A couple of weekends back Olive and I headed to the rolling country side and thatched cottages of Stratford-Upon-Avon. We wanted to make the most of the amazing summer sun we are currently experiencing while escaping the mugginess of super hot London! If like us you fancy switching concrete for grass, then picturesque Stratford-Upon-Avon is the perfect country escape. Only an hour and a bit away by train from Marylebone station, this medieval market town is home to the River Avon, quaint streets full of super cute cottages and of course the birthplace of the great Shakespeare.
Olive and I have put together a list of our top favourite 5 things to do in this lovely town that can be used as guide for anyone who is thinking of planning a trip there this summer. Nestled between the river Avon Stratford-Upon-Avon is a great place to relax and unwind, enjoy a refreshing drink in one of the many pubs that line the river while taking in the medieval heritage of this picturesque town.
1. First things first head straight down to the river! Stratford itself is pretty small and it’s an easy 10 minute walk from the station to the river bank. There is always so much going on along the river in summer time, enjoy watching the local boat racing or perhaps take a boat ride yourself. There are many great pubs that adorn the river bank and the perfect place to grab lunch or a refreshing drink in the sun. In the morning we made our way to the riverside tea garden for that 11am coffee and a slice of one of their delicious cakes.
2. Stratford-Upon-Avon is the home of Shakespeare and while you are here it would be rude not to pay one of his homes a visit! Pick up a full story ticket from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust which allows you to visit all 5 sites. Our personal favourite was a mile walk outside the town centre to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Shakespeare’s wife’s family home and where Shakespeare proposed to Anne. It’s a beautiful medieval cottage full of country charm and sat in the prettiest English country garden.
3. Make your way back to town and spend the afternoon strolling through the cottage lined streets, browsing through the many cute gift stores and homewear shops. There is even a market on Saturdays selling everything from local fudge to handmade crafts.
4. Shakespeare is at the heart of this quaint town so what a better way to spend an evening that at Royal Shakespeare theatre looking out over the river banks. The theatre performs the clsssic plays as well work from today’s writers. Before the show head to the bar at the top of the theatre which has amazing panorama views across Stratford and beyond.
5. If relaxation is more your cup of tea then Stratford has you covered with many local country hotels having amazing spa facilities as well as picturesque gardens. We spent the afternoon at Macdonald Hotel and Spa, enjoying a fab afternoon tea in the sunshine as well as a lovely facial from the Elemis spa.
We hope you enjoy your time in Stratford-Upon-Avon and find this list of pointers useful! It would be lovely to hear any of your suggestions and handy tips for getting the most out of this country town.