Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon

Things to do in  Stratford-upon-Avon

All the world’s a stage

Best known as Shakespeare’s birthplace, the pretty medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon—lined with characteristic Tudor half-timbered buildings—has become a bustling pilgrimage point for devotees of the Bard. Visiting Shakespeare’s Birthplace, where the writer lived in his youth, is perhaps the top thing to do in Stratford-upon-Avon, although assorted landmarks around town are also important landmarks of his life, from the Holy Trinity Church (where he’s buried) to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (his wife’s former home). Meanwhile, at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company brings his masterworks to life.

Top 4 attractions in Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare's Houses & Gardens

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The medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of iconic wordsmith William Shakespeare. Visitors can follow in the literary giant’s footsteps by exploring some of his homes and gardens—there are five in town, each offering a fascinating insight into Shakespeare’s life and works.More

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

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There are few places more fitting to watch one of Shakespeare’s plays than in Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the iconic playwright. The town’s most prestigious venue is undoubtedly the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the official home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Built in 1932, the theatre was designed by Elisabeth Scott, one of Britain’s first female architects.More

Holy Trinity Church

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Overlooking the River Avon in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Holy Trinity Church was where William Shakespeare was baptized and buried. One of England’s most-visited churches, it draws visitors wanting to see the grave of England’s greatest bard—and those of family members—as well as its medieval and Victorian architecture.More

Harvard House

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This property in Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon was built in 1596 by the grandfather of Harvard University's original benefactor, John Harvard. Currently closed for conservation, the building’s ornate facade still can be enjoyed from the outside, and keen-eyed history buffs may spot a few hidden features that reveal its origins.More

Top activities in Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare Distillery Tour - 11am Ticket
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All about Stratford-upon-Avon

When to visit

The summer holidays are the high season in Stratford-upon-Avon, when families and tourists descend on Shakespeare’s birthplace to walk in the Bard’s footsteps, see where he and his family members lived and worked, and watch the Royal Shakespeare Company perform. Spring is also an excellent time to visit: Shakespeare’s birth (and death) day falls on April 23, while the Stratford Literary Festival takes place in early May.

Getting around

Stratford-upon-Avon is a small and walkable town that’s best explored on foot. It is also served by the mainline Stratford-upon-Avon railway station as well as a coach station, both of which connect it to other destinations around the country. If you wish to venture into the surrounding countryside or explore beyond the town center, there are a number of local taxi companies.

Traveler tips

While Stratford-upon-Avon is indisputably Shakespeare’s town, there’s more to do locally once you’ve had your fill of the Bard. Other highlights include the River Avon, where you can go rowing to soak up the scenery; the Mechanical Art & Design Museum (MAD Museum), which has interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages; plenty of historic pubs where you can enjoy a pint of ale; and Salt, a Michelin-starred restaurant.

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People Also Ask

What is Stratford-upon-Avon famous for?

Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and one of England’s quaintest historic market towns. Find thatched-roof houses, traditional pubs, museums about Shakespeare’s life, and plenty of highly-rated places to eat. It’s also famous for its picturesque riverbanks, boat rides on the Avon, and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

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How do I spend a day in Stratford-upon-Avon?

First, get yourself a delicious full English breakfast and then stroll through the markets. After that, enjoy a cream tea and take a walk to a museum to see where William Shakespeare lived and worked. Explore the river, and then drink a pint of local beer in a traditional pub.

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What day is market day in Stratford-upon-Avon?

Stratford-upon-Avon’s traditional Charter Market has existed since 1553, and it still features street food, crafts, and vintage treasures—you can find it set up in the center of the town every Friday. Every Saturday, the Urban Mix market focuses on local food and produce, while every Sunday, the UpMarket showcases jewelry, arts, and street performers.

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What can you do on a rainy day in Stratford-upon-Avon?

Get a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus ticket on a rainy day and explore the town without experiencing the puddles. Have lunch at a restaurant in town, and be sure to enjoy the local produce. Then, visit a heritage museum and catch a play at the Swan Theatre.

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How far from London is Stratford-upon-Avon?

Stratford-upon-Avon is just over 100 miles (161 kilometers) northwest of London. By car, the trip takes around three hours, at most; there are many bus companies that can make this journey convenient and comfortable. By train, the trip takes around two hours—there are a number of changes involved, however.

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Is Stratford-upon-Avon worth visiting?

Yes. Stratford-upon-Avon is a great place to get a deeper sense of English history and heritage. It’s right in the middle of the rolling green hills of the English countryside, and its winding, cobbled streets are lined with independent boutiques, shops and cafés, and well-preserved Tudor buildings.

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