Beautifully nestled on the River Avon and boasting picture-perfect streets lined with traditional black and white timber-framed buildings, Stratford-upon-Avon is an 800 year old market town most famous for being the birthplace and home of the greatest playwright in English history, William Shakespeare.
Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Shakespeare was born, educated and married in Stratford-upon-Avon and visitors today can see many buildings that would have been familiar to the great man.
His birthplace is a half-timbered building in Henley Street with a distinctive pinkish hue to the external plasterwork. His family had lived in this house from 1552 and it is here that William Shakespeare was born in 1564.
The building is today in the care of a not-for-profit organisation called the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust which owns and operates a number of buildings connected to Shakespeare in the surrounding area, many of which have been converted into museums commemorating his life. The Henley Street property underwent a massive regeneration project in 2000 which has led to its interior mirroring how it looked in the 1570s as closely as possible. The dining table is laid out with replicas of the food that the Shakespeare’s would have enjoyed and everyday artefacts like wool spinners and painted wall hangings all contribute to an authentic experience.
Anne Hathaway is perhaps better known as the wife of William Shakespeare and who became widowed upon his death in 1616. Her home, an exquisite example of Elizabethan architecture, remained in the possession of the Hathaway family until 1892 when it was purchased by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust with the intention of preserving it.
Situated on the outskirts of Stratford-Upon-Avon, this picturesque cottage lies in the unspoiled surroundings of the country. Set in beautiful gardens and an orchard, it now serves as a museum and retains a large proportion of original features from the time when Shakespeare and Hathaway lived here as man and wife.