Stratford-upon-Avon Things to Do

  • Shakespeare's Birthplace, Startford-upon-Avon, UK
    Shakespeare's Birthplace,...
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  • Waterside Food and Craft Market
    Waterside Food and Craft Market
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    Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre
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Most Recent Things to Do in Stratford-upon-Avon

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    Exploring The Cotswolds

    by spidermiss Updated Apr 26, 2012
    The Cotswolds
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    On my final day in Stratford Upon Avon I was pretty struck for ideas of what to do as I have seen almost everything I wanted to see. At the last minute, I joined a Guide Friday Tour of the Cotswolds (in Warwickshire and Gloucestershire). The tour was enjoyable and seeing some of the Cotswold countryside. We visited Chipping Camden, Moreton in Marsh, Stow on the Wold and Broadway. Some of the cottages have thatched roofing and the same type and colour brick is used throughout. We stopped in Chipping Camden and Stow on the Wold for a bit. The weather changed from sunny to dull whilst in Stow on the Wold when it start to rain. After the tour, I got the train back to Leeds via Birmingham although I thought when waiting for my train at Stratford Upon Avon Station I thought I would miss my connection. Again it was a great weekend away and look forward to returning to Stratford Upon Avon and The Cotswolds.

    Please see my Stratford Upon Avon page for rest of the trip.

    Please note the photos are scanned.

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    CREAM TEA'S

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    Cream Tea's!

    Late afternoon in Stratford upon Avon, I saw a several young men come along and set up a Table, and then along came some boxe's.
    Next, out came tray's of Scone's, and it was then I noticed the sign on the wall advertising Cream Tea's.
    Well, he didn't even have time to set his chair's out for people to sit, for there were customer's straight away!
    I didn't try any, but he was doing a roaring trade, so I should think the price and taste would be good!

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    THE WHITE SWAN

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    The White Swan Hotel date's back to 1450 making the hotel one of the oldest buildings in town.
    In one of the rooms at the front of the building there is a wall painting, commissioned by William Perrott in 1560 for his wife. The wall painting depicts the story of Tobais.

    IF THE LEGEND IS TRUE.....The building housed a bakery where Shakespeare himself bought his daily bread!

    The Hotel has a traditional restaurant, and inside there are antiques and original features including open fire-place's for those winter day's.

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    THE WINDMILL INN

    by balhannah Updated Jan 26, 2012

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    Windmill Inn

    Not all building's in Stratford upon Avon are Tudor black & white, there are other quaint ones, like the Windmill Inn near Nash's House.
    It is a Pub, built in 1599, and a year later, became "Ale house of the year." This is inscribed in one of the original Oak beam's in the Pub.
    On the outside, it's painted white, and with the colourful flower boxes, a very inviting Pub.
    Was it one of Shakespeare's haunts, as it is situated close to his last residence at New Place?

    Good food, real ale, reasonable prices!

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    RIVER AVON

    by balhannah Updated Jan 26, 2012

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    River Avon
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    Stratford upon Avon, so of course, the River Avon run's through the town.

    Punting on the Avon, I remember reading about that, and now here I was admiring the very same River. A little further along the River was a beautiful arched Bridge.
    Narrow Boat's were tied up alongside the bank, one was called the "Barge Gallery."

    It was late in the day near Shakespeare Theatre, Boat tour's had finished and there wasn't anybody about on the River.

    Of course, during the day, there are cruise's along the River, departing from Bancroft Garden's next to the Theatre. You can choose from Row Boat's & Punt's, hired by the hour, or take a pleasure cruise for 30 - 45mins
    There are three different companies to choose from.

    The River Avon wends its way for 96 miles through Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire

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    BANCROFT GARDEN'S

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    The Bancroft Gardens are located on the bank of the River Avon and in front of the famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

    After enjoying our meal in Stratford, we walked to these garden's to sit for a while before heading to our Hotel.
    There weren't many people around, so as soon as the lovely White Swan's saw us, they all came swimming to be fed! We have Black Swan's at home.
    A skateboarder was whizzing around the park, like he had done this route a 100 time's before, and then people started arriving at the Theatre, so we guessed, there must have been something on.
    We then went for a walk, and viewed the flower bed's and then all the moored Narrow Boats.
    It really was a lovely spot to enjoy some quiet time and the view's in the Park.

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    GOWER MEMORIAL

    by balhannah Updated Jan 26, 2012

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    Shakespeare, and as the year's went by, he was a recognized as one of the greatest Poet's in the World, but there were no Monument's to him!
    So, in 1877, a committee was formed to erect a memorial to Shakespeare in his own Town.
    It was in 1888, a Memorial Statue was built by Lord Ronald Gower, hence the name "Gower Memorial."

