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.
Guide Friday/City Sightseeing buses
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.
There is a frequent Thames Trains service to Stratford from London passing Oxford en route. On our return the train was cancelled - leaves on the track - British rail is running out of excuses - so we had to take the slowest bus ever back. Anyway, there are train and bus services to Stratford from most UK towns & cities and these are your best bet if you don't have a car.
Walking around the town is the best way to see Stratford. It's a small town and most of the major sites are close to the centre. If you plan to see Mary Arden's house or Anne Hathaway's house, then a car would be handy. You could also take the Stratford tour bus.
British Waterways' Canals
If you have the time a holiday on the canals of England can be restful, stress free and relaxing but if you need to get back to London for your flight leave plenty of time to check in...
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Hop on Hop Off
Guide Friday provides the standard hop on hop off double decker tours around Stratford. Ticket prices may offer entrance discounts to some attractions. nearly all are Shakespeare related.
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