Featuring over 800 years of history, fascinating museums and scenic riverboat cruises, the heart of this lively town is the birthplace of playwright and poet William Shakespeare.
Visit Stratford-upon-Avon City Centre to step inside Shakespeare’s Birthplace and experience a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. See one of the productions after exploring the town’s historical center, perusing one of its museums or taking a leisurely boat cruise on the River Avon.
Once a sleepy village, Stratford-upon-Avon grew into a bustling trade center after King Richard I granted the town permission to start holding a weekly market in 1196. Today, Stratford-upon-Avon offers a huge range of activities, with Shakespeare-related attractions taking the number one spot on the itinerary of many visitors.
After you are done exploring the house where Shakespeare was born, head to Shakespeare’s New Place where he lived until his death in 1616 and visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife.
For something different, go to the MAD (Mechanical Art and Design) Museum, which offers families the opportunity to learn about and interact with high-tech machines, such as robots. Make your way to the Magic Alley, a Harry Potter-esque store complete with spell books, magic wands and broomsticks. Another attraction for families is the Stratford Armouries, an antique center that features a display of the tail section of a Wellington Bomber.
Consider renting a boat for a relaxing cruise on the River Avon, browsing the Stanford Farmers Market or strolling through the Bancroft Gardens to admire its swan fountain and large sundial.
Easily accessible by car or public transportation, Stratford-upon-Avon is located just under 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Birmingham, one of the United Kingdom’s largest cities. Travel around Stratford-upon-Avon City Centre using its numerous cycle paths, including the Stratford Greenway, a 5-mile (8-kilometer) picturesque, traffic-free track. Starting on Seven Meadows Road, it winds along the river toward the villages of Welford-on-Avon and Long Marston. A number of operators offer sightseeing cruises along the River Avon, some using converted river barges.