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A popular day tour from London is one that combines Oxford, the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle. Maybe it’s just me and my photography obsession balking from the idea of feeling too rushed to take good pictures, but I really don’t think such a trip does justice to any of these destinations. There’s plenty to see and do in Stratford-upon-Avon alone, and I would highly recommend, if not an overnight trip, then at least a full day enjoying this gorgeous medieval town instead of dividing your attention between multiple locations.
Stratford-upon-Avon is, of course known for being the birthplace of famous playwright William Shakespeare. As its name suggests, it lies on the River Avon, about 160km northwest or roughly 2 hours’ drive from London. Naturally, most of the sights in town are Shakespeare related. Here are some of the things you may like to see and do while in town.
2. Nash’s House and New Place
New Place is the Tudor residence purchased by Shakespeare and where he died. Don’t miss the Elizabethan style Knot Garden.
3. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
This beautiful cottage is where Shakespeare’s wife lived prior to their marriage.
4. Mary Arden’s House
The family home of Shakespeare’s mother, there is now a farm at this location including a falconry and a small parliament of owls.
5. Hall’s Croft
This was the home of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna, and her husband, Dr John Hall. Within the premises is a fascinating exhibit about some of the medical practices of the time.
6. Enjoy the countryside
I love the cute thatched roof cottages here!
7. Remember to explore the rest of the medieval town centre too
I found a few great antique stores there! However, I was wandering without a map, so I’m sorry I can’t tell you the names or locations of these stores.
8. Go rowing on the Avon
It’s harder than it looks!
9. Holy Trinity Church
Unfortunately, I don’t have a good photo of the church where Shakespeare was baptised and buried. But here’s one hastily taken during our rowing expedition. Did I mention it’s not as easy as it looks?!
10. Watch a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Swan Theatre or Waterside Theatre
There are good rail links from London Marylebone, with up to 7 direct trains a day.
Alternatively, rent a car. It’s a fairly easy and pleasant drive.
Have you been to Stratford-upon-Avon? Did you get the chance to watch a play there? Did you find rowing as difficult as I did? Or am I just a complete klutz?
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