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Stratford upon Avon
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About Stratford upon Avon
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.
For country house grandeur
- Ettington Park Hotel is a gloriously grand Neo-Gothic mansion turned country house hotel, beautiful on the outside and comfortable on the inside.
Slightly further afield
- The Howard Arms is a lovely old traditional inn on a village green, overlooking the Stour Valley. Easy going with plenty of character, this inn has comforting dishes, and eight comfortable rooms at comfortable prices.
- The Malt House is a carefully put together B&B in a charming ancient house in a charming Cotswolds village.
- For a fresh stylish feel, try Dormy House, a recently refurbished country house hotel with enough privacy to accommodate both families and couples comfortably.
Best Hotels in Stratford upon Avon
Church Street Townhouse 12 rooms from $135Stratford 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.Great walks - The Cotwswolds, a haven for ramblers are close by or why not embark on one of Stratford's walking tours.Sights nearby - Visit the birthplace of the bard and many of his family homes including the popular Mary Arden's Farm.Sailing - Take a long boat down the River Avon.Designer - Uniquely designed interiors.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Good Hotel Guide
Ettington Park Hotel 48 rooms from $153Stratford 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.Sights nearby - Only six miles from Stratford upon Avon, and ideal base for exploring the CotswoldsSwimming Pool - Indoor Pool
The Arden Hotel from $229Warwickshire, 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!ElegantGreat walks - With The Cotswolds in striking distance the quintessential british countryside is waiting to be exploredSights nearby - Explore the years of history in Warwick CastleRecommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Small Luxury Hotels