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Stratford Upon Avon

Tudor building

Inevitably Stratford upon Avon is linked with William Shakespeare. The bard was born here, spent most of his adult life in London, then retired to Stratford. To see Stratford and follow the Shakespeare trail you are well advised to park your car, then use a mixture of walking and bus to discover the history of Shakespeare.

A two hour walk will cover the following:
Shakespeare's birthplace, an early 16th century, half timbered building in Henley Street. Down Bridge Street to Clopton Bridge, built in the 15th century. Shakespeare also went to school here at the Grammar School. Along the River Avon to the modern (built in 1932) Royal Shakespeare Theatre. There are three theatres in the complex, one of which runs the Shakespeare productions. Tickets, particularly for the classics like Hamlet, can be difficult to obtain.

Along Southern Lane to the tree lined approach to Holy trinity Church, overlooking the river, where Shakespeare is buried. His tomb is marked by a simple engraved stone in front of the altar. Near the church is Halls Croft. This is a fine Tudor house with a walled garden, which was the home of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna.

If you then take the open top tourist bus, you can get to Anne Hathaway's cottage, at Shottery, one mile west of Stratford. The cottage is a thatched house with 12 rooms, where Shakespeare is thought to have courted his future bride. You will find that the bus, which follows a circular route, is a convenient way to see Stratford. The ticket enables you to get on and off at will. You just catch the next bus when you are ready.