A weekend in Stratford-upon-Avon
Discover why Shakespeare's birthplace is a must-visit for culture lovers
A market town in the Warwickshire countryside that’s steeped in history, Stratford-upon-Avon is most famed for being the birthplace of the world’s most famous bard, William Shakespeare.
With its Tudor architecture, cobbled streets and picturesque riverside setting, there are lots of reasons why this charming town in the West Midlands makes for an ideal Weekend Escape. Here are our recommendations for top-rated things to do, places to stay, and restaurants to enjoy on your visit.
Thing to do
There’s no better place to start exploring Stratford than by visiting the 16th-century building where Shakespeare was born. Here you can discover the fascinating story of the Bard’s life, and experience it as it gets brought to life by costumed guides. Located on what was then and is now a busy thoroughfare, after your visit wander around the Old Town taking in the many surviving buildings that would have been familiar to Shakespeare himself.
To learn more about the town’s rich history, embark on an award-winning Stratford Town Walk. On your tour, you’ll pass the houses connected to Shakespeare and his family – including the beautiful Hall’s Croft – along with other town landmarks, such as the Royal Shakespeare Theatres and the Bard’s final resting place at the Holy Trinity Church. If you’re happy to travel a little further out, the thatched cottage where Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s wife, grew up is a ten-minute drive from the centre. To experience the sights and sounds of Tudor England, travel to the neighbouring village of Wilmcote to visit Mary Arden’s Farm.
Although from the surface it may seem otherwise, there’s lots more to Stratford than Shakespeare. The streets are lined with independent shops and boutiques, along with many superb cafés and restaurants that are perfect for resting weary feet after a day’s exploring. For a family-friendly day out, Europe’s largest butterfly farm is also within easy reach.
Places to stay
From stylish hotels to family-run B&Bs, a good night’s sleep is guaranteed at one of Stratford’s many accommodation options.