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    Tour Stratford-upon-Avon

    Welcome to Stratford-upon-Avon, a pleasant riverside town in central England which is famous for its association with Elizabethan playwright, William Shakespeare.

    Tell me a little about a Tour of Stratford-upon-Avon 

    Stratford has a population of about 23,000 and is located some 100 miles ( 160 km), or two hours,  N.W. of London. The town sits on the banks of the gentle flowing River Avon, is home to five historic houses associated with William Shakespeare and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Close by are the Cotswolds, a range of undulating hills populated with historic small towns and villages which are mainly built of attractive yellow or honey coloured limestone.

    Tell me more about a Tour of Stratford-upon-Avon 

    →History: Stratford has recorded history going back to about AD 700. At time of the Domesday Book (1086) it was known as Stradforde which means ‘ford on a Roman road’. The original charter dates to 1196 subsequent to which the town grew and prospered as a market town. Shakespeare’s father was a dynamic businessman with interests in varied commercial activities.

    →William Shakespeare:  Shakespeare was born at Stratford in 1564 and died there in 1616. His early life is not well documented but from around 1590 onwards he was responsible for a prodigious output of some thirty eight plays including Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth. In addition to the plays Shakespeare produced 154 sonnets. The principal houses associated with Shakespeare (open to the public) are:

      • Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Henley Street. This timber frame building is the principal visitor attraction. There is also a 19th century designed garden featuring many plants mentioned by Shakespeare in his writings.
      • Nash’s House and New Place in Chapel Street.. The former adjoins site of  the latter. New Place was Shakespeare’s Stratford home for the last eighteen years of his life but was demolished in the 18th century. Both buildings were owned by relations of Shakespeare’s family.
      • Hall’s Croft in Old Town. Named after John Hall, a physician who married Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna in 1607.
      • Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. The pre-marital home of Shakespeare’s wife is located in Shottery, about one mile from Stratford. There is also an orchard and garden.
      • Mary Arden’s House and Palmer’s Farm. Childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother located in Wilmcote, about three miles north of Stratford. In addition to the properties there are farm animals from the Shakespeare era, wildlife and a field walk.

    →Shakespeare’s School: King Edward VI School, Church Street.  Shakespeare is believed to have attended this school from about age seven to fourteen years. Still in use today.

    →Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Street: Shakespeare ( Gulielimus, filius Johannes Shakspeare) was baptised here on April 26th 1564. He ( Will Shakspeare, Gent) was buried in the chancel of the same church on April 25th 1616.  The church is built on an ancient Christian site dating back to at least the 8th century. The present building dates from 1210 with oldest features comprising tower, transepts and nave pillars.

    Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside: Comprises a ‘thrust stage’, main auditorium seating 1040 and art deco interiors. Home of the Royal Shakespearee Company which performs throughout the year.

    →Swan  Theatre, Waterside: Associated with the Royal Shakespeare Company and seats 450 on three sides of a ‘deep thrust’ stage.

    →River Avon: Sightseeing cruises are available. Also, rowing boats, punts and self-drive motor boats are available for hire.

    Whilst William Shakespeare is clearly the key interest in Stratford there are numerous other notable visitor sites within an hour or so’s drive, viz:

    • Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill in Woodstock.
    • Compton Verney, a major art collection housed in a Robert Adam designed 18th century mansion.
    • Kenilworth Castle, ruins of a spectacular castle dating from the 12th century.
    • Charlecote Park, a Tudor era mansion and landscaped deer park.
    • Hidcote Manor Garden, a century old Arts & Craft Garden.
    • Snowshill Manor, a 16th century manor house set in an Arts and Crafts garden.
    • Sulgrave Manor, 16th century home of George Washington’s ancestors.
    • Warwick Castle, a massive edifice with a history dating back to 1068.

    Here is a video clip of central Stratford upon Avon (Bridge Street).

    How can Catswhiskerstours help with a Tour of  Stratford-upon-Avon?

    We can:

    • Arrange tours to suit groups of all sizes. Such tours are normally undertaken in context of wider, England or Cotswolds themed tours.
    • Arrange self-drive (driving) tours comprising itinerary, rental car and lodgings.

    For more help and information contact Nigel-



    T: 44 (0) 141 638 5500

    We look forward to hearing from you!

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    Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford-upon-AvonRiverside scene at Stratford-upon-Avon, EnglandHoly Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, EnglandRiver scene at Stratford-upon-Avon, EnglandShakespeare's School, Startford-upon-Avon, EnglandGrave of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-AvonShakespeare Memorial, Holy Trinity Church, Startford-upon-AvonAnne Hathaway's Cottage, Shottery, England