2 companies run out of the station if you don't count the steam train.
Central trains to Birmingham and the north and Chiltern railways to London and the south.
If you can't find what you're looking for on their web pages try this one below.
A history of the station and other information is also available at
You can travel to Stratford-upon-Avon on Chiltern Railways from London Marylebone Station. There are direct services every two hours.
In June 2009 they have introduced special late night trains departing Stratford-upon-Avon at 2320 on selected Saturdays to tie in with evening performances at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon. These trains also call at Leamington Spa, Banbury, Bicester North, Haddenham and Thame Parkway and High Wycombe - see the website for details.
From time to time special leaflets are available with money-off vouchers for attractions and restaurants in Stratford with a valid Chiltern Railways ticket, so look out for them at Marylebone station.
The drive to Startford takes about an hour by car/straight coach. The M 40 is the efficient direct route to town, to get into greater Warwickshire. Then, take the A 46 at Longbridge Island (between Warwick and Stratford)
Stratford now has a park & ride, which is ideal if you are driving there. No need to spend forever looking for an expensive parking place.
The buses are regular (about every 10 minutes) and parking is free. A return journey costs 1.30GBP (as of June 2008), which is pretty good value.
There are two stops in the town, and you get the bus back from opposite where you get off; couldn't be simpler.
Don't be dismayed if the bus goes into a supermarket car park; it will come out again, and go on into the town!
Highly recommended. Look at the webslink for location details.
Cycling is another good form of exercise, plus is an easy way to get around town.
Parking is a mini nightmare at the best of times, and it doesnt make sense to catch buses around the town unless you are doing the sightseeing bus, as the town is easily walkable.
There are plenty of places to keep your bike safe as you go about your business.
Aooarently it is also a good place to advertise your business :)
We drove to Stratford-upon-Avon, but there is a train/bus that takes you right there. Many people prefer this, especially as parking is so limited during peak season.. they actually recommend this.
The town is relatively small, easy to walk.. and for the out areas... Mary Arden's House and Anne Hathaway's Cottage, there is the City Sightseeing bus that can take you there. So there's no real need for a car.
If going by train from London:
Chiltern Railways operates a direct service from London Marylebone Station to Stratford-upon-Avon Station. Book your ticket through National Rail.
If going by bus from London:
National Express operates a direct service from London Victoria Station to Stratford-upon-Avon. Book your ticket through National Express .
Did you know that the translation for Avon is 'river'?
We travelled on the River River then ;)
The river was lovely albeit there not being much on the trees at this time of year. It was early spring and flowers were blooming but there wasnt that much greenery around as there would be in summer.
The trip in the barge was lovely. We went on Bancroft Cruises, which last 45 minutes. It seemed like alot shorter than that though, as time flies! But it was a full 45 minutes.
We cruised beneath the 500 year old Compton Bridge, past the Royal Shakespeare Company's two theatres, and then as far as the absolutely gorgeous Trinity Church.
There are plenty of ducks and geese to see along the way, as well as other cruisers and rowers. It was peaceful.
I think it would have been nicer if it was an open air tour (better for photographs too!), but it was still lovely :)
We paid £4.50 each as 2 adults. If you want to know when the next boat trip is, look at the clock on the deck.
We saw Stratford-upon-Avon in two ways... by hopping off and on a sightseeing bus, plus by doing loads of walking.
The bus picks you up at points all over the town and comes along every 15 to 30 minutes.
Our trip took around an hour from start to finish, we then did it again but this time, hopped on and off at places we wanted to see.
This is handy as some places, like Mary Arden's House and Anen Hathaway's Cottage, are out of town and a tad far to walk. We do have a car but decided to go by bus.
The commentary is electronic and informative. They provide a good service!
Rather than be a part of a guided tour from London, it is much more worthwhile to take the train here. Trains run from London Marylebone Station to Stratford-uon-Avon. A few may require a change of trains on the way as it depends on the time and day. The small station is a short walk to the center of town. It is worth noting that the train could pass through some other notable towns such as Leamington Spa or Warwick. Thus, they could be combined on a day trip.
If you don't have a car at your disposal and want to see the Shakespeare-related properties outside Stratford-upon-Avon, i.e. Mary Arden's (Shakespeare's mother's) House and Anne Hathaway's Cottage, taking a sightseeing tour with Guide Friday will help. Especially the former as Anne Hathaway's Cottage is just 1 mile away. Otherwise, Stratford is small enough to visit on foot and you can easily find your way around it. The good thing about the tours is that you can hop on and off the bus at will and even repeat the tour as the ticket is valid for the whole day. The tour covers all the most interesting places within Stratford as well as some nearby villages. There is a recorded commentary and every alternate bus has a live guide, which I would definitely prefer. The buses leave every 15-30 minutes from outside the Tourist Information.
Prices: Adult - 9 GBP, concessions - 7 GBP, child - 4 GBP
Parking for the day in Stratford is not cheap - a full day on an NCP could cost you £7 - £8, and even more if you want to stay on in the evening to watch a play. All day parking is available for just £3 (in June 2006)at the Marina Car Park in the south of the town - turn left immediately after the Holiday Inn as you approach the town on the Warwick Road (the road is called 'Bridgefoot').
The City sightseeing company offer open top tours around Stratford.
I think these are good value and if you take a tour early in your stay it gives you a feel for the town.
This company also offers trips around the Cotswold villages and trips to Warwick.
A river trip on one of the many boats that ply their trade on the River Avon through Stratford is a nice relaxing, inexpensive way to spend some spare time. The boat we took was run by Avon Boating and lasted half hour, it first went upstream and then back downstream past the theatre and locks before returning back to the mooring. It is a good way to see the many varied types of birds and water fowl that make the river their home.
I seem to say this about every place I visit, but Stratford is best seen on foot. It's quite compact, most of the sights are within really easy walking distance (and it's not the sort of place to try to drive around/park in if you don't know it - for a start you have to negotiate round the camera wielding tourists!). Henley Street (the street Shakespeare's birthplace is on) is pedestrianised anyway, so you'll have to walk a bit!
The two out of town places you'll possibly want to go to are Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Mary Arden's house. The Guide Friday buses run to both of these if you want to go for that option. But certainly for Anne Hathaway's Cottage (Shottery) I'd rather walk up there anyway. It's not a hard walk, it's nice and flat, and it's about a mile. Mary Arden's House is a bit more of a challenge, as it's nearer 4 miles away.
If you want to walk alongside the river it can be surprisingly peaceful, and there's a path alongside the river for quite a few miles out of town if you want a longer walk.
The bus runs round town every 15/30 minutes, stopping somewhere near all the major tourist spots (Shakespeare's birthplace itself is on a pedestrianised street, so I won't say it stops outside!). They're very colourful so you won't miss them.
They have a running commentary so you get a bit of information too.
But personally, I think that Stratford is small enough to walk round without needing to get a bus. Get a good guide book and you're sorted. The bus does also go to the out of town sites like Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Mary Arden's House, but personally I prefer to walk to Anne Hathaway's Cottage (Shottery) anyway, it's about a mile and is quite a nice walk.