Stratford upon Avon's link with a certain bard are what make it a must-see destination for many hop-on-hop-off tours of the UK. But in addition to the world class offerings of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the beautifully kept museums in his homes, and the survival of Tudor buildings dating from his lifetime, Stratford upon Avon is also a lively little market town, and a good base for exploring the Cotswolds. Some of the best places to stay in Stratford upon Avon are actually country house hotels just outside the town, where you can take refuge from the bustle of the weekend visitors.
Stratford upon Avon does very well out of Shakespeare, and each beautifully preserved half timbered building helps to add to the town's charm, and encourage in the crowds.
The 'main event' of any proper trip to Stratford upon Avon must be a play, and this is something you really need to organise in advance. Even if you're visiting in a quieter time of year, it still pays to book. And to make sure that they're playing something you fancy!
The town's other main sights are mostly Shakespeare themed, but Stratford upon Avon is also supposed to be rife with ghosts, so there are plenty of interesting, historical walking tours you can join to hear some good tales - this is also a great way to meet jobbing actors. 'Ghost central' is probably The Falstaff Experience, which is a Tudor Museum and famously haunted building.
Shakespeare's birthplace was a house on Henley Street, 16th Century, but kept in good 'working order'. The same can be said of Ann Hathaway's Cottage, where Shakespeare would have done his wooing. The Bard is buried in the Holy Trinity Church - surprisingly this church is very definitely a working church, not a tourist attraction, so be respectful.
As well as the Tudor and theatrical themed highlights of the town, Stratford upon Avon is close to the magnificent turrets of Warwick Castle, the romantic ruins of Kenilworth Castle and the rolling hills and meadows of the Cotswolds. And it has a Butterfly Farm.
Stratford upon Avon
In the heart of the bustling, timber framed Stratford you will find this beautifully restored hotel. Rooms have a modern twist on classic boutique style with pale walls, plush red curtains, black and white tiled bathrooms some with roll top baths. There is a gourmet bistro popular amongst locals.
Stratford upon Avon
Neo-Gothic mansion turned country house hotel just six miles from Stratford upon Avon. Perfect for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre or simply exploring the Cotswolds. Spacious and well appointed bedrooms, plus swimming pool and 2 AA Rosette dining.
Warwickshire, Stratford upon Avon
Set in the centre of the historical town of Stratford-Upon-Avon. Rooms are spacious yet cosy with crisp cotton sheets and luxurious throws. The Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre is just opposite so the bar and terrace are full of atmosphere. Don't forget the Cotswolds are on your doorstep..Perfect!