Stratford Upon Avon hotels
Stratford Upon Avon Rundown
Forever associated with William Shakespeare, the world’s greatest playwright, Stratford upon Avon is jam packed with bard-related attractions. Stratford upon Avon is also bursting at the seams with tourists, especially during the summer months and at weekends – but, brave the crowds since this charming Warwickshire town simply must be seen. Plan a visit for low season and your Shakespeare pilgrimage is less likely to bring on your high blood pressure.
Whilst here it’s more or less compulsory to take in a performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford upon Avon’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Afterwards, theatrical groupies can sip a pint at the Dirty Duck aka the Black Swan, the favourite post-performance hangout of resident thesps where past luvvie regulars include Dickie Attenborough and Larry Olivier.
When you’ve had your fill of all things Shakespearian, Stratford upon Avon also makes an excellent base for touring some beautiful English countryside with the chocolate box pretty Cotswold villages on the doorstep, as well as majestic Kenilworth and Warwick Castles.
Stratford Upon Avon’s Top 10
10. Cruise the River Avon Watch the world go by and stop off for a spot of liquid refreshment at the many watering holes along the river.
5. New Place was home to Shakespeare from 1597 until his death in 1616. Get tied up in the Elizabethan ‘knott garden’.
9. Stratford upon Avon Butterfly Farm and Jungle Safari is a break from all things high brow with rare colourful insects as well as wildlife videos.
4. Anne Hathaway’s cottage The spouse of the bard grew up in this Stratford upon Avon property, featuring original furniture and furnishings.
8. Halls Croft is where Suzanna, Shakespeare’s eldest daughter lived with her husband in Stratford upon Avon. The herb garden is a treat.
3. Shakespeare’s Birthplace 1564 in a half timbered house in Stratford upon.
7. Mary Arden’s House in Wilmcote near Stratford upon Avon is where Shakespeare’s mother grew up before she married John Shakespeare.
2. Harvard House belonged to the ancestor of John Harvard founder of the US University.
6. Nash House A museum telling the story of Stratford upon Avon.
1. Falstaff’s Experience A living museum and ‘genuinely’ haunted building.
Top 10 Stratford Upon Avon Events
The RSC Theatre always has a busy schedule . Book ahead to see Antony and Cleopatra, The Rape of King Lear, Romeo and Juliet or any of the other forthcoming plays both here, and in the other famous Stratford upon Avon Theatre, The Swan.
February is the month of love, ‘L.U.V’ in Stratford upon Avon, with the romantic Love Shakespeare Weekend taking place on the 12-14th Tip - don’t take anyone you aren’t already married to or do not plan to marry or there could be misunderstandings.
April is a busy month in Stratford upon Avon with the William Shakespeare Parade taking place on the Saturday closest to the playwright’s birthday, 23rd April.
‘Spring Merriment’ takes place at Stratford upon Avon’s Mary Arden’s Farm where all visitors, and especially the young, can enjoy seeing the newly born lambs and chicks.
May sees the Stratford upon Avon Literary Festival at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Gardens.
Also in May is the Falconry and Raptor Fair, a Stratford upon Avon event featuring exhibitors from all across Europe.
Ladies Day takes place at Warwick Races (just a short drive from Stratford upon Avon) in June, provides female race goers ( and possibly non female race goers) with a great opportunity to dress up at this historical racecourse.
Stratford upon Avon Racecourse is proof that size isn’t everything. One of the UK’s best smaller racecourses, it has a reputation for handing out generous prize money. Meetings take place from March through to October, with many of the UK’s top jockeys in action here.
The Stratford upon Avon River Race is where participants try to navigate the river on canoes, rafts and homemade vessels in support of charity… some of them make it back…
When To Go
Due to its location in the heart of England, Stratford upon Avon enjoys better weather conditions than much of the rest of the UK.
In the summer temperatures can get quite high, sometimes up to 30 °C but are on average more likely to be around the 25 °C level. Winter temperatures rarely go below 6 °C.
Rainfall is relatively low in relation to the rest of the UK which means there is still bound to be the chance of a shower during a stay.
