Stratford is a town in east London, in the south-east of England. Having begun as an agricultural village, Stratford became a location for London merchants during the eighteenth century, and became important in the manufacturing of porcelain. Since then, Stratford has become fully merged into London and has a bustling, vibrant and diverse atmosphere. As a home to the 2012 Olympics, Stratford offers fantastic opportunities for viewing international sporting events in the newly-constructed Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Sporty types can not only watch their favourite games but make ample use of one of the many gyms in the area. Shoppers, meanwhile, can enjoy the Westfield Shopping Centre, so large that it has its own postcode, and foodies can enjoy the hundreds of varied and fantastic restaurants dotted throughout London as a whole. Families, meanwhile, can choose from any one of the state or independent schools in the area, whilst young professionals can enjoy easy commuting throughout London. Properties to rent in the area range from cosy flats in converted homes to spacious apartments in purpose-built complexes to more expansive family homes.