Located to the northeast of Greater London as part of Newham, Stratford is a vibrant tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions. While it falls under the blanket of Newham, Stratford is known for its combination of Victorian architecture, avant-garde urban developments, and a vibrant cultural scene.
Historically, Stratford dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period; however, the area saw major development during the Victorian era as it was a key connection point in London’s expanding railway network. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, it gradually evolved from an industrial suburb to a lively cultural and commercial hub.
The most recent major developments in Stratford can be attributed to it being the primary site of the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. As you can guess, hosting the Olympics brought with it major investments, including the Olympic Park –now known as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park– and a wide array of other improvements and developments.
Today, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park still stands as one of the key landmarks and attractions in Stratford. This sprawling, beautifully designed parkland encompasses several sporting and recreational venues, including the London Aquatics Centre, The Copper Box Arena, and the iconic London Stadium, home of West Ham United FC.
Stratford also has as much to stimulate the mind as it does the body. It’s home to the Stratford Circus Arts Centre, a stage for local and international artists; the Discover Children’s Story Centre entertains young minds with its interactive exhibitions; and theatregoers can visit the Theatre Royal Stratford East, one of London’s most renowned stages outside of the West End.
Stratford is a significant transport hub with numerous connections to the rest of London and beyond. Stratford Station is served by several lines, including the Central and Jubilee lines of the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), and mainline train services between London and the rest of the UK.
While public transport options are great, unfortunately, like the rest of central or near-central London, parking options aren’t that plentiful or affordable. ParkingScout has scoured Stratford to bring you a selection of the best free and paid parking spots available, with the goal of helping you save a bit on parking fees or find options that are more convenient for you.
Free and Paid Parking in Stratford, London
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Free, unrestricted residential street parking
Unfortunately, free and unrestricted residential streetside parking simply isn’t a thing in Stratford, but this really shouldn’t come as too much of a shock. Free and unrestricted residential (and even commercial) streetside parking in London is as rare as hen’s teeth, and almost all residential streets in the city have either restrictive residents-only parking, pay-and-display parking, or a combination of the two with a time-limit on parking.
The only two completely free parking spots (other than simply parking on the kerb) that ParkingScout could find have a 30-minute time limit. While this isn’t great, you could consider them as an option for a quick step out of the car. The distances indicated are measured from Stratford Station, which is very centrally located and no more than a few minutes walk away from the Olympic Park and a number of popular shopping destinations.
- Leyton Road E15 1AB – 0.7 miles
- Church Street E15 3HX – 0.8 miles
Free Overnight/Sunday Parking
The majority of streetside parking (except in the heart of busy commercial centres) in Stratford operates on the same pay-and-display system as the rest of London. This means that finding streetside parking really isn’t all that hard; however, it isn’t free for most of the day.
If you’re only looking for overnight parking, you’re in luck, though. The pay-and-display streetside parking bays largely become free after 6:30pm (even on residential streets) until 8:00am the next morning and all day on Sundays. Some residential streets, like Chandos Road with its public gardens, are also free on Saturdays, making it a good place to look for all-weekend parking. On event days, free parking only kicks in after 9pm.
You can consider looking for free parking after 6:30pm on these streets scattered across Stratford. Once again, the indicated distances are from Stratford Station.
- Station Street E15 1BB – 0.8 miles
- Chant Square E15 4RT – 0.3 miles
- Gibbins Road E15 2JE – 0.2 miles
- Bridge Road E15 3PA – 0.3 miles
- Jupp Road E15 1LF – 0.2 miles
- David Street E15 1PP – 0.7 miles
- Chandos Road E15 1ED – 0.9 miles
- Manbey Park Road E15 1EY – 0.6 miles
- Waddington Street E15 1PH – 0.6 miles
- Windmill Lane E15 1PH – 0.5 miles
Free EV Parking
Provided that you use the charging stations at these locations, you can park your EV (Electric Vehicle) for up to a maximum of 4 hours in these locations. As with the other categories, the distances indicate the walking distance from Stratford Station.
- Station Street E15 1BB – 0.1 miles
- Victoria Street E15 4PR – 0.4 miles
- Grove Cres. Road E15 1BB – 0.3 miles
Cheapest Paid Car Parks
In all honesty, we here at ParkingScout were more than a little bit shocked when we noticed how few paid car parks are available in Stratford. After years of making these pages, we expected significantly more options. Our guess is that due to the exceptionally developed public transport infrastructure available in Stratford, the city council and private investors just don’t see the need to develop more car parks.
The car parks listed below offer the best value-for-money parking in Stratford. While there are more paid car parks, the prices only go up from here. We’d also like to mention that there is affordable parking in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; however, this is only for people visiting the aquatics centre or Copper Box. If you’re only using the parking bay without visiting either of these places, you’ll face a £45 parking ticket upon your return.
- Westfield Car Parks E15 2DU – £6.00 for 2 hours
- Stratford International Car Park E20 1YY – £6.95 for 2 hours
- Stratford Multi-Storey Car Park E15 1XE – £4.80 for 2 hours
- ParkBee Buzz Bingo E15 4QX – £10.00 for 2 hours
Free short-term parking (2h or less)
A final option is to look for parking at shopping malls and commercial centres. Very often, you’ll find that they offer 2h of free parking for their customers only, but the purchase of a small pack of gum or a bottle of water quickly circumvents this obstacle. You can find 2h of free parking at:
- Lyton Mills Retail Park E10 5NH
- Morrisons E15 1HP