Stratford upon Avon is located in the central Midlands area of the UK, and has excellent transport connections to the rest of the UK. Stratford railway station runs a frequent service into London- a journey of around two hours – terminating at Euston Station. Visitors can also board the Shakespeare Express for a vintage steam train journey into Stratford.
The nearest airports to Stratford upon Avon are Birmingham International which is around35 miles from the town, and Manchester International which is 60 miles from Stratford. Stratford’s main railway station runs a service to both cities.
National Express and Stagecoach run frequent services into Stratford, including ‘Flight link’ services.
The famous birthplace and home of The Bard, William Shakespeare, will forever be inseparable from the man who gave the world Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. As a result, Stratford-upon-Avon is still a world capital of theatre and welcomes well over three million visitors every year - impressive for a town with only 24,000 people.
Visitors come from far and wide to see the Shakespeare House and Museum, as well as four other homes that in some way, relate to the playwright and poet's life. These include Nash's House, New Place, Hall's Croft and Anne Hathaway's Cottage at Shottery, just outside of Stratford. The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, home to the Royal Shakespeare Company and magnificently located along the River Avon, will re-open in 2010 after a major facelift. Other than the works of The Bard, Stratford's annual Music Festival and Literary Festival are great reasons to visit the historic market town.
Attractions & Activities
Restaurnts & Nightlife
When To Go
Stratford-upon-Avon has four distinct seasons just like elsewhere in Warwickshire, England, but temperatures never get overly warm. The most pleasant times to visit are from May through October, when it is not as cold as the rest of the year. Summers are nice and warm, with temperatures as high as 20°C (68°F), while the fall months have high temperatures from 10-12°C (50-54°F). Winters can be quite cold in Stratford-upon-Avon, with lows dropping to -1°C (30°F). Spring is quite chilly with lows around 0-3°C (32-37°F) and highs around 6-9°C (43-48°F). It rains quite a bit during winter months, with an average accumulation of 6-7 cm (2.4-2.8 in) per month, and the rest of the year sees around 4-6 cm (1.6-2.4 in) of rain per month, with April and June being the driest months.
- Summer highs 18-20°C (64-68°F), and winter lows 0 to -1°C (32-30°F)
- Winter rains 6-7 cm (2.4-2.8 in) on average per month
- Cold or cool year-round
You will likely fly into London in order to get to Stratford-upon-Avon, since it is the closest international airport. If you are driving to the village from London, it is a 164 km (102 mi) trip, usually taking about two hours. You use the M40 motorway and exit at Junction 15. You can also take a train if you are not keen on driving. Stratford-upon-Avon has its own train station in the centre of town, so the rail is a fast and convenient mode of travel. You can go directly to Warwick and Birmingham from this station and to London with one transfer at Leamington Spa. Once you arrive in Stratford-upon-Avon, you can easily walk to all of the attractions or use a rented bike or scooter.
- Drive M40/Junction 15 from London
- Train from London, Warwick, Birmingham
- Walk, bike or scooter in town
Stratford-upon-Avon has a temperate climate, with mild conditions throughout the year.
- Winter (December to February) 1-7°C
- Spring (March to May) 2-15°C
- Summer (June to September) 8-20°C
- Fall (October to November) 3-13°C
If you are not a fan of Shakespeare, you probably will not want to visit Stratford-upon-Avon as the tourism in this little village is dedicated solely to the famous 16th-century playwright. Of course, it existed well before William Shakespeare was a resident. In medieval times, it was merely a provision stop on the road to London. These days, Stratford-upon-Avon is a major attraction for theatre fans, and it is the headquarters for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
One of your first stops on your visit will be the Henley Street home where Shakespeare was probably born and definitely raised. Next, you will want to see Anne Hathaway's Cottage(Shakespeare’s wife, not the actress from Devil Wears Prada), where she lived before she married the literary giant. The Holy Trinity Church is an important landmark, since it is the final resting place of William Shakespeare. While it is not directly related to the playwright, The Falstaff Experience is a popular venue in Stratford-upon-Avon due to this museum's purported history of being haunted. The nightly ghost tours are quite entertaining. Strolling along the streets lined with pretty Tudor buildings will evoke a time when Stratford-upon-Avon first became more than a simple market village.
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