Stuff I Like

Stratford Day

During half term a few weeks ago I visited Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of ‘William Shakespeare’ the most famous and influential playwright in England, but even that’s a matter of personal choice depending on who you talk to. Stratford is about 45 miles away from the city where I live so it’s surprisingly easy to get to and takes around 50 minutes by car. The last time I visited the town was around 20 years ago and I wanted to see it again. The weather in England has been quite lovely over the past few months so I chose a day that was warm and sunny and took myself down there early one morning.

I’d purchased an adult ticket online before I set out which gave me entry to the houses that featured in ‘Shakespeare’s life. There was ‘New Place’, the home he bought when he’d become successful. ‘Anne Hathaway’s’ cottage, his wife’s childhood home. This was my favorite. ‘Hall Croft’, his daughter Susannah’s home that she lived in as a married woman with her husband John Hall. Shakespeare’s birthplace and Mary Arden’s farm, his mother’s childhood home. This complete ticket for entry is called the ‘Full Story’ ticket and costs for an adult £20.25. This can be used for a whole year which is a bargain because you get so much for your money, the houses and gardens are gorgeous and in keeping with the period of the time which was 400 years ago.

The town of Stratford-upon-Avon is beautiful. The streets are full of old grade 1 and 11listed buildings everywhere you look. There are gift shops full of great stuff, not tacky I may add, just things that constantly make you go “ohhhh” and “ahhhh” every five minutes. There’s also quaint cafes, quirky shops, ice cream parlors and pubs full of character with stories displayed on boards outside describing what the building was, centuries ago.

You can walk down many of the streets that lead you down to the river Avon where you can take boat trips. There are canal boats selling icecreams and cafe’s, restaurants and pubs along the way,  it’s like a promenade that leads you along the beautiful grassy areas where you can observe more old houses and buildings. This walkway directs you to the ‘Royal Shakespeare Company’ theatre. If you continue a little further you arrive at the Holy Trinity church where Shakespeare was baptized and buried with his family.

I highly recommend a visit to this town if you have never done so. Admittedly, there will be many tourists, but if you can visit Stratford mid-week it’s not too bad. Even the street entertainers and buskers have got a professionalism about them! Everything here is perfectly done.

I think that’s enough words for now, here are some of the many photographs I took on the day.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The facade of Shakespeare’s birthplace

I had to take a photograph of the front of the house. If you notice close up, restorers have placed a glass panel in front of a section of the wall to show the public what the materials were and how the building was constructed. I think it’s fascinating!

 

The bedroom where Shakespeare was born
Possibly his little crib where he was placed as a baby. How sweet!
The first room as you enter Shakepeare’s birthplace. This could be the ‘Second best bed’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A beautiful child’s chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the first folios. I think there are only around one hundred left in existence.
Boats to hire on the river Avon. They have names of female characters in Shakespeare’s plays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The river area that you can walk down to. Towards the back are shops, cafes, pubs, and restaurants. Some of these boats sell ice cream.
A view of the street from a cafe. Shakespeare’s birthplace is across the street and towards the left. It is all pedestrianized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Trinity Church
The interior of Holy Trinity Church.

 

Shakespeare’s grave. He purchased this vault during his lifetime and 4 other members of his family are buried here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pub called ‘The Garrick inn’. I had to take a photograph of this exterior because it’s so lovely.

 

 

 

Shakespeare’s home ‘New Place’. This was more of a museum inside and I was a little disappointed. Many of the original features seemed to be missing because it had been modernized.

 

 

 

 

The gardens of New Place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halls Croft. The marital home of Susannah, Shakepeare’s daughter
Halls Croft Interior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halls Croft. The small open staircase that leads from the ground floor dining room to the first floor bedrooms.

 

 

 

Halls Croft Interior

 

Halls Croft Interior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The back of Halls Croft.

 

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Shakespeare’s wife’s childhood home. The guides within gave out loads of information. The brother of Anne, who inherited the property added to it later on. The house was far smaller when the Anne lived there as a girl. The Hathaways still meet up sometimes in Stratford today for a get-together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kitchen area. Ann Hathaway’s cottage.

 

 

Stone floor with staircase that led to the first floor rooms. Ann Hathaway’s cottage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the bedrooms. Ann Hathaway’s cottage.
Top landing of Anne Hathaway’s cottage. I love this photo. This is what the whole house was like. Uneven floors, low ceilings and quirky nooks and crannys. You could even see the rooms underneath through the gaps in the floorboards.

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at these. I had a wonderful time. I know the photographs are not professionally taken, and you can tell, but I’m just a normal girl with a mobile phone that likes taking loads of amateur photographs. If you fancy visiting this beautiful town I highly recommend it. Here is a link for the online houses tickets…http://www.shakespeare.org.uk

 

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