The medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon is full of history and character – the writings of William Shakespeare lace the streets. His iconic timber-thatched birthplace should be just one of your stops if you’re visiting the area. His mother’s house, Mary Arden’s Farm, vividly evokes what life would be like on a Tudor farm. His wife Anne Hathaway’s cottage is where he courted her.

The streets are lined with gorgeous Tudor buildings, which are home to both independent and big brand shops. Stratford-upon-Avon was always a popular shopping destination, being granted the right to hold markets in 1196. It led to it becoming a thriving town with plenty of craftsmen. The town is sure to charm you with its variety of things to do and explore.

MOST NOTED FOR… Being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Many locations bring his words to life.

WHILE YOU’RE HERE… Visit the Grade I-listed Church of the Holy Trinity, which was built in the 12th century. It is also where Shakespeare was baptised and, later, buried.

BUT TRY NOT TO… Burgle anyone. In 2018 an e-fit released of a burglary suspect from Stratford-upon-Avon went viral for its unflattering depiction and caricature features.

WHO’S WHO The town’s theatrical roots have had an impact on attracting and producing great actors. Actor Simon Pegg studied at Stratford-upon-Avon College, and actor Craig Charles has lived in the area too. The Office star John Krasinski studied at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Non-actors with Stratford links include renowned chef Gordon Ramsay, who moved to the area in 1976 when he was a child, and famous Formula One car designer Adrian Newey.

THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE The iconic theatre stands proudly on the riverside and boasts a gorgeous interior and a huge capacity, seating over 1,000 people. It is a ‘one room’ theatre, allowing actors and audience members to connect as they would have done in Shakespeare’s time. It is the main auditorium of the renowned Royal Shakespeare Company, which is based in the area and regularly puts on 20 productions a year worldwide.

PLAY DETECTIVE If you fancy an escape room with a twist, you can book a Solve the City adventure. This outdoor treasure trail is an exciting way to explore Stratford.


Population: 134,000

Eat at: Lambs (01789 292554) Why? Set in a 16th-century house with wooden beams across the ceiling, the Lambs’ eclectic menu will suit every taste and food preference.

Drink at: Loxley’s Restaurant and Wine Bar (01789 292128) Why? Their extensive wine list and refined setting make it a beautiful place to have a glass of vino and relax.

Stay at: Hotel Indigo (01789 279953) Why? With a choice of rooms that flow through the ages as the town does – Tudor, Georgian and contemporary – this beautiful boutique hotel welcomes with style.