Famed for being home to William Shakespeare and lots of beautiful Tudor houses, Stratford-upon-Avon is an English town full of history and culture. It’s the perfect location for a day trip or weekend break, and can be reached from London on either an organised tour or by train in about 2 hours. Here’s my guide on how to spend a day in the town.
1. Visit Shakespeare’s Birth Place
Start your visit off by visiting the place Shakespeare was born, home to his parents John and Mary. Here they had eight children including William, their first son. You can now visit the museum inside the house.
2. Enjoy the mystery of Magic Alley & The Creaky Cauldron
Breaking up the Shakespeare attractions is this magical stop. In the centre of Stratford is the Magic Alley shop – selling all things magic and Harry Potter. There are also a series of things you can do there, including having a butter beer at the Creaky Cauldron, and entering Magic Manor which is a series of rooms where you do a quiz and search for eggs. Even for 2 adults it was super fun and children would absolutely love it.
3. Discover Shakespeare’s New Place
Shakespeare lived in this house later in his career for 19 years, having already published some of his works, including The Tempest. Shakespeare also died at this house, and again at the site you can tour the house and explore the pretty gardens.
4. Take a stroll or boat trip along the river
The river Avon runs through Stratford and is lovely for a stroll. There is also a park on the river where you can hire deck chairs if the weather is nice, and you can also take a boat up and down the river either independently or on a tour. It’s also the perfect place for a picnic, and a market operates at weekends so there are lots of food stands to choose from.
5. Shop in some of Stratford’s unique stores
Stratford has lots of unique and quaint shops to browse. Some of my favourites are the Peter Rabbit shop, Curtis Brae for teddy bears and the Nutcracker Christmas shop. We brought home a cute Paddington Bear and a Christmas bauble for the tree to remember our visit by.
6. Head to Hall’s Croft
Hall’s Croft was owned by William Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna. It’s a beautiful example of a Tudor house, and is now grade I listed, housing Tudor era furniture and paintings – the perfect way to authentically step back in time!
7. Travel back in time at Tudor World
This is the only museum in the country dedicated to the Tudor era. Step inside this historic Tudor home to learn about what life in Shakespeare’s time was like. If you’re staying over night and brave enough – you can also visit the house at night time for a ghost tour!
8. Visit Shakespeare’s grave
Visit Shakespeare in his final resting place, at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. This church is England’s most visited Parish church, and no surprise when William Shakespeare’s grave is inside. This was our final stop of the day, and seemed like a fitting end to our visit.
Thanks so much for reading. Have you ever been to Stratford? Or are you planning a visit? If so, I hope this post was helpful and interesting. Stay safe and happy travelling.
I visited Stratfort years ago, I remember those old medieval houses. We also have our Stratford in Canada, where Shakespear’s plays are performed in many theatres. Thanks for the post.