10 years ago, most people would have raised an eyebrow at the suggestion of moving to the East End’s Stratford. An Olympic legacy and Westfield Shopping Centre later and people are lining up to move to E15. In fact, from a sales perspective, Stratford property value has risen by 71 percent since 2005.
But you’re not here to read about the sales market in E15, right? You want to know what it’s like to live in a thriving East London town with excellent travel connections, one of Europe’s largest shopping centres, and plenty of activities and amenities that have been left by one of the greatest Olympic events of all time.
Well, read on and discover the world of Stratford…
On a Map
Stratford is located in the London borough of Newham and is situated seven miles north-east of central London.
Stratford’s roots go as far back as 1067, where its name was recorded as Strætforda, meaning ‘ford on Roman Road’. In fact, the first real recognition of the area was as the point where the original Roman Road crossed the River Lea.
In the 18th Century, Stratford was as an agricultural community primarily known for its potato growing. The area was also a country retreat for the wealthiest people from the centre of London due to its close connections to the city.
The Victorian era saw industrialisation in Stratford pick up steam with the creation of the Royal Docks and a railway station. Though by 1960s, that industrialisation was fading dramatically and a more concerted effort was made to turn Stratford into a community driven place and a popular retail destination.
Renting in Stratford
The legacy of the Olympic Games left over 11,000 new homes, which will be built over the next 21 years, along with the properties already based in the area. The result means that most of the properties in Stratford are new apartments, often located in plush residential developments.
East Village, formerly Athletes Village (where the stars of the 2012 Olympics resided), is one of the main places people desire to live, after being converted into just under 3,000 homes spread across 75 acres of landscaped parkland.
Chobham Manor was the first of five new communities in the area and is based in the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. There are plenty of other residential developments constructed and under construction, many with residential gyms, swimming pools and concierge services.
The average rent for one-bedroom properties in Stratford is £1,300 per month, two-bedroom apartments will set you back £1,800 per month, and three-bed properties cost around £2,500 per month.
If you’re looking for a London area with fantastic travel connections, look no further than Stratford. We’ll start with the tube service, which is located on the Central Line and Jubilee Line and has direct services to Bond Street and Oxford Circus in just 20 minutes. City slickers will also be happy to know that Stratford has direct routes into Bank, St Paul’s, and Liverpool Street.
There is a train line with high-speed services to St Pancras, so a weekend trip to Paris will never be out of the question. A DLR train also goes to Canary Wharf, while Overground services stop at Highbury & Islington in North London.
Throw in a Zone 3 location, and you are truly spoilt for choice in Stratford, with fluid connections to north, south and west.
Enjoy an authentic Greek experience at the Real Greek, located in Westfield Shopping Centre, with delicious meze and a vibrant atmosphere. Start with a traditional Greek pie before moving on to grilled halloumi and finishing off with some homemade Baklava.
Address: R1005, Chestnut Plaza, Westfield Stratford City, 2 Montfichet Rd, London E20 1GL
Phone: 020 8503 1844
If you’re looking for a casual stop-off during the day with a fine selection of cakes and pastries, look no further than The Last Drop. This cafe in Queen Elizabeth Park also serves fresh coffee, light lunches and snacks.
Address: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Thornton Street, London E20 2AD
Phone: 020 8221 9114
Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy dinner at a hotel, even if you’re not staying there. It’s even better when said hotel just so happens to be a boutique one. The Westbridge cooks up a storm, serving salmon, duck, lamb, steak and a variety of salads.
Address: 335-337 High St, London, UK
Phone: 020 3733 4185
A modern European restaurant with quality wine and good vibes. What more can you ask for? Perhaps a Spanish and Italian food menu from a restaurant which isn’t a chain – a rarity in Stratford. Our favourite is the Maize fed chicken breast, Bertha roasted leeks, puy lentils & crème fraiche. Delish!
Address: 16 Victory Parade, East Village, London E20 1FS
Phone: 020 8534 4579
The famous chef might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no denying his Italian restaurants serve up some excellent dishes. Also located in Westfield, Jamie’s has a selection of pizzas and pasta, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten free dishes.
Address: 158 Westfield Ave, London E20 1EN
Phone: 020 3535 8063
What to do and see in Stratford
There really is only one place to start when it comes to amenities in Stratford, and that is Westfield Shopping Centre. The largest shopping mall in London is a shopper’s paradise, with over 250 shops to partake in some serious retail therapy. Along with the Olympics, it is the center point of E15 and has been the driving force behind the regeneration undertaken in the area over the last few years.
Formerly known as the Olympic Stadium, due to it being the home to the 2012 Olympics, the 60,000-seater is currently occupied by Premier League club West Ham United and is now known as the London Stadium. It’s also a multi-use venue and hosts several events throughout the year, including other sports, music concerts and stadium tours.
Queen Elizabeth Park certainly packs a punch with the London Stadium, ArcelorMittal Orbit, the London Aquatics Centre, the Copper Box Arena, Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Hockey, and a tennis centre all located on its ground. There are also vast parklands to explore, as well as waterways, playgrounds and cafes. Entry is free.
An area for now and the future
Everything about Stratford screams ‘new’, which is great if you’re a purveyor of all things fresh and shiny. If you prefer, let’s say, a little more rustic vibes with your London areas, have a look at our guides to find the place that best suits you.
However, Stratford has an exciting future ahead of it, and rental prices are still fairly competitive when compared to other East London areas like Shoreditch, Dalston and Liverpool Street. If you want fantastic travel connections, the modern shopping experience in London, and to live in brand new apartments, you’ll find that Stratford is the ideal place to call home.
It won’t be long until it’s known as a prime area of the capital.