Things To Do in Stratford Upon Avon

Where to Shop

A favourite spot for shopping is in the town centre. Wander along the High Street and Bridge Street for high-street brands such as Waterstones, Pandora, Marks and Spencer, Pizza Express and Bella Italia. There’s also a quirky magic shop called Magic Alley, which is perfect for all Harry Potter fans.

Maybird Shopping Park has many high-street brands such as Boots and TK Maxx as well as places to eat and drink including Pizza Hut and Costa.

Bell Court is a lovely courtyard full of shops and restaurants. You’ll find quality brands such as Lush and Gemini Woman as well as great places to eat or drink. Veeno, the Italian wine cafe, is a chic place to catch your breath between shops.

Where To Eat

The riverside views from the Rooftop restaurant and bar at the top of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre are glorious. You can sample the pre-theatre menu or a mouthwatering afternoon tea.

For a light snack or coffee and cake, we recommend Honey Blue. Lots of speciality coffees and many say the café serves the best hot chocolate ever.

Said to be the oldest pub in town, The Garrick Inn is a stunning 15th-century, timber-framed building. It has survived plagues and fires, it’s also believed to be haunted. Great range of pub classics and burgers on the menu.

For glorious river views in an equally gorgeous building, the Riverside Venue is a must. There are three areas to check out, The Muddy Oar bar and lounge, the Galley Kitchen for fabulous restaurant food, and the Upper Deck for events.

Going Out

It goes without saying that the number one thing to do in Stratford-upon-Avon is a trip to the theatre. The Royal Shakespeare Company has three theatres – the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Swan Theatre on Waterside and the Other Place. Many of the world’s greatest actors have performed here including Richard Burton, Lawrence Olivier and Helen Mirren.

Drink in the olde-worlde atmosphere from the thatch-roofed Old Thatch Tavern built in the 15th century. Also said to be haunted and laying claim to being the oldest pub in Stratford, it’s a top spot for sampling real ales in the bijou courtyard garden.

For live music, fringe comedy and theatre, check out The Keys. Enjoy a drink (or three) by the real log fire in winter or in the flower-filled beer garden in summer.

What To Do

Obviously the top attractions are all related to the Bard himself. Five of the most important are:

    • Shakespeare’s birthplace where he was born in 1564 and spent his childhood. Marvel at the restored Tudor rooms and find out more about arguably Britain’s greatest ever playwright.
    • Shakespeare’s New Place is where the Bard retired and where he died in 1616. The house was demolished but there’s a gorgeous Elizabethan garden to admire.
    • Mary Arden’s Farm is where Shakespeare’s mother grew up.
    • Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a wonderful thatched farmhouse where Shakespeare’s wife lived.
    • Hall’s Croft is an admirable Jacobean townhouse where Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna lived with her husband, John Hall.

The Mechanical Art & Design Museum is a fun interactive place for children to find out how physics works.

Holy Trinity Church is where Shakespeare worshipped as well as being his final resting place.

Step into the largest tropical Butterfly Farm in the UK, which is also in Stratford, with its tropical plants, waterfalls and pools.

Take a trip on the Shakespeare Express Steam Train between Stratford and Birmingham on Sundays in the summer.

Book yourself a day at the races at Stratford-upon-Avon racecourse, one of England’s leading small jump racecourses.

Enjoy a peaceful look at Stratford from the River Avon. You can take a boat trip from the historic canal basin in the heart of the town for a trip on the River Avon, home to swans, ducks and herons.

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