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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, 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, 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 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 and 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, 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. It has a Butterfly Farm for something a bit different.
What not to miss:
- Attend a performance at the famed Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
- Embark on a historical walk and hear tales of the town's supposed ghosts.
- Visit Shakespeare's birthplace and Ann Hathaway's Cottage.
- Explore the impressive Warwick Castle and the ruins of Kenilworth castle.
- Head out of the town and take long walks through the picturesque Cotswolds countryside.
With all this history the little town is a popular spot and the best places to stay in Stratford-upon-Avon do get booked up fast so be sure to plan your trip in advance.
The best places to stay in Stratford-upon-Avon
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.
For a central location
- Church Street Townhouse is in the heart of the bustling, timber framed Stratford where 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.
- The Arden Hotel is set in the centre of the historical town. 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.
For 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.
For an apartment or cottage
- If you're travelling with family or a group of friends it may be a better option to book a villa or apartment. For a wide range of properties for all tastes and budgets we recommend you visit our online partner Booking.com.
- Fly to Birmingham Airport which serves both national and international destinations. Another major airport is Gloucestershire Airport, located just 38 miles from the town. By train, travel to Stratford-upon-Avon station, which is well connected across the UK.
- Stratford-upon-Avon is a year round destination with each season offering its own charm. However, for the best chance of bright sunny days plan your trip in the summer months (June - August).
- If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Stratford upon Avon
The White Swan Hotel 41 rooms from $128Stratford upon Avon (Stratford-upon-Avon)
An historic hotel situated in the pretty market town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Beautifully restored, the property has kept its original charm, including a mural dating back to 1450. An atmospheric wood panelled restaurant serves up superlative British fare. A charming stay.Local exploring - A historic hotel in a historic market-town. Find yourself within walking distance of many of the areas best sights.Theatre - Watch the famed Royal Shakespeare Company perform in their own theatre.Sights nearby - Visit the house where the world’s most famous playwright - Shakespeare - was born and grew up.Local markets - Sample local produce at the Rother Street farmers market.
Church Street Townhouse 12 rooms from $143Stratford upon Avon (Warwickshire)
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 $163Stratford upon Avon (Alderminster)
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 PoolTraditional
The Arden Hotel from $244Stratford upon Avon (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 CastleTraditionalRecommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Small Luxury Hotels