things to do stratford upon avon

Last Updated on: 1st June 2024, 05:15 am

If you’re looking for a quaint town full of history and culture, then Stratford Upon Avon is the perfect destination for you. Situated in the heart of England, this charming town is rich in Shakespearean heritage and offers a multitude of activities for every visitor. In this article, I will guide you through the top things to do Stratford Upon Avon which will make your trip unforgettable. Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of the greatest playwright of all time, take leisurely walks along the picturesque river, and witness the beauty of hundreds of butterflies.

Things to do in Stratford Upon Avon

1. Explore Shakespeare’s Birthplace

When in Stratford upon Avon, a visit to Shakespeare’s birthplace is a must. This quaint, timber-framed house provides a glimpse into the life of the legendary playwright. Explore the meticulously preserved rooms, furnished as they would have been in Shakespeare’s time, and gain insights into his life and works. The beautifully preserved house is a testament to the legacy of this great literary figure and offers an unparalleled experience for culture and history enthusiasts.

The House and Grounds

The house has undergone many renovations over the years, but it still maintains its original architectural features, such as the exposed beams and classic Tudor style. The house also contains many artifacts and memorabilia, including works of art, antique furniture, and other objects from Shakespeare’s era. The gardens surrounding the house offer a stunning view and are well worth a visit.

Interactive Exhibits

In addition to the carefully curated collection on display, the house provides visitors with opportunities to engage with Shakespeare’s works through interactive exhibits. Visitors can enjoy live performances of scenes from his plays, try on costumes from his era, and participate in other activities that bring his writings to life.

2. Visit the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

As a lover of theatre and Shakespeare, I highly recommend a visit to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in the heart of Stratford upon Avon. This iconic venue is located on the banks of the picturesque River Avon and offers world-class productions of Shakespearean plays and other theatrical works that are sure to enchant and captivate audiences.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre boasts a rich history and has been a cultural hub for over a century, attracting audiences from around the world. The theatre has undergone a recent refurbishment and now features state-of-the-art equipment, modern facilities, and comfortable seating that enhances the overall theatre-going experience.

One of the unique features of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is its thrust stage, which places the audience in close proximity to the actors and creates an intimate and immersive atmosphere. There’s something truly special about watching a live performance in this iconic venue.

Whether you’re a theatre enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable experience in Stratford upon Avon, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is a must-see attraction. Book your tickets in advance to secure your spot and prepare to be thoroughly entertained.

Upcoming Shows at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Show Date
Hamlet 25th August – 23rd October 2021
As You Like It 23rd September – 31st October 2021
Twelfth Night 15th October – 1st January 2022

3. Take a Stroll along the River Avon

If you love natural beauty, add a leisurely walk along the picturesque River Avon to your must-do list in Stratford upon Avon. As you amble along, admire the charming bridges and riverside gardens that dot the route, and allow yourself to be fully immersed in the tranquillity of the surroundings.

One of the best options for a stroll is the Stratford Greenway, which starts at the outskirts of the town and runs along a disused railway line through beautiful Warwickshire countryside. Another great route is the Circular Walk that stretches from the Bancroft Gardens to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and offers stunning river views and numerous attractions to visit along the way.

Pros Cons
Beautiful natural scenery Can get crowded during peak season
Relaxing, tranquil atmosphere Can be challenging for people with mobility issues
Free activity with no dress code Some sections might have uneven surfaces

“As I walked along the river, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of peace and contentment. The sound of the water, the rustling trees and the occasional birdsong all combined to create a wonderful symphony of nature. It was truly a delightful experience.”

Whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple or with family and friends, a relaxing stroll along the River Avon is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. So, lace up your walking shoes and get ready to be mesmerized by the natural beauty of Stratford upon Avon.

4. Discover Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

One of the must-visit attractions in Stratford upon Avon is Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. This beautiful thatched cottage is where Shakespeare’s wife grew up. Exploring this enchanting landmark gives you a glimpse into the life of the Hathaway family and their ancestral home. Apart from the cottage, the magnificent gardens that surround it are also a delight to stroll through and appreciate the beauty of nature.

Visitors can learn about the history of the cottage through an informative guided tour or by exploring the landmark solo. The cottage interior is beautifully preserved and rooms are furnished with authentic Tudor pieces, giving it an almost time-traveling feel. Walking through the rooms, one can imagine how life was like for the Hathaway family.

To make the most of your visit, take a moment to pause and appreciate the enchanting gardens of the cottage. The array of colourful flowers and tranquil surroundings make it a pleasant place for lovers of nature and history. While in the gardens, visitors can sit on one of the benches provided and take in the picturesque scenery.

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

The magnificence of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a testament to not only the beauty of the countryside but also the lives of the people who once lived there. It’s worth taking some time to explore and appreciate this historical landmark.

