There is much for visitors to see and visit in Newham. Below are some highlights.

Westfield shopping centre, Stratford City

This complex of 350 retail outlets, restaurants and hotels has been a big hit with visitors since opening on September 13th, 2011. It features the large John Lewis and Marks & Spencer stores, Europe’s biggest 24-hour casino, a bowling alley and a multi-screen cinema. Allow for a minimum half-day to wander around.

Stratford Shopping Centre

There’s a market inside and outside the shopping centre, opposite Stratford rail and bus stations. Many major high street shops can be found, including Sainsbury’s and Lidls. There is an amazing collective of small specialist outlets off one of the concourses. During the summer a bar, BBQ and cinema can be found on the roof.

Stratford Circus

This is Newham’s performing arts centre in Gerry Raffles Square (adjoining Stratford Shopping Centre), with a regular varied  programme of events. Tel: 020 8534 0310.

Theatre Royal Stratford East

A fabulous, popular theatre,  also in Gerry Raffles Square,  featuring contemporary and classical productions. It’s annual pantomime, spread over several weeks in December and January, is always a “sell out”.  A future production: The Government Inspector, May 18th-28th. Tel: 020 8534 0310.

Green Street, East Ham

This used to be a tramway dividing the former Essex county boroughs of East Ham and West Ham. Now it is a major weekend tourist spot – though businesses are open midweek, too – having been transformed into London’s Asian high street, featuring  fantastic Asian jewellery and clothing shops. You are best advised to go there by District or Hammersmith & City Underground train to Upton Park station as buses tend to crawl through the busy road at weekends.

West Ham United Football Club

The Premiership League football club and its hotel  leaves its Green Street stadium for the Olympic Stadium at Stratford early in June, 2016. See the impressive building before it is demolished for housing. It can be found 300 yards from Upton Park Station.

Queens Market

This, too, is in Green Street (adjoining Upton Park Station). It is one of London’s cheapest and most diverse markets. The market used to run along Green Street, but has been at its current indoor location since 1904, opening on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. A variety of different stallholders can be seen on Sundays.  Available are usually hard-to-find African, Caribbean and South Asian fresh foods, plus jewellery, fabrics  and trimmings from the Indian sub-continent. Also to be found are household goods and kitchenware for all cultures.  Tel: 020 8475 8971

Showcase Cinema

Located in Barking Road, just around the corner from West Ham United (see above), this cinema boasts the biggest Bollywood screen in the United Kingdom.

Gallions Reach Shopping Park

Many of the big names in retail can be found here, where shopping is a pleasure. Its big concourse ensures comfort for the visitor – and there is good parking available. Often features special attractions, particularly on Saturdays.

Docklands Equestrian Centre

2 Clapsgate Lane, Beckton, E6 6JF. Tel: 020 7473 4951.

Website: http://www,docklandsequestriancentre.com

British Horse Society-approved facility for disabled and able-bodied of all ages.

Newham City Farm

King George Avenue, E16 3HR (parking in King George V Park); main entrance is in Stansfield Road, London, E6 5LT. Tel: 0300 124 0123

This is one of London’s longest surviving and biggest city farms. There’s a huge shire horse, cows, sheep, alpacas, goats, chickens, rabbits, fish, a peacock, a harris hawk, a variety of birds, an orchard, childrens’ play area, indoor play barn and picnic benches opposite a café. Special events are held throughout the year. It’s free to visit, though a donation of 1.00 per child and 2.00 per adult is encouraged. Often, freshly laid eggs can be bought – and honey from onsite bees. Oh, and there is manure a-plenty for sale!

Opening hours: summer – Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm; winter – Tuesday-Sunday 10am-4pm.

 Brick Lane Music Hall

St Mark’s Church, 443 North Woolwich Road, Silvertown, E16 2DA (station: DLR Pontoon Dock; two minutes from Thames Barrier Park bus stop)). Tel: 020 7511 6655 (10am-5pm Monday-Friday); fax: 020 7476 6333. Email: admin@bricklanemusichall.co.uk

With easy access for disabled and wheelchair users, this is a fun theatre for everyone. Matinee shows include afternoon teas. Evening performances include a  three-course dinner and dancing. Forthcoming shows: April 12th-16th Music Hall; April 22nd-May 6th St George’s Day Show.

The theatre is available for private events and is licensed for wedding ceremonies.