Shop ‘til you drop or follow in the footsteps of gold medalists in the sparkling former home of the 2012 Olympic Games
Walk along the broad boulevards of Stratford and it’s easy to imagine them packed with thousands of Olympic athletes and spectators during the excitement of the London games. Now the crowds have gone home, you get to enjoy all the benefits of that multi-billion pound investment.
Pretend you’re gunning for freestyle gold during your weekly laps at the world-class facilities of the London Aquatics Centre. Or get on your bike down at the Lee Valley VeloPark and race your new student friends. Climb to the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower - a striking 115m looping steel sculpture - for breathtaking views over the Olympic Park. If you need cake with your views, try the Moka East café on The Greenway.
If your preferred sport is shopping then head to the incredible Westfields mega mall that is the heart of new Stratford. With 300 shops, it would take you weeks to see everything that’s on offer. It’s a great spot to eat too as among the 70 bars, restaurants and cafés are smaller versions of popular eateries like sourdough pizza spot Franco Manca and Lebanese legends Comptoir Libanais.
For something a little less shiny and new, visit the beautiful Victorian-era community playhouse Theatre Royal Stratford East. You’re also only a short walk to Hackney Wick with its micro-breweries and uber-cool restaurants.
All an 8 minute train ride from the heart of London. Local universities include University of East London, Loughborough University in London and the Stratford campus of Birkbeck.