Things to do in Stratford with older parents

Posted on November 29, 2018
Things to do in Stratford with older parents
4 min read

Mention Stratford to anyone and chances are they’ll think of Stratford-Upon-Avon, the famed birthplace of celebrated English playwright William Shakespeare. While certainly a place to visit in itself, it does have the unfortunate result of overshadowing another Stratford, the London borough. This is a shame, as there is actually a lot to do there.

Should you be looking to take your older parents out for a day to London, you would certainly be well rewarded should you visit this charming and perhaps all too overlooked part of the capital. Read on to discover some top destinations for seniors and their families in Stratford.

Visit a historic Stratford pub

Founded in the 18th century, the King Edward VII pub was originally called The King of Prussia, possibly in honour of either King Frederick the Great or King Frederick William IV. After WWI broke out, patriotic and anti-German sentiment inspired the current name, and it has remained the King Edward VII ever since. As you’d expect from a historic pub, the King Edward thrives on its extensive history, with the building still retaining many of its historic features and characteristics.

Lunch is served from 11am to 4pm, and there’s also a daily main menu. The bar can get very busy in the evenings, especially around 7pm-9pm, so it may be better to go in the afternoon when it’s quieter. The building can also be a bit cramped, more to do with furniture than the structure itself, so you may find getting around difficult if you have a wheelchair or crutches.

Go shopping in Stratford

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If you want to get some shopping done, Westfield Stratford City (WSC) offers one the largest shopping centres in Europe with over 1,9100,000 square feet of shopping space to spare. Rest assured, if you want it then WSC most probably has it. If you include the surrounding shopping areas, it’s the second largest retail centre in Europe! As well as hundreds of shops, WSC has a Vue multiscreen cinema, a casino, and two hotels. It’s absolutely thrumming with activity, and you could easily spend a day or two just inside the complex alone.

Accessibility is also a high concern for WSC. The parking area features numerous bays reserved for blue badge holders, and the centre also offers mobility scooters and manual wheelchairs for hire. Proof of identification will be required such as a passport, or two other documents such as a drivers’ license, health care card, or a valid ID card.

The centre also offers guiding services for those with visual impairment. With advanced forewarning, a member of staff can be provided who will help guide you from shop to shop, leaving you with a customer assistant while they wait outside. The service is available from 10:30am-6pm Monday to Saturday, or from 11am-5pm on Sundays.

Take a boat tour

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was constructed for the 2012 Olympics, and since then has become a major attraction within the Stratford area. As well as the sports facilities that remain in use, the Park has become home to many recreational facilities, businesses and attractions that help ensure the space keeps providing even long after the Olympics had finished.

If you’re visiting during the warmer parts of the year, consider getting a boat tour of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. As you pass along the scenic surroundings of the park area, you can be treated to some fascinating information and insights into just how Elizabeth Park became one of the crowning centrepieces of the Olympic Games. Plus, it’s a great and lazy way to spend an afternoon.

Tours are weather and tide-dependent, and some older parents may find embarking off the pontoon difficult. Fortunately, staff are always on hand to help, and the tours offer a discounted ticket for seniors.

Enjoy some homemade food

Assuming you’ve not already eaten your fill at either Elizabeth Park or Westfield Stratford Centre, consider dropping into the Sawmill Cafe & Bakery. It’s a charming, independently run cafe on Ham Lane. Sourcing its ingredients from ethical and local sources, the cafe offers freshly made food every day for its hungry customers, as well as the finest teas and coffees.

The café opens Monday to Friday from 8pm-8am, and on weekends from 9am-11pm.

Catch a theatre show

The Theatre Royal Stratford East is found of Gerry Raffles Square, and is host to a wide variety of acts and performances from across the theatrical spectrum, from large-budget productions, to smaller independent performances and acts. Should you and your parents have a love for the theatre and all that it entails, it’s worth a look. Shows run from all hours, so you can pop in as part of a day visit, or come in later at night for some evening entertainment.

The theatre also has its own restaurant and bar, so you can also enjoy a nice light meal before the show starts.

The theatre has done its best to ensure that its performances are as accessible to its audience as possible. As well as being fully accessible to wheelchairs, the theatre also offers captioning for those who are hard of hearing, audio description, touch tours, signed performances, and is welcoming to assistance dogs. Further, carers for the elderly or disabled are offered free tickets, so they can attend with their wards.


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