Stratford-upon-Avon is situated in the heart of the English midlands. A market town dating back to medieval times, Stratford is today most famous as the birthplace of William Shakespeare.  It’s a picturesque town beautifully situated on the Avon River and with a wealth of black and white half-timber buildings. Enjoy a stroll around the town center with its nice shops, restaurants and tearooms, or relax on a river cruise, hire your own boat or enjoy a double-decker bus tour.  There are only 2 direct trains to and from Stratford per day, from London Paddington Station.  All other trains require changes.


Stratford Chemist

School Children

Stratford Park Fountain

Stratford Cross Clock

River Avon Locks

River Avon

River Avon

Stratford Area Countryside

Shakespeare's Birthplace

This is the house where it is thought that Shakespeare was born and spent his formative years. It originally belonged to his father John, who became a successful businessman after moving to Stratford with his wife Mary in 1529.  The Birthplace remained in the hands of Shakespeare's descendants until the 19th century, after which it had a somewhat checkered past. 

The Shakespeare Committee obtained the house in 1847 and restored the birthplace to it's former glory.  Much of the original stone, oak beams and fireplaces are still in place and care has been taken to furnish the house with contemporary Elizabethan furniture.  The beautiful gardens are planted as they would have been in Shakespeare’s time.





Back Garden

Back Garden Back Garden Sundial Birth Room

Anne Hathaway Cottage

Anne Hathaway's Cottage is the most picturesque of the Birthplace Trust properties. It is located
a mile west of Stratford in an idyllic setting.  The cottage belonged to the prosperous Hathaway family and was the pre-marital home of William Shakespeare's wife, Anne.  This "cottage" is actually a twelve-roomed, Elizabethan farmhouse and it has changed very little since Anne Hathaway's time. Parts of the building structure date back further than the 15th century, using some of the earliest English house-building techniques.

Internally the structure of the house has also remained vertually the same.  There are many 16th century fireplaces still in place and the remains of the original Great Hall are still clearly visible. The bedroom upstairs contains an Elizabethan wooden bedstead, with a mattress of rush cords threaded onto the wooden frame. It is said that this is the bed that Anne Hathaway was born upon.

The cottage belonged to the Hathaway family until 1892, when it was bought, along with furnishings, by The Birthplace Trust.   The Trust restored the cottage it to it's original character and it has retained it's own beautiful English garden, with an orchard adjoining.  



Nash House - New House

Nash House is predominantly a 16th century structure. The half-timbered front is a replica of the original replaced by a facade of brick and stucco in the 1700s. Inside, much of the timberwork is original. The building is now home to Stratford's local history museum.  At the rear of Nash House are the remains of Shakespeare’s "New Place" in an enclosed garden.  It is likely that Shakespeare spent many hours relaxing here in his twilight years. The garden is laid out in a formal Elizabethan manner, typical of Shakespeare's day. In the center of the lawn is a sprawling mulberry tree, rumored to be a cutting from the original Shakespearian mulberry tree.


Nash House Nash House New House Garden New House Garden

Mary Arden House

Situated 3 miles north west of Stratford, this magnificent, thatched and timber-framed Tudor farmstead was identified in the 18th century as childhood home of Mary Arden, mother of William Skakespeare.  The Arden family had a notable family pedigree with links to ancestors stretching as far back as Saxon times. Until recently the half-timbered structure was hidden under stucco, which inadvertently kept it in remarkably good condition. In 1930 the house was bought by the Birthplace Trust and the interior has been painstakingly furnished in keeping with a wealthy Tudor farming family.  Today it has an fairytale atmosphere with uneven walls, irregular handmade tiles and tiny dormer windows. 

The fascinating outbuildings remain largely intact, including cowsheds, stables, and barns.  These buildings and nearby Glebe Farm now house an extensive museum illustrating rural life over the last 400 years. There are daily demonstrations by the Heart of England Falconry, field walks, gypsy caravans and a resident blacksmith.


English Garden Arden House Arden House Stables


Falconer Cider Press Covered Wagon

The Guild Chapel

The Guild Chapel, with the adjacent half-timbered King Edward VI School and the Alms Houses date back to the fifteenth century.  Since 1553 the school has occupied the first floor of the Guild Hall.  It is thought that Shakespeare, in his youth, was educated there.  While at the Guildhall, he would have seen plays performed by traveling actors of the day.


Chapel Interior

Guild Chapel


Guild School

Holy Trinity Church

William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway are buried here. This ancient church provides a moment of calm away from the bustle of the town. Both the courtyard and the churchyard itself are breathtakingly beautiful.  It is said that Shakespeare's body is buried 20 feet deep to prevent its theft.


Holy Trinity Church



Shakespeare's Tomb

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