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|Arden Way Guesthouse
22 Shipston Rd, Stratford-upon-Avon
|Heron Lodge Guest House
260 Alcester Road, Stratford-upon-Avon
|Aidan Guest House
11 Evesham Place, Stratford-upon-Avon
|See the full list of Stratford-upon-Avon Hotels|
|The Stag at Redhill
Alcester Road, Wilmcote
|Legacy Falcon Hotel
Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon
123 Shipston Road, Stratford-upon-Avon
Best known as the town where William Shakespeare was born, Stratford-Upon-Avon is a market town with roots in medieval times. It was granted its original charters in 1196 and is now an important British cultural center. Located in the county of Warwickshire, the town is southeast of Birmingham. Many Stratford-Upon-Avon hotels have links with the famous bard.
The River Avon offers the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities including boating. Experienced boaters are invited to rent a motor boat or row boat and explore the river environment. Those who prefer to leave the driving to someone else can catch one of the cruise boats navigating the river by day and night. Your Stratford-Upon-Avon hotels will have details of available trips.
The Riverside Walk offers an easy stroll along the water on level footpaths. Parking is available on the east bank at the Butterfly Farm and the trail starts at the bandstand. The path offers views of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on the west bank. Further down the path, the Holy Trinity Church comes into view. The trail crosses the river at the Mill Bridge and continues past the church, Avonbank Gardens and the Memorial Theatre Gardens. Bancroft Gardens occupies the land in front of the theater. The Tramway Bridge crosses the river back to the bandstand.
The Butterfly Farm is the largest preserve of its kind in Europe. The landscaped greenhouse recreates a tropical habitat for more than 250 species of butterfly. The flight area features tropical plants, waterfalls and pools filled with fish. In addition to the butterflies there are several birds in the habitat including an Amazon parrot, Australian cockatiels and Chinese quail. The Caterpillar Room allows visitors to witness the various life cycles of the butterfly in a series of living exhibits.
Royal Shakespeare Theatre tours are available year round depending on production schedules and are bookable through most Stratford-Upon-Avon hotels. Visitors can choose to take a guided tour featuring the architectural history and details about what goes on behind the scenes of a production. Another option is to explore the facility on a self-guided tour with audio available via headset, MP3 player or mobile phone. Panoramic views of the river and Stratford-Upon-Avon can be seen from the top of the tower located on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre grounds. A lift is available to carry visitors 32 m up to the observation platform.
Holy Trinity Church sits on a site that has held a place of worship since 845 AD. Portions of the current structure were started in 1210. The building is constructed in traditional crucifix form with a nave, chancel, south transept and north transept. All but the north transept are open to the public. The central tower houses ten bells and the pathway leading to the entrance is lined with trees representing the twelve apostles and the Israeli tribes.
William Shakespeare is buried next to his wife, Anne Hathaway, in the chancel below the altar. His grave bears an inscription that promises a curse on anyone who removes the bones from their resting place. The life of the famous playwright began and ended on April 23. He was born in 1564 and died in 1616. The bust on display near the grave was completed in 1623 by Gerard Jansen and was commissioned by Shakespeare's wife.
There are five properties in or around town connected with the Shakespeare family. All date back to the 16th century and contain rare furnishings and domestic items from the era. They are faithfully preserved as examples of Tudor life. Shakespeare was born in a timber frame house on Henley Street. Descendants lived in the home until the 19th century but it now houses a small museum with exhibits and a collection of historic books and manuscripts. The house where he lived for the last decade of his life was known as New Place. That building is no longer standing but the foundations and grounds, including a Elizabethan knot garden, are adjacent to Nash House.
Other properties associated with the famous writer are Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Hall's Croft and Mary Arden's house. The playwright's oldest daughter resided at Hall's Croft with her husband the doctor. Visitors may tour the home and enjoy refreshments in the tea room or in secluded areas around the herb and perennial garden. Anne lived in the cottage before she married. Parts of the building were constructed during the 15th century and the garden is noteworthy. His mother, Mary Arden, lived in a Tudor farmhouse located just outside Stratford-Upon-Avon. The building now houses the Shakespeare countryside museum. Daily demonstrations by Heart of England falconry take place on the grounds and the two historic farms feature farm implement displays and a forge for blacksmithing.
The Brass Rubbing Centre contains hundreds of depictions of various historic figures, scenes from nursery rhymes, heraldic scenes, knights, priests and more. These accurate depictions offer history scholars the opportunity to create brass rubbings as unique mementos of their visit.
People who are looking for a full immersion in life during the 16th century will find it at Turdor World at the Falstaff Experience. The cobblestone carriageway dates back to 1595. A museum is kept inside the Shrieve's House barn. Plays are performed in the courtyard just as they were in medieval times. Considered among the most haunted places in England, ghost tours take place after dark by lantern light. A costumed guide will lead the group through darkened buildings in search of ghostly inhabitants. The building was a tavern during the 16th century and during the 17th century it provided shelter for wounded soldiers during English Civil War battles at Edgehill. Among the spirits said to inhabit the grounds are an archer, a serial murderer, a justice of the peace and a Catholic man.
There is plenty to see and do in and when you stay in one of the local Stratford-Upon-Avon hotels. History buffs can find out exactly what 16th century Tudor life was like during the time when William Shakespeare walked these very streets.