The Fallstaffs Experience is one of those places that we avoid at any cost!
It is similar in concept and portrayal to The London Dungeon, which has all these little tricks and 'trying-to-be-clever' acts. Hence me putting this as a 'warning' tip... I am NOT a fan of the London Dungeon.
It is held in lovely half-timbered buildings off Sheep Street. It used to be the Shrieve's (Sherriff's) House. They portray times as they were up to 800 years ago, with actors, props and theatre sets.
Some people do enjoy it, but to us it is just a waste of time to be honest. It is very expensive. There are other tours you can do. The museum tour is £5. The ghost tour is £7.50. The dark history walk is £8. Mini vigil is £30 (4 hours). Midnight vigils are a huge £60!
You will be very lucky if you don't have to queue for the 'main attractions' such as 'Shakespeare's birthplace'.
So expect it, and accept it.
If you are lucky, some jolly Shakespearean actors may come and declaim loudly at you whilst you are queuing. I saw this happen to the birthplace queue; they wer looudly told about 'naked swords' and 'taking the heads of maidens'. Hohoho.
I suspect it went over the heads of many in that particular queue.... they probably just assumed it was English eccentricity.
But anyway, England is all about queuing politely, so do so with a good grace and never,. ever push your way to the front; it's just not done!
There are a large number of swans on the River Avon here :)
People are asked NOT to feed the swans their own food, but to feed them 'responsible feed', supplied by certain outlets. These geese can easily contract a disease called 'Angel Wing', so their feed has to be strictly monitored.
The disease makes them aggressive. If they eat too much white bread/unsuitable food, their wings grow too fast and not consistently, so one might droop. This hampers their ability to fly, and may stop them from flying altogether. These birds are put down sadly.
There are a couple of places where you can buy 'responsible' swan food.... the 'Baguette Barge' is one of these places! They sell packets of low protein wheat discs for 50p.
*The worst thing they can be fed is white bread*
It is enjoyable sitting and watching them, and watching the children enjoying them. They arent shy as they are used to being goggles at by passers-bys all the time!
You'll find most of them by Bancroft Gardens, in the River Avon.
This is a genuine warning!
The pavements/sidewalks in Stratford-upon-Avon are quite narrow in most places, where it is difficult for 2 people to pass one another at times. I guess it is beacuse in the days that Stratford-upon-Avon was built, there was not much need to think of the roads, the people walked in the streets!
We went in spring, which is a fabulous time for various reasons, one of them being because there are not tone of people! This makes it a lot more enjoyable, less queues etc.
My husband has been before, in MID summer and he said it was unbearable with all the floods of people.
Because there is so much to see and savour here, it is a real shame if you cannot do it at your own pace, plus not get 100 heads in each and every shot of a gable ;)
We spent a day walking around Stratford and found that many of the signs were a little mis-leading. In fact, they often pointed us in exactly the opposite direction to the one we wanted to take! Pick up a street map from the Tourist Information Office when you arrive and follow that rather than the street signs, you'll arrive at your destination much more quickly and without the frustration.
Bancroft Gardens were once the grazing lands of Stratford on Avon, then the site of the canal, wharves and warehouses, later filled in. They are very pleasant , but you aren't allowed to do anything if you obey the bye-laws. We read them and cracked up laughing.
It is an offence to any of the following, among a list of 18:
--to deposit rubbish or litter
--to urinate or defecate
--to throw stones or missiles
--to disturb or ill treat any fish or fowl
--to play any musical instrument or sing [other than with the consent of the Council]