Visit the childhood home of one of the world’s most celebrated playwrights, and enjoy live and impromptu theatrical performances.
At Shakespeare’s Birthplace you can walk in the footsteps of William Shakespeare, learn about his work and see his characters come to life. This half-timbered house and museum dates to the 16th century and was a residence of descendants of the Shakespeare family until the mid-1800s. The museum sits in Stratford-upon-Avon, a market town around 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Birmingham.
Temporary and permanent exhibits at the museum showcase different aspects of Shakespeare’s life history, from his childhood in Stratford-upon-Avon to his days living in London. Hands-on displays and original artifacts explore his inspirations. Check out the First Folio, published in 1623. It’s the first printed book that contains 36 of Shakespeare’s plays.
Find more relics in the Shakespeare's Treasures exhibition, including a copy of The Cobbe Portrait. It is considered the only painting of Shakespeare captured from real life. Don’t miss a letter written to Shakespeare by his close friend Richard Quiney in 1598, a gold ring with the initials “WS,” and a late-16th-century medicine chest.
Visit the Glover’s workshop, which is a recreation of the glove-making workshop of Shakespeare’s father John Shakespeare. From here, enter the gardens of the house and museum. Watch as actors from the Shakespeare Aloud! group perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. There are performances daily. Check the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust website for details.
Shakespeare’s Birthplace is located in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon, a 45-minute drive from Birmingham’s city center. Pay-and-display parking is available nearby. A direct train runs from Birmingham’s central Moor Street and Snow Hill stations to Stratford-upon-Avon station. The museum is a 10-minute walk from the train station.
The museum is open every day of the year, except on selected public holidays. Free talks about the life and work of Shakespeare take place in the café. Find full details of opening hours and talks online.