Feel like a day trip out? Need an escape from the city? Looking for an unusual date location? Look no further than Stratford Upon Avon. Here are five must-do activities to make the most of your day out in Stratford.
See A Show At The RSC
Stratford is best known for its most famous resident; William Shakespeare. The Bard of the Avon is synonymous with theatre, so you’re really not doing Stratford justice unless you visit the esteemed Royal Shakespeare Company theatres. There is usually a diverse range of shows playing during each season; Shakespeare comedies, tragedies and histories, as well as reworking of other historical classics. If you’ve not got time to watch a play, at least ensure you check out the excellent shop, engaging exhibitions and the terrific view from the top of the tower.
Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace
There are many things to do in Stratford that aren’t associated with Shakespeare, but as a
place saturated with unique history, it’d be a shame to miss out on the global attraction that is Shakespeare’s Birthplace. Visited by literary pilgrims from across the globe (Lin Manuel Miranda, of Hamilton fame was a recent visitor!), this modest cottage is saturated with history. You’ll be amazed by how simple and small the childhood home of Britain’s most illustrious playwright is! It’s worth getting a ticket that covers the multiple houses of the Shakespeare story; the romantic Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the working Elizabethan Mary Arden’s farm, daughter Susannah’s home Hall’s Croft and of course New Place, the remains of Shakespeare’s house. There are lots of events, demonstrations and even actors to be found at these locations, bringing it to life.
Go Boating On The River
Stratford is an exceptionally picturesque town, sitting directly on the river Avon. The theatre and park gardens border the river and are a beautiful place to relax in summer. If you fancy a fun pastime, I highly recommend renting one of the many rowboats with a friend or two and giving boating a go. If you’re anything like me you’ll end up stuck going the wrong way under a bridge, but it’s an experience! If you’re a Shakespeare buff, extra props for picking a boat named after your fav character.
Flit On Over To The Butterfly Farm
One of the more unexpected diversions in Stratford is the Butterfly Farm, found across the other side of the river. Perfect for rainy days, the butterfly farm is a small but perfectly formed paradise with fish pools, iguanas and free-flying tropical butterflies. There is an area for caterpillars and you can see those that are in the pupae stage as well. Not for those afraid of winged creatures, be warned; the butterflies might land directly on you!
Stroll Around The Historical Town Centre
Aside from its impressive literary heritage, Stratford is a pretty, welcoming market town. It has cultivated an interesting array of shops, with everything from high street staples to a magic shop that sells wands and Butterbeer being accounted for. The tourism trade has also attracted a sizeable selection of high quality restaurants, excellent tea shops and at least one superb ice cream parlour. You can just grab a cone and take a walk up to Holy Trinity Church to see the curse on Shakespeare’s grave, or ramble alongside the river. A thoroughly satisfying day out.
Words by Heidi Teague