So I was taken away on a special weekend trip… A lucky girl indeed. Although English Lit courses at uni are a distant memory, I was excited to be taken to Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of Mr William Shakespeare himself.
We bought the Five House Pass [2-for-1 if you’re a Direct Line customer! or 10% if you book online], a combined ticket that gets you access to all the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust sites, which we think is good value if you visit two or more. We started with the cottage he was born in. It is a lot bigger now, though…
Below is one of the two downstairs rooms original to the time of Shakespeare’s birth. There is a real sense of history as you experience the house, although it is pretty packed with tourists like us!
The last direct descendants to live in the house thought it would be profitable to open it up to visitors, who took it upon themselves to engrave their names in this window – including some famous names! Can you spot any?
The centre of Stratford is beautiful, and very historical.
An unexpected highlight was drinks in Stratford’s oldest pub, The Garrick Inn. We would highly recommend it, although if you’d like to eat there you should book well in advance.
The town is full of Tudor buildings still in regular use…
Given the time of year, there was a creative display in the house, featuring poetry written by the Bard himself.
We wanted to visit the church where Shakespeare is buried, but as this isn’t run by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust it doesn’t always stick to the stated opening and closing times… Worst case, though, the outside is definitely worth a wander.
We strolled down the river as the sun was setting, towards the famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
The next (gloriously sunny) day we visited Anne Hathaway’s cottage. Possibly my favourite of the houses, it is a charming cottage with a well-kept garden. And a romantic story too!
Have you visited Stratford? We’d love to know your highlights.
P.S. Since this post, we’ve returned and added the brilliant Mary Arden’s Farm to the list – look out for a post about that in the future!