Stratford-upon-Avon

About

About Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon is known world-wide as the birthplace of William Shakespeare and he is laid to rest in Holy Trinity Church. The town’s name is derived from the Old English word Straet meaning Street and Ford in that it forded the river into the town. In 1490, the former Lord Mayor of London, Hugh Clopton, built the present bridge which has 14 arches. It is now an ancient monument.
Stratford River view

Even if you have no interest in history there is plenty to enthuse about in this pretty market town. There are plenty of pubs and restaurants, and beautiful places to stroll along the side of the River Avon or take a canal boat – the town is at the epicentre of the Midlands canal system. Just strolling around and enjoying the views, the shops and tearooms is very rewarding.
Stratford-upon-Avon cansls

Stratford is home to five historic houses linked to the Bard: Shakespeare’s birthplace and exhibition at Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon. Mary Arden’s house (mother) is at Wilmcote, 3 miles from Stratford. Ann Hatheway’s (wife) cottage is at Shottery, 1 mile from Stratford. Susanna’s (daughter) house is Hall’s Croft located in the old part of Stratford. Nash’s House (grand-daughter) and New Place (next door) where Shakespeare spent his last years are located on Chapel Street. Shakespeare is laid to rest in the Holy Trinity church in Stratford.

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  • The Garrick Inn
  • The Encore
  • The Queen's Head
  • Rose & Crown
  • The Shakespeare
  • The Falcon
  • Shakesbeer!

How to get here

Stratford train station (from London Marylebone or Birmingham Snow Hill) is a 10 minute walk from the centre.

The tourist office is at 62 Henley Street T 01789 264293

Places of interest

Shakespeare’s Birthplace

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, founded in Stratford in 1847, is the guardian of the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites, comprising Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Nash’s House & New Place, Hall’s Croft, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Mary Arden’s Farm. The five houses offer a multi-layered experience for visitors unlike any other, giving people from all over the world the opportunity to learn about the life of the world’s greatest playwright, discover his work and experience a real sense of the times that influenced him in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

Undoubtedly the most romantic of Shakespeare’s Houses. This charming childhood home of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s future wife, served as the idyllic rendezvous where the world’s greatest dramatist wooed his beloved. Nestling in the quiet village of Shottery about a mile from Stratford-upon-Avon, sits Anne Hathaways Cottage the epitome of a typically ‘old England’ rural dwelling complete with thatched roof, cottage gardens and farmland. Tourists have been visiting the property since the second half of the 18th century and many famous writers have paid homage to this magical place with all its romantic connotations

Nash’s House and New Place

Here’s where the Shakespeare story ended with the dramatist’s death in 1616 at his final beloved home, New Place – now a picturesque garden and location of a fascinating new archaeological dig. Nash’s House adjoins the site of New Place, Shakespeare’s Stratford home for the last 18 years of his life, which was later demolished in the 18th century. The two buildings were closely associated through being owned by relations of Shakespeare’s family. Nash’s House belonged to Thomas Nash, a wealthy property- owner who married Shakespeare’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Hall ten years after the bard’s death. At this time New Place was occupied by the bride’s parents, Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna and her husband, John Hall. I

In a bid to find out more about how Shakespeare lived, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, in conjunction with Birmingham Archaeology, is undertaking excavations on the site of New Place. “Dig for Shakespeare” is a hugely significant project for 2010/2011 that could unearth some important new evidence in the piecing together of Shakespeare’s life story.
Many of Shakespeare’s earliest plays were comedies, followed by tragedies including Hamlet, King Lear and Macbeth which are considered to be some of the finest work in the English language being performed more often than those of any other playwright. His plays remain highly popular today and they are performed throughout the year at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
For more information visit the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust website

Holy Trinity Church

The Holy Trinity, Stratford, on the banks of the River Avon, is probably England’s most-visited Parish Church. As well as being a thriving Parish church, it receives many thousands of visitors each year on account of the fact that William Shakespeare was baptized here, served as a lay rector of the church, and is buried in the chancel. Holy Trinity Church in its garden setting by the river Avon remains very much as it was in William Shakespeare’s day.

The chancel is the resting place of William Shakespeare, his wife Anne, his daughter Susannah and son in law John Hall, along with Thomas Nash who married William’s grand-daughter. Above the grave is the memorial to Shakespeare sculptured by Gerard Johnson within a few years of the playwright’s death.

