Ian Weightman

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Stratford, London - a new Day Three destination

What’s a Day Three destination?

Brooklyn was one for me, on my last visit to New York.  Siena was one a couple of years ago, on a trip to Florence.

And we like to promote Stoke-on-Trent & The Potteries as one, for any American visitors on a trip to the Capital.

But I feel like I’ve also now seen London’s fastest up-and-coming Day Three destination: Stratford - the home of the 2012 Olympic Games.

The comparisons with Brooklyn may help to cast some further light on all this.

You’re in New York.  Day One - Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, The Top of the Rock, Fifth Avenue, and perhaps a show on 42nd Street.  Day Two - Central Park, Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, a trip out to the Statue of Liberty (or maybe, the free crossing on the Staten Island Ferry).

Which brings us to Day Three.  More of the same on Manhattan?  Or do something different, and stray off the beaten track?  And where better, in that case, than Brooklyn?  A short hop via the Subway, and it’s possible to emerge in the shadows of Manhattan Bridge - one of the “BMW” bridges of New York (Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg).  And from there, it’s a gentle stroll to the water’s edge, some stunning views of Brooklyn Bridge, and a walk through the Heights to check-out the sights, sounds, smells and pizzas (!) of Brooklyn.

Now that’s what I call a Day Three destination!

The same as - having spent two days “doing” the art treasures and galleries of Florence in Italy - you might want a change of scene, and go in search of historic Siena.

It’s how we attempt to promote Stoke-on-Trent as a Day Three destination to American visitors to London.  (“After a couple of days in the Capital, why not jump on a train from Euston - and spend the day at the Wedgwood Visitor Centre, and award-winning Museum?”).

And now, Stratford is emerging as a Day Three destination for anyone on a short break to the Capital…

You’re in London.  Day One - The British Museum, The London Eye, Covent Garden and a West End Show.  Day Two - Green Park, Buckingham Palace, The Tate Modern, and the Tower of London.

Which brings us to Day Three.  More of the same in Central London?  Or do something different, and stray off the beaten track?  And where better in that case than Stratford?  A short and rapid hop from St Pancras on the Javelin train, and it’s possible to emerge in the shadows of one of the largest Westfield Shopping Centres in Britain.  And from there, it’s a gentle stroll to the soon-to-be opened North Park of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which last year hosted the London 2012 Games, some stunning views of Anish Kapoor’s Orbital, and a walk along the colourful canals to check out the historic Three Mills Island.

Day Three destinations, of course, have a habit of developing - and becoming ever-more popular.

They also tend to be the ones which give you most bragging rights over your Monday morning coffee break…

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