5. Visit the Stratford Butterfly Farm

As I strolled through the Stratford Butterfly Farm, I felt like I had been transported to a tropical paradise. The lush greenery and vibrant colors of the surroundings were simply breathtaking. The butterfly specimens here are kept in a carefully designed environment to mimic their natural habitat, and it’s fascinating to learn about their life cycle and behavior.

The farm is home to hundreds of different species of butterfly, and it’s an ideal destination for families with children or anyone who appreciates natural beauty. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and they are always on hand to answer questions and share their wealth of information. Plus, they’re passionate about conservation efforts and work tirelessly to preserve these magnificent creatures.

If you’re planning a visit to Stratford Upon Avon, be sure to add the Stratford Butterfly Farm to your itinerary. It’s a truly unique and inspiring attraction that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.

6. Explore the Tudor World Museum

If you’re interested in discovering more about Tudor history, look no further than the Tudor World Museum. Located in the heart of Stratford upon Avon, this museum provides immersive and interactive displays that offer a unique insight into what life was like during the Tudor period. With knowledgeable staff and costumed characters, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

One of the standout exhibits is the recreated Tudor town, complete with an apothecary, blacksmith and weaver’s workshops, and even a plague doctor’s surgery. This gives you a real sense of what it was like to live in Stratford during the Tudor period.

The museum also boasts a fascinating collection of Tudor artifacts. Among these treasures, you can view authentic Tudor clothing and furniture, weapons used during the era, and historic documents, including a copy of the death warrant for Mary Queen of Scots.

Tudor World Museum

For a truly immersive experience, attend one of the museum’s regular events, which can include anything from Tudor music performances to murder mystery evenings. There is truly something for everyone at the Tudor World Museum, whether you’re a history buff or just looking for an entertaining day out in Stratford upon Avon.

7. Enjoy a Boat Trip on the River Avon

Travelling on a boat is one of the most relaxing ways to explore Stratford upon Avon. Book a boat trip along the River Avon and experience the town from a unique perspective. Glide past picturesque landscapes and iconic landmarks as you soak in the peaceful atmosphere.

Types of Boat Tours available in Stratford upon Avon

There are several types of boat tours available in Stratford upon Avon, ranging from short 20-minute journeys to longer 2-hour cruises. Some popular tours include:

Name of Boat Tour Description
Shakespeare’s River Cruise A guided tour that takes visitors to all the historic sites associated with William Shakespeare
Avon Boating Ltd A self-punt tour giving visitors the flexibility to explore the town at their own pace
Stratford Canal Basin A tour that allows visitors to explore Stratford upon Avon from both the river and canal

What to Expect on a Boat Trip in Stratford upon Avon?

On a boat trip in Stratford upon Avon, you can expect to see stunning views of the town’s surroundings, including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Church of the Holy Trinity, and the Clopton Bridge. The knowledgeable tour guides will offer interesting insights into the history and culture of the town as you sail along the River Avon.

“Travelling on a boat gives you a different perspective of the town, allowing for a more serene and peaceful experience. It’s an excellent way to spend an afternoon in Stratford upon Avon!”

8. Visit the Holy Trinity Church

If you’re a fan of William Shakespeare, a visit to Holy Trinity Church is a must-see in Stratford upon Avon. This church is the final resting place of the great playwright, and it boasts stunning architecture that is well worth admiring. Take your time wandering through the church and the surrounding grounds, appreciating the intricacy of the designs and the peaceful atmosphere.

Inside the church, you’ll find Shakespeare’s grave, marked by a simple yet elegant marker. It’s a poignant experience to stand there, knowing that you are in the presence of one of the greatest literary figures in history. Take a moment to reflect and pay your respects.

Holy Trinity Church Stratford upon Avon

But the church is more than just a marker for Shakespeare’s legacy. It has a rich history all its own, with roots dating back to the 13th century. In medieval times, Holy Trinity was an important destination for pilgrims, and its architecture reflects the many changes and additions that it underwent over the centuries.

Aside from the church itself, the grounds surrounding Holy Trinity are also worth exploring. Take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere, or learn more about the history of the church with a guided tour. Whatever your interest, a visit to Holy Trinity Church is sure to be a memorable experience.

9. Explore the Bancroft Gardens

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Stratford upon Avon, head to the Bancroft Gardens for a serene break. Located by the River Avon, this idyllic park is a must-visit for nature lovers and those seeking a moment of peace.

The Bancroft Gardens are home to a variety of lush green spaces, flowerbeds, and a tranquil atmosphere, making it the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply basking in the serene surroundings. It’s a great place to unwind and take in the beauty of nature.

One of the highlights of this charming park is the stunning fountain, which is an iconic landmark and popular spot for photos. Additionally, visitors can enjoy watching swans and ducks gliding along the river or take a riverside walk to explore the area further.

Before you leave, make sure to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful views of the River Avon and the town’s bridges. The Bancroft Gardens are one of Stratford’s top attractions and are not to be missed.