    I found this Memorial in Stratford's Bancroft Gardens. Not only was there a monument of Shakespeare seated on a pedestal, but surrounding him were statues of Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Prince Hal, and Falstaff.
    These characters represent Philosophy, Tragedy, History, and Comedy.

    A very nice Memorial in a lovely setting

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    COUNTRY ARTIST'S FOUNTAIN

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    This is a lovely fountain depicting a stainless steel pair of dancing Swan's.
    It was built to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Richard1, granting market right's and the granting of borough status by the Bishop of Worcestor, both in 1196.

    It was inaugarated by Her Majesty the Queen in 1996, and stand's nearby Shakespeare Theatre.

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    HOLY TRINITY CHURCH

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    Holy Trinity church
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    Located on the banks of the River Avon in Stratford, the Church was first mentioned in 845.
    Two Churches were in this location before the present limestone building was begun in 1210 and built in the shape of a cross.
    Inside, is the finest renaissance tomb in all England, that of George Carew (died 1629) and his wife.

    When I walked to the Church, it was through and avenue of lime trees, said to represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve Apostles.
    Little on the outside has changed since Shakespeare's time, only the present stone Spire was added in 1763.

    OPENING HOURS....
    (March and October)
    Monday-Saturday: 9am - 5pm Sunday: 12.30pm - 5pm
    (April-September)
    Monday-Saturday: 8.30am - 6pm Sunday: 12.30 pm - 5 pm
    (November-February)
    Monday-Saturday: 9 am - 4pm Sunday: 12.30 pm - 5 pm

    Admission to the church is usually FREE, except for advertised concerts and exhibition's.
    Please make a donation of 1gbp to visit Shakespeare's grave

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    GUILD CHAPEL

    by balhannah Updated Jan 26, 2012

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    Guild Chapel
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    The Guild Chapel actually resemble's a Church more than a Chapel. It was established during the 13th century, then rebuilt 200 years later.
    It's an important religious landmark which has some very well preserved 16th-century frescoes on the interior wall's.

    It was free to enter. Inside a Doom is painted above the chancel arch, one of the largest surviving versions of its kind in Britain. It is the largest surviving fragment of a series of frescoes, painted in the late 15th century.
    Lining the wall of the chapel are painting's depicting many religious topics, including the legend of he Holy Cross, St George and the Dragon, the martyrdom of St Thomas Beckett and the Dance of Death.
    The paintings were rediscovered during building work in 1804.

    Services are held at the Guild Chapel each Wednesday morning, and again once a month, on the first Saturday of the month.

    OPEN DAILY 9 - 5PM
    ADMISSION....FREE

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    ALM HOUSES

    by balhannah Updated Jan 26, 2012

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    Almhouse's
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    The Alm houses were founded at the beginning of the 15th century by the Guild of the Holy Cross for elderly locals.
    It is a continuous row of lovely black and white & tan & brown building's. They are still in good repair thanks to being restored during the 1980's. Next to them are the Guild Chapel and the King Edward VI Grammar School.

    OPEN DAILY - ADMISSION FREE

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    AMERICAN FOUNTAIN

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    American Fountain

    I thought the American Fountain was beautiful! It has a gothic appearance and is also an ornate Clock Tower and is engraved with a number of quotations from Shakespeare plays.
    It was a gift from George Childs, an influential journalist from Philadelphia, built to celebrate and commemorate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria

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    TUDOR BUILDING'S

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    Stratford upon Avon
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    Stratford-Upon-Avon is full of half-timbered Black & White Tudor building's.

    The Tudor period spanned the 16th and 17th centuries, and here in Stratford, is a great display of many different Tudor style's used in the woodwork.
    I walked around town, and I think it a MUST DO, to see these building's. I didn't have a map, but just went where-ever I saw a building of interest.

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    OLD BANK

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    Old Bank
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    The Old Bank is really worth having a look at.
    It is more modern than the timber framed building's, but it's a good example of Victorian architecture in red brick.
    On the outside, is a good terracotta frieze, depicting scenes from Shakespeare and there is a mosaic of the Shakespeare above the entrance.

    It is now used by the HSBC BANK.

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    HARVARD HOUSE

    by balhannah Written Jan 26, 2012

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    Harvard House
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    Harvard House is one of those old black & white houses, built long ago in 1596.
    The owner was Alderman Thomas Rogers, who was a wealthy townsman, butcher, corn and cattle trader.
    Have a look at the carved facade, as it include's carved initials along with a bull's head to denote his trade, said to be the richest example in the town.
    The building has been used by blacksmiths, as a book shop, breeches makers and an estate agents until 1909, when American millionaire, Edward Morris of Chicago bought and restored the building.
    It was then given to Harvard University.

    In 1996, it became the Museum of British Pewter.

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