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Beyond London: Stratford Upon Avon

A quiet town on the river Avon in beautiful Warwickshire, Stratford Upon Avon is a great escape from the big city bustle of London and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Most people visit Stratford Upon Avon because it was the home of the playwright William Shakespeare. However, this destination offers not just Shakespeare attractions but also excellent shopping and dining as well.

You can easily visit Stratford Upon Avon on a day trip or a weekend getaway from London, as it is only two hours by car or 2.5 hours via train to the quaint and historical center of this welcoming town.

What to Do When You Visit Stratford Upon Avon

Shakespeare Attractions

Stratford Upon Avon is a popular pilgrimage for Shakespeare fans as this city is deeply linked to William himself. You can trace the life of the famous Bard from cradle to grave, imagining what it would have been like for him to live here so many years ago.

Shakespeare's Birthplace and Childhood Home
Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Childhood Home

Shakespeare’s birthplace is one of the most popular attractions in the city, as it is the likely location of where the famous playwright was born and lived as a child. The home itself has been restored to what it might have looked like when The Bard was a boy, with 16th century decor and artifacts. You can also visit the family cottage where Ann Hathaway, Shakespeare’s wife, lived as a little girl.

The Holy Trinity Church is the site where William Shakespeare is buriedย and is another popular destination for fans who visit Stratford Upon Avon. Entry is free, but visitors are asked to give a donation.

Shakespeare's Grave
Shakespeare’s Grave

Stratford Upon Avon, not surprisingly, is also well known for showcasing some excellent theater. Stop in to the Royal Shakespeare Company Theater or the Courtyard Theater when you visit Stratford Upon Avon to see some of those 500 year old scripts brought to life again on the stage!

If you plan your visit to Stratford Upon Avon around the Bard’s birthday on April 23, 2012, you can attend the World Shakespeare Festival which promises to be a huge celebration filled with artists and performers giving their tributes to his life’s work.

The Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre

Shopping and Dining in Stratford Upon Avon

When you have had your fill of all of the Shakespeare related attractions you can do some shopping for something to remember your trip by. If modern shops are what you are looking for you can start at the River Avon and walk up the High Street. However, if you are searching for something a little bit quirky and unusual you can find many interesting antique and curiosity shops in the area around Shakespeare’s house. The city is quite small and compact so you will be able to walk around easily between the attractions and shops.

After working up an appetite by walking around, you can treat yourself to a meal when you visit Stratford Upon Avon at one of the excellent tea shops, restaurants, pubs or country inns. Head to The Black Swan for a pint, as this pub is where the actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company Theater like to grab a drink after a performance.

As Stratford Upon Avon is only less than two hours away from Cardiff and Bath, you could also visit one of these cities as part of a weekend getaway from London.

About Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.


  1. Stratford is just heaven. The sight of Shakespeare’s home is a sight to behold. I feel like I wanted to walk into the old years when the good ole writer is still alive. Nothing beats the castles in London but to make things different in a London travel then this must be it! Countless things to do in such a wonderful place. Perhaps a month in London will still be not enough.

  2. Stratford Upon Avon is just such a peaceful place to visit. On a nice sunny day you can easily loose yourself in relaxed vibe of the place

  3. We love Stratford! There’s so much to see and do. In fact, we’re in the process of writing free reviews on the attractions in Warwickshire, including Stratford – take a look:


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