This is a list of the top 10 tourist attractions near Stratford upon-Avon in Warwickshire
Stratford upon-Avon is a quaint market town on the River Avon. The birthplace of William Shakespeare, the historic town stores several relics from the 16th and 17th Centuries.
Visitors get a taste of the town’s history in its architecture. And among the several ancient buildings that have been preserved, Shakespeare’s home is the most popular. Stratford upon-Avon is a famous research centre for Shakespeare’s work, and there are currently five wonderfully-preserved homes associated with the renowned actor, writer, and playwright.
The 10 Best Things to do in Stratford upon-Avon
These are our top recommendations if you’re looking for exciting things to do in Stratford upon-Avon.
Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace
Shakespeare’s Birthplace is perhaps the most recognisable home in Stratford upon-Avon. This lovely half-timbered, two-storied complex has been beautifully restored to its original glory. The interior remains unchanged and gracefully reflects the residential lifestyle of Britain’s lower-middle-class families during the latter half of the 16th Century.
The rooms are neatly decorated with period-correct furnishings. And there’s a window in which several notable visitors from Charles Dickens to John Keats have etched their names. Admission includes Shakespeare’s Treasures Exhibition, a rotating display of memorability, and Shakespeare’s Aloud, which offers a chance to watch live plays.
Explore Shakespeare’s New Place and Nash’s House
Named after Thomas Nash, the first husband of Elizabeth, Shakespeare’s granddaughter, Nash’s House is a well-preserved Tudor building constructed in the 1600s. The exhibits narrate a fascinating story about the town’s first settlers, up until Shakespeare’s time.
Next to it is New Place, Shakespeare’s house from 1597 until his demise in 1616. The author penned some of his best works during his last days here. Although the original house was demolished in the 17th Century, visitors can explore the Knot Garden that stands in its place.
Pay Your Respect at Shakespeare’s Tomb
The 13th Century parish Church of the Holy Trinity is Shakespeare’s final resting place. The author’s tomb is between the high star altar and the pulpit and bears the inscription “Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, and cursed be he that moves my bones.”
The graves of Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway, their daughter, Susanna Hall, and her husband, Dr John Hall, are close by. The church also has the original 15th Century font used in Shakespeare’s christening and a record of his baptism and burial.
Drop by Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Gardens
Located in Shottery, a mile away from the town centre, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Gardens is a brick building with a thatched roof, half-timbering, and a massive garden. This scenic country house has been meticulously restored and maintained for centuries and is kept the same from Shakespeare’s time.
A beautiful park was later built behind the garden, with examples of each tree mentioned in Shakespearean literature. The garden spans nine acres and flaunts several tourist attractions like the Greenwood Singing Tree, the Butterfly Trail, the Music Trail, and a sculpture trail.
Visit Hall’s Croft
One of the gorgeous Tudor houses in Stratford upon-Avon, Halls’ Croft, was where Dr John Hall lived. Visitors can explore the opulent villa and admire the excellent collection of pharmaceutical equipment, books, and the first edition of his medical journal published in 1657.
The adjoining garden has several medicinal herbs from the doctor’s publications. Explore the park and drop by the café if you need a break. The nearby gift shop specialises in handmade art and craft. It’s a must-visit if you want to take home a souvenir.
Watch a Live Performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is situated on the banks of the River Avon. Home to the Royal Shakespeare Company, the venue includes a unique one-room gallery where actors and the audience must share a common space, just like Shakespearean times.
Guests can visit the rooftop restaurant for a quick bite and the best views of the River Avon. Apart from exhibiting pieces from the maestro’s collection, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre also organises exhibitions related to RSC’s productions.
Visit the Town Hall
The Stratford upon-Avon Town Hall is a place of great historical significance. You must explore the town hall during your visit. Some of the famous attractions near the town hall include Shakespeare’s statue presented by David Garrick and the nearby Guild Chapel, a Gothic chapel with the original painting of the Last Judgement from the 1500s.
The upper floor of the adjoining Guild Hall was used as a grammar school for centuries. Shakespeare is believed to have studied here during his childhood.
Garrick Inn and Harvard House
Garrick Inn is a 16th Century home with rich embellishments and woodcarvings typical of its time. The inn is historically significant and reportedly haunted. Drop by for a history lesson and a hearty meal if you’re in town.
Harvard House is a half-timbered house constructed in 1596 that’s famous for being the home of John Harvard, who founded Harvard University. The American university still owns the house while the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust is in charge of maintenance.
Mary Arden’s Farm
Located four miles from Stratford upon-Avon, Mary Arden’s Farm is a magnificent Tudor manor once owned by Shakespeare’s mother. The building now houses a museum displaying skills and crafts from the era.
Visitors can opt for hands-on experiences like basket weaving, gardening, bread making, threshing, and animal tending. Other popular attractions include exploring nature trails, falconry displays, archery, wildlife, and watching rare breed animals.
Stratford Butterfly Farm
Located a stone’s throw from the town centre, the Stratford Butterfly Farm provides a welcome break from Shakespeare-themed attractions. Touted as the UK’s largest butterfly farm, the establishment comprises several greenhouses and a healthy population of free-roaming butterflies.
Other attractions include the charming caterpillar room, the butterfly breeding program, and watching exotic birds. The other insects on display are the praying mantis, stick insects, and giant millipedes. There’s also a massive spider collection on the farm. Its primary attractions are the enormous goliath birdeater, tarantulas, and black widows.
Ready to Pack Your Bags Yet?
There is no shortage of exciting things to do near Stratford upon-Avon if you’re visiting in 2022. The region is packed with Shakespeare-themed activities that’ll keep you busy. And if you like to dabble in history, check out the top 10 museums near Warwickshire.
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