 

Activities

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  • bird-of-pray-experience Three hour Birds of Prey Special offer for 1 – was £49 now £24.50
    - What happens on the day? As far back as the Dark Ages birds of prey adorned the fists of kings and hunted for them in a unique partnership. Today’s falconers keep this ancient skill alive, and this chance to get hands on with some of nature’s greatest predators will transport … more
  • chapel-interior-oct-2016-ca0200-2 Compton Verney wins top restoration accolade
    - Compton Verney has won the highly prestigious Brown Tercentenary Award at the annual Georgian Group Awards in London. The Georgian Group is an English and Welsh conservation organisationcreated to campaign for the preservation of historic buildings and planned landscapes of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Compton Verney is a … more
  • Duck Review: The Fuzzy Duck at Armscote
    - If like me whenever you check out of a hotel room many of the toiletries “accidentally” fall into your wash bag the odds are they will have been supplied by Baylis and Harding, one of the leading brands in that field. But what we have in the Warwickshire hamlet of … more
  • Ragley Hall Ragley Hall
    - Designed by Robert Hooke in 1680, one of the earliest of England’s great Palladian houses, with a massive portico added by Wyatt in 1780. The elaborately plastered Great Hall by James Gibb in 1750 is one of the finest Baroque interiors. Good French and English furniture and paintings – also … more
  • Christmas Truce_2014 The Christmas Truce – a festive family play at the RSC
    - Royal Shakespeare Theatre Waterside Stratford-upon-Avon Warwickshire CV37 6BB T: 0844 800 1110 www.rsc.org.uk December 1914. As families across Europe gather to celebrate Christmas, a generation of young men find themselves far away from their loved ones in the trenches of the Western Front. There they face a world seemingly devoid … more
  • Birthplace Lightshow The Birthplace Christmas Lightshow – FREE event
    - A spectacular 3D lightshow beamed onto the walls of Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon – accompanied by theatrical performances from Shakespeare Aloud. Show opens on Thursday 27 November at 5.30 pm and repeated again the same day at 6, 6.30 and 7pm. Show runs daily until 14 December at 4.30, 5, … more
  • Welcome Hotel Garden Welcombe Hotel Spa and Golf Club 4*: Review
    - Welcombe Hotel Spa and Golf Club Warwick Road Stratford-upon-Avon Warwickshire CV37 0NR T: + 44 (0) 1789 295252 E: welcombe@menzieshotels.co.uk   This hotel is a 10-minute taxi-ride from Stratford-upon-Avon station and near to the Shakespeare Country sites and the fascinating town of Warwick and its castle. The driveway entrance is … more
  • Halloween Halloween and half-term fun
    - Celebrate Halloween and the October half term from 25 October – 2 November with a host of spooky family events in Shakespeare’s England. Carve pumpkins, enjoy family ghost trails, learn how to make potions and spells or simply enjoy an autumnal walk. For the very brave there are plenty of … more
  • Hertiage Motor Centre Heritage Motor Centre, near Banbury
    - A look at the best of British motoring. The new Museum Collection Centre (MCC) at the Heritage Motor Centre will open in late summer. The MCC will house the reserve collection of the Trust which numbers more than 100 cars, and includes many rare prototypes, ‘first and last’ vehicles and … more
  • Canal boats Stratford New offers from Canal and River Tours
    - Canal and River Tours has a number of exciting offers on board the Jennifer May including an all new audio tour and a range of meal deals from the fleet of Baguette and Ice Cream Boats. Jennifer May is a state of the art canal and river boat, purpose built … more

 

Special offers

  1. Review: The Fuzzy Duck at Armscote
    - If like me whenever you check out of a hotel room many of the toiletries “accidentally” fall into your wash bag the odds are they will have been supplied by Baylis and Harding, one of the leading brands in that field. But what we have in the Warwickshire hamlet of … more
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Cardholders

bird-of-pray-experience Three hour Birds of Prey Special offer for 1 – was £49 now £24.50
- What happens on the day? As far back as the Dark Ages birds of prey adorned the fists of kings and hunted for them in a unique partnership. Today’s falconers keep this ancient skill alive, and this chance to get hands on with some of nature’s greatest predators will transport … more
chapel-interior-oct-2016-ca0200-2 Compton Verney wins top restoration accolade
- Compton Verney has won the highly prestigious Brown Tercentenary Award at the annual Georgian Group Awards in London. The Georgian Group is an English and Welsh conservation organisationcreated to campaign for the preservation of historic buildings and planned landscapes of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Compton Verney is a … more

 

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