10. Discover the Harvard House

As I explored the historic town of Stratford upon Avon, I stumbled upon the Harvard House, an Elizabethan marvel that has been beautifully preserved over time. It is a testament to the rich history of the town and an ideal place to visit for those interested in architecture, history, or both.

The Harvard House, located on High Street, was once the home of Thomas Rogers, a prosperous merchant and bailiff of Stratford upon Avon. The house derives its name from the fact that it was once owned by Katherine Rogers, a relative of John Harvard – the founder of Harvard University in the United States.

Walking inside the Harvard House is like taking a step back in time. The preserved interiors are adorned with intricate details and architectural elements that exude Elizabethan charm. Visitors can explore the various rooms and get an in-depth look at what life was like in the 16th century.

One of the highlights of my visit was learning about the connection between the Harvard House and Harvard University. Katherine Rogers, who owned the house in the early 17th century, bequeathed part of her estate to the fledgeling university, helping it to grow into the prestigious institution it is today.

Harvard House

“The Harvard House is a well-preserved cultural gem in the heart of Stratford upon Avon. A visit to this historic house is a window into the past, where visitors can learn about the life of the wealthiest merchant of Stratford upon Avon, and the connection with the prestigious Harvard University in the United States.”

If you are interested in exploring Stratford upon Avon’s rich history, I highly recommend visiting the Harvard House. It provides a glimpse into the life of the town’s wealthiest citizens and their contributions to the development of the town and beyond.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Stratford Upon Avon offers a plethora of attractions and activities to explore. As a professional journalist, I highly recommend immersing yourself in Shakespeare’s world by visiting his birthplace and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The scenic River Avon and the Bancroft Gardens offer a relaxing retreat amidst nature, while Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and the Tudor World Museum provide a glimpse into the town’s rich history and culture.

For nature enthusiasts, the Stratford Butterfly Farm is a must-visit for its vibrant butterflies and conservation efforts. The Holy Trinity Church and the Harvard House are also worth exploring for their intriguing architecture and historical significance.

Overall, Stratford Upon Avon is a charming town that caters to every visitor’s tastes, be it history, culture, or natural beauty. So why wait? Plan a trip today and immerse yourself in the best that Stratford Upon Avon, England UK has to offer!

FAQ

What are some things to do in Stratford Upon Avon?

Stratford Upon Avon offers a range of activities and attractions, including visiting Shakespeare’s birthplace, exploring the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, taking a stroll along the River Avon, discovering Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, and more.

Where is Shakespeare’s birthplace located?

Shakespeare’s birthplace is located in Stratford Upon Avon, England.

What can I expect to see at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre?

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre showcases world-class performances of Shakespearean plays and other theatrical works. It is located on the banks of the River Avon in Stratford Upon Avon.

Can I take a walk along the River Avon in Stratford Upon Avon?

Absolutely! The River Avon offers a beautiful scenic walk with stunning views of the town. You can admire the charming bridges and riverside gardens while enjoying the tranquillity of the surroundings.

What is Anne Hathaway’s Cottage?

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a thatched cottage where Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway, grew up. It is a romantic and historical landmark in Stratford Upon Avon with enchanting gardens to explore.

What can I experience at the Stratford Butterfly Farm?

At the Stratford Butterfly Farm, you can immerse yourself in a tropical paradise filled with vibrant butterflies. Witness their beauty and learn about their life cycle and conservation efforts.

What is there to see at the Tudor World Museum?

The Tudor World Museum in Stratford Upon Avon allows you to explore the rich history of the Tudor period through interactive displays, exhibitions, and costumed characters. It offers an intriguing glimpse into the past.

Can I take a boat trip on the River Avon in Stratford Upon Avon?

Yes, you can enjoy a leisurely boat trip along the River Avon, which provides a different perspective of Stratford Upon Avon. Glide past picturesque landscapes and iconic landmarks while enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.

Where is the Holy Trinity Church located?

The Holy Trinity Church, the final resting place of William Shakespeare, is located in Stratford Upon Avon. It features stunning architecture and beautifully maintained grounds.

What can I do at the Bancroft Gardens in Stratford Upon Avon?

The Bancroft Gardens is a riverside park where you can relax in lush green spaces, stroll through flowerbeds, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the serene surroundings of Stratford Upon Avon.

What is the Harvard House in Stratford Upon Avon?

The Harvard House is a well-preserved Elizabethan townhouse in Stratford Upon Avon. It offers an opportunity to step back in time and learn about the connection between this house and Harvard University in the United States.

What makes Stratford Upon Avon an appealing destination?

Stratford Upon Avon is a charming town that appeals to history, culture, and nature enthusiasts. It offers a wide range of attractions and activities, including immersing oneself in Shakespeare’s world, enjoying scenic walks, and witnessing live performances at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.