Find and book the perfect b&b or holiday cottage in Shakespeare's hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon
The birthplace of history's most celebrated writer, William Shakespeare, Stratford upon Avon is the perfect place to visit as a literature enthusiast. You can visit the homes of Shakespeare himself and his wife Anne Hathaway, as well as the Royal Shakespeare Company. But Stratford has more to offer than just Shakespeare! A beautiful English market town, Stratford upon Avon will surprise you with just how much there is to do.
When to visit
England's mild weather means any time of year will be pleasant enough to visit Stratford upon Avon, but it will probably never be properly hot. A lot of the town's beauty is in its countryside and river, so try booking your trip in the spring or summer to make the most of the English sun.
How to get to Stratford-upon-Avon
Stratford upon Avon is well-connected to the rest of Britain by motorways, so follow the M1, M5, M6 or M40 depending on which area of the country you're in. If you'd rather get the train, this is also pretty easy as the train station is only a ten minute walk from the city centre. There are direct trains from London or Birmingham that run fairly regularly – every half an hour from Birmingham or every two hours from London. From further afield, you can even fly to Stratford upon Avon. Choose Birmingham International Airport or Coventry Airport to be as close as possible to Stratford.
How to get around in Stratford-upon-Avon
Stratford is a relatively small town and its rich history shows itself in the beautiful architecture and cobbled streets: however, this also means it's not too car-friendly. The best way to get around is just to walk! Wherever you book your cosy BnB in Stratford upon Avon, you're sure to be within walking distance of all the main attractions. If you're less mobile or you want an expert to guide you around the key sights, hop on a Sightseeing Open Air Bus. These tours are focused mostly around Shakespeare, and you can visit numerous attractions, including his birthplace, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the fifteenth century grammar school where Shakespeare himself was a pupil.
You could even try out a boat trip. The town is set on the picturesque Avon river and there are several boat companies in Stratford that offer cruises, tours, rowing and canoeing for the adventurous tourist.
Where to stay in Stratford-upon-Avon
Bed and Breakfast
To really feel at home, book a peaceful and homely bed and breakfast in Stratford upon Avon. The town's iconic Tudor style houses and thatched roofs play host to thousands of visitors every year and provide a classically English trip.
For a similarly cosy atmosphere but with a bit more catering on offer, try an old-fashioned country inn. This uniquely rural English take on a hotel will make you feel like you've been transported back to Elizabethan times – in the best way possible! Expect a stay similar to a B&B, but with restaurants, pubs and children's areas added in. This is perfect for young families who want to fully destress by having everything you need at your fingertips.
Stratford upon Avon is a gem in England's beautiful countryside, and one of the best options is to embrace this countryside by booking a stay on a farm. Most of these are slightly outside Stratford upon Avon itself, so you would need to bring a car, but this also makes it perfect if you want to explore the wider area a bit more.
What activities to do
Shakespeare's childhood home and place of birth is the top attraction in Stratford upon Avon for a reason. The opportunity to spend a few hours in the very house where Shakespeare himself was born and grew up is awe-inspiring, especially for bookworms or young aspiring writers. For the best value, book a ticket for all five of the Shakespeare homes: this ticket allows you to visit his birthplace, the Anne Hathaway Cottage and Gardens, the home of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna, his mother's farm and his place of death. This ticket can be used over multiple days, so you can visit all the attractions at your own pace and get the most out of each one.
Stratford upon Avon Butterfly Farm
The UK's largest tropical butterfly farm, this is a really refreshing activity if you're all Shakespeared out! The farm is home to hundreds of the world's prettiest species of butterfly, in a beautiful setting of tropical flowers and waterfalls. They also have an ancient Mayan exhibit, perfect for history buffs. This is sure to be a really educational visit as the farm has plenty of scientific marvels, including an exhibit about the life cycle of a butterfly, a Minibeast Metropolis and a wildflower garden.
This museum truly is one of a kind. MAD stands for Mechanical Art and Design and it's chock a block with machines, robots and other marvels of engineering. This museum is really popular with children, so it could be a welcome break from Shakespeare for younger visitors! It regularly hosts fascinating exhibitions and events, so be sure to check what's on when you visit Stratford upon Avon. Its gift shop is also not to be missed!
You may just find yourself in love with Warwickshire and if that does end up being the case you might just want to do a holiday in Warwick to explore further the surrounding area. Here you will be able to explore its 11th century castle as well as relax in the nearby thermal baths in Royal Leamington Spa.