Stratford-Upon-Avon, Spending Travel Tuesday with William Shakespeare
Happy Travel Tuesday, friends!
It’s that time of the month, the time when I share travel tips on how to pack, what to do, where to stay, and more from some of my favorite travel destinations. Born out of a reader request for more travel content and a sadly empty travel schedule in 2018, I intend to share past travel experiences with you to keep the wanderlust flowing all year round! Make sure to tune every month for more Travel Tuesday stories.
To belatedly celebrate the month of dearest William Shakespeare’s birth and death (April), we’re traveling to Stratford-Upon Avon today.
This small town in Warwickshire, England, is simply teeming with culture and life as the birthplace of Shakespeare, as well as the place where he is buried. So it comes as no surprise that most of the recommendations when traveling there are Shakespeare related.
Where To Stay
The White Swan Hotel sits right at the heart of town. With traditional Elizabethan wood and plaster architecture and some downright stunning rooms, I can only imagine this is the best place to stay if looking for a truly Shakespearean trip. While I haven’t stayed here myself, the reviews on Google look promising, as do the photos. Roaring fireplaces, draped velvet, a wooden four-poster bed, truly this place looks stunning enough that I might be plotting my own trip there! At the very least, stop to grab a pint in their bar! | http://www.white-swan-stratford.co.uk/
What To Eat
The Dirty Duck (formally known as the Black Swan) is wildly popular with actors and the pre-theatre crowd alike. Traditional pub grub with a warm and cozy environment, you’re sure to stir up a few laughs over beers before you head to a show at the Royal Shakespeare. | https://www.oldenglishinns.co.uk/our-locations/the-dirty-duck-stratford-upon-avon
Lambs of Sheep Street might just be the most stunning restaurant in the whole of Stratford-Upon-Avon! With dishes as beautiful as the decor, this restaurant is not only a feast for your stomach but one for your eyes as well. I highly recommend the carpaccio of beef as a starter. Some of the best! | http://www.lambsrestaurant.co.uk/
The Encore offers riverside eats, cask ales, and a wonderful menu of traditional food with a mediterranean flare. Stop by during warm season to enjoy your pint outside, and make sure to leave room for dessert! | https://www.theencorestratford.co.uk/
Shakespeare Birthplace is the most touristy thing you can do in Stratford-Upon-Avon while still maintaining some dignity of educating yourself on his growing up. Yes, it is “just a house” but it’s also so much more. Original floors are still in parts of the house, if that’s the kind of thing you get excited about, and the rest of the house is styled as similarly to what it would have been in his time. Not terribly much history remains from this period as far as proper documentation, so there is a fair bit of educated guesswork. But it’s still fun! And the gardens are simply stunning to wander. For you bloggers always looking for a good grammable moment, this is your spot. Spring and summer have the most stunning blooms! | https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/visit/shakespeares-birthplace/
Shakespeare’s Grave at Holy Trinity Church goes to the exact opposite end of the tourism spectrum. Quiet, removed, and much more sombre than the birthplace, William Shakespeare is buried in a church that is still used today. So going to visit on a Sunday morning is definitely not in your best interest. Remember to keep it solemn and respectful when you visit here. Obviously, they’re used to tourists popping in and out, but don’t take thousands of photos, don’t be obnoxious, etc. And toss them some coins. Entering the church is free and donation is requested to view the grave. | http://www.stratford-upon-avon.org/
Royal Shakespeare Company might be the most obvious selection for Shakespeare buffs traveling to this historical town. Book your tickets well in advance, as many day trippers will come out just to see shows and often the theatre is filled to the brim! This company is always pushing the envelope as far as what they can do within Shakespeare’s productions. Anticipate an adaptation when you attend and, if you can, do some research on the production before viewing. That way, you won’t be spending the whole first half wondering what’s happening and, thusly, confused after the interval. | https://www.rsc.org.uk/
Parks along the Avon are all truly beautiful. From places to rent a boat to simply beautiful spots for a picnic, this river offers scenic vistas and plenty of spots to feed the birds, watch the water, and let the world go by.
Stratford-Upon-Avon may be a Shakespeare heavy destination but don’t let the Bard deter you if he’s not your thing. This space is wonderful for walking and exploring, the food is truly spectacular, and the sheer depth of history might just pique your interest in everyone’s favorite dick joke writer of Elizabethan England.