Culture: Stratford-Upon Avon

Outside Shakespeare's Birthplace

As big Shakespeare fans, Adam and I decided to make a day trip of our afternoon matinee performance of The Tempest at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon Avon. Taking an earlier train to have some time exploring the heritage sights, independent shops and having a spot of lunch prior to taking our seats in the theatre.

Old Thatch Tavern

We arrived mid morning, to a very crisp and cold Stratford-Upon Avon, we'd taken the train into the town, passing the leftovers of the heavy rain of the night before on our travels. Gloves were most definitely needed as was my giant scarf to shield me from the cold.

The Antique centre

I hadn't planned the trip and as I was still recovering from my stomach problems, I was taking a slow back seat, allowing Adam to plan and direct the trip!

Deciding to follow the road signs, rather than our phones, we wandered around the little side streets off the main High Street. Immediately, we got the sense of community in Stratford-Upon Avon. Lots of locals stopping in the street for a chat, meeting up together and shop owners knowing customer by name, it was lovely, like stepping back in time. Far removed from what you'd typically find on any British high street nowadays.

Adam setting up his camera
Stratford-Upon Avon is host to lots of specialist and independent stores selling all sorts from antiques, to tea, to teddy bears and Peter Rabbit toys. The town draws in lots of tourists, here to see where Shakespeare's life began and the independent stores further invite the tourists into the shopping districts whilst they're in the town.

The Shakespeare shop!
Lots of the buildings are very old, and in keeping with the towns interlinked Elizabethan era theme and heritage. It's a shame we didn't have enough time to go to the museum or inside Shakespeare's birthplace, we've decided to go back another day for a tour, history lesson and royal dose of Shakespeare information!

A close up of Shakespeare's Birthplace

Shakespeare's Birthplace

Moi outside Shakespeare's Birthplace
The houses and buildings along the high street are smaller than you'd expect them to be; with small doors, narrow windows and limited light being let into them. It all feels like a small community, a small town until you get to the canal. The canal was full of people strolling down by the water, getting on and off boats and heading towards the theatre. It was thriving, if it was thriving in Winter, I dread to think how busy it gets in the summer!

The beautiful canal  
I can quite imagine Adam and I having an ice cream down by the canal before a show-  theres a nice idea! Mind you, we better wait for better weather!

Pretty quickly after getting to the canal we had to take out seats for the Tempest performance. Leaving us very little daylight to explore the town when we came out of the theatre performance.

The canal as the sun sets

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

At the Stratford-Upon Avon market
With the daylight that was left, we explored bakeries, markets, jam stalls and wooden bowl sellers. Having a little nose at what local producers created reminded me we all too often forget about the local producers in our area.

A beautiful flowery bike!

It's such a shame we ran out of time to explore the way we wanted to.  So we'll be back and I'll blog about that trip too! Perhaps we'll go over the summer to get a really British summer experience, with the water, the theatre and the whole hosts of lovely hotels, pubs and bakeries and all their foodie goodness.  Sounds like a plan!

Stratford-Upon Avon left over lights!

The Shakespeare Hotel

Clo :)

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