Here I hope to show the main things to see in this wonderful town of Stratford-upon-Avon.
Stratford-upon-Avon is mainly known as the town associated with William Shakespeare, widely thought of as the worlds greatest playwright and poet. There are many things to see and do other than Shakespeare which I will list later in this page, but for now we will start with the great man and his properties. www.shakespeare.org.uk
There are 5 Shakespeare properties in and around the town of Stratford, all now owned and maintained by The Birthplace Trust.
Tickets can be bought to enter the houses from any one of the 5. There is a 3 house ticket that covers the 3 houses in the town centre, or a 5 house ticket that also includes the 2 that are just outside the town.
There is also an open top tourist bus that runs around the town and out to these houses, the buses have either a recorded guided tour in many languages or during the summer months a live tour guide.
It is also possible to buy a ticket combining the bus tour, entry to the houses and a river boat ride all in one, this can be bought when boarding the bus. Although I often have some 50% off vouchers for the houses at Moss Cottage which may work out cheaper still.
The house where William Shakespeare was born in the year 1564, actually thought to originally be two houses that the Shakespeare family joined together. Williams father was a glove maker by trade (amongst other things) and would sell gloves from the downstairs of the house.
The walls are constructed of wood and ‘wattle and daub’ which was a mixture of mud, cow dung and animal hair (yes I know it sounds awful). Entrance to the birthplace is via the Shakespeare centre next door, where short films and artifacts are shown before you enter the house itself.
Nash’s House & New Place:
Nash’s house is the house thought to be lived in by Shakespeare’s granddaughter Elizabeth. A fine Tudor house that is now set out as a museum. Go through Nash’s house to enter a replica of an Elizabethan knot garden the like of which may have been behind New Place.
New Place, next door to Nash’s house was the last home of William Shakespeare, the second largest house in Stratford when he bought it in 1597 for some £60. Nothing now remains of New Place other than the foundations a well and the lovely gardens. But he must have written some of his greatest plays while living here.
The home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and doctor John Hall. A fine Jacobean house with a completely different feel to the other houses in the town. John Hall would have been a wealthy man at this time, educated at Cambridge he was probably the towns only serving doctor. The fine gardens contain many of the herbs he used in his treatments, copies of which can be seen in his books inside the house.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage:
Just outside the town in the village of Shottery, this is the house where Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway lived and where the young William would have courted his bride to be. The cottage is pretty, a fine example of a thatched cottage of the time.
Mary Arden’s Farm:
The home of William’s mother and a real working Tudor farm. Very popular with families, due to its hens, pigs, houses and the farm workers in Elizabethan costumes doing their duties in the traditional ways. There are also falconry displays to show how birds of prey were used to catch food such for the dinner table. *please note that this is only open from April 1st – October 30th*