Known as the birthplace and home of Shakespeare, Stratford-Upon-Avon is a charming English town with lovely architecture.
If you are visiting this village for the first time you should definitely take a walking tour to discover some of the town’s treasures.
The area known as Stratford’s Historic Spine would be a good place to take your first stroll through town. Start at Shakespeare’s Birthplace, which was his childhood home on Henley Street. You can visit these Tudor buildings and learn more about The Bard and his influence on our language and culture today.
Continue along to where Henley meets Bridge Street, this is the site of the historic market area of Stratford, and the weekly market still takes place here today on Fridays and Saturdays. The historic Market Hall (now Barclays Bank), is a reminder of the importance of Startford-Upon-Avon as a market town. This was the location of the women’s market, where they would come to sell their handcrafts and homemade foods.
Continue to the right along High Street where you will see the beautiful Harvard House next door to Garrick Inn, supposedly the oldest pub in town. These two buildings make a lovely photo. Stop and take a closer look at the buildings, Harvard House has elaborate carvings while Garrick has an interesting decorative pattern from the curved beams.
As you follow the road it becomes Chapel Street. At the corner of Chapel Street and Chapel Lane is the site of Shakespeare’s home called New Place. The house was demolished in 1759 and the plot is still vacant today. You can visit as a part of your ticket to enter Shakespeare’s Birthplace along with Nash’s house on Chapel Street.
Opposite the New Place is the Guild Chapel. This amazing building is definitely worth a look inside. The interior of the chapel is decorated with centuries old paintings depicting religious stories and scenes. The paintings are under renovation and friendly docents will show you around.
Next door to the chapel you’ll see a block of stunning black and white Tudor style buildings. These include a schoolroom that Shakespeare attended as well as almshouses which are still in use today as residences.
Keep walking down Church Street and take a left on Old Town. You’ll spot a few timber-framed buildings one of which is Hall’s Croft. Hall was the wife of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna, and the couple lived here.
At last you will come to Holy Trinity Church. This is both the baptism and burial place of Shakespeare and a lovely building. Take a peek inside.
This is the end of Stratford’s Historic Spine but there is plenty more to see. Stroll down to the River Avon and take a look at the lovely long boats. Don’t miss the historic Royal Shakespeare Theatre where you can watch a play by its famous namesake. You can also have a tour of the building and go up to the tower for a fabulous view over the town.
Would you like to learn more about Startford-Upon-Avon? If so we highly recommend the award winning Stratford Town Walk.