube Station in Tube Zone 3.
History of Stratford
Stratford is historically known as Stratford Longthorne. The name Stratford derives from the old English word for ‘street’, combined with ‘ford’, a river crossing. The river in question is the River Lea or Lee, and on the Roman road from London to Colchester, it was here that the Romans found the river easiest to cross. The union of river and road brought about the rise of the town through local industries. The area gathered much of its individuality in the 17th century, when several businesses took home there. These included silk weaving, calico painting, the manufacture of Bow porcelain, distilling and gun-powder.
Much of the area was countryside for a long time, but when with the coming of the railway in 1839, by its very position, Stratford became a hub of the many railways in East London and industry began to form there, most notably the business of building locomotives, carriages and maintenance of engines. The area was a strictly working class one, but a lot of people left Stratford during the World War II, as the location suffered a lot during the blitz. By the late 1960s, an extensive plan for regeneration was in place and by the 1990s, Stratford had seen a new rail and bus station, a brighter town centre, a new library, theatre and much more. The 21st century has seen Stratford become an up and coming area of London that played a huge part in the 2012 Olympics, and one place that is now even more of a must on your to do list.
The Positives of Stratford
Stratford itself has a lively atmosphere for you to enjoy, with street markets, cafes and pubs and thanks to the 2012 Olympics, there’s a real buzz about the area that you will get to experience whilst staying here! Without doubt, the transport facilities available to you at Stratford are second to none. All the main areas and attractions of London are easily accessible as the tube and train station are so well connected. There’s even London buses and the National Express coach service running out of the same station!
Need to Know Stratford
Due to excellent travel facilities at Stratford, the area has become a thriving, bustling, sometimes noisy, part of London. With the success of the 2012 Olympics, and the Westfield City shopping centre build, Stratford became the central hub so the increase in population to this area will not ease. However, despite the potential overcrowding, this is only expected from a developing inner-city area with rising potential year on year.
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