Stratford is an urban centre and town of Greater London in the London Borough of Newham in East London and is part of the Lower Lea Valley, England, United Kingdom. Stratford includes localities called Maryland, East Village, Chobham Manor and Stratford City. Historically part of the ancient parish and subsequent County Borough of West Ham, which became the western half of the modern borough in 1965. Historically anagrarian settlement in the county of Essex, Stratford was transformed into an industrial suburb following the introduction of the railway in 1839.
The late 20th Century was a period of severe economic decline, eventually reversed by regeneration associated with the 2012 Summer Olympics, for which Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was the principal venue and later with West Ham United F.C. and British Athletics moving to the London Stadium.
Stratford is now East London’s primary retail, cultural and leisure centre. It has also become the second most significant (after Canary Wharf) business location in the east of the capital.
Revamped for the 2012 Olympic Games, Stratford is a buzzing shopping and leisure hub. Popular with families, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has the London Aquatics Centre with its wave-shaped roof, the London Stadium and several play areas. Towering over the park, ArcelorMittal Orbit is a spiral sculpture with a tunnel slide. Restaurants, bars and upscale fashion shops fill the vast Westfield Stratford City mall.