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Arts & Culture

Explore: A day of history and charm in Stratford-upon-Avon

Chloe Holmes visits the picturesque t­own for a day of exploring

The charming town of Stratford-upon-Avon on the banks of the Avon River is known as being the birthplace of William Shakespeare – the legendary playwright also spent his formative years here.

But, as we soon found out, it has lots more to offer, and the idyllic market town in the county of Warwickshire is packed with history, arts and heritage.

As our first stop of the day, we hopped on the double-decker tourist bus, which gives you 360-degree panoramic views of the town, and has glowing reviews of the ideal tour of the town at your own pace.

Of all the things to explore in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace is the most famed attraction, and the very home he is believed to have been born and raised in is still standing to this day!

From here, you can explore Mary Arden’s Farm, once home to the great playwright’s mother, stop off at the River Avon, see the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and visit Anne Hathaway’s cottage.

In between soaking up the history of the town, you can enjoy the plentiful independent shops and boutiques, pubs and cafes which line the medieval streets.

And a vibrant and busy market thrives weekly.

You can catch a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, enjoy a pint at one of the many centuries-old pubs boasting scenic views, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the River Avon.

Our hotel, Stratford Manor, was just a short 10-minute drive from the town-centre, in rural surroundings. A little slice of calm!

We arrived to a warm and friendly welcome in the modern reception area.

Our room reflected the same high-standard, with a comfy bed, ample storage space, and a clean and functional bathroom with complimentary toiletries.

We had an evening meal in Shakespeare Restaurant, and were impressed with the standard of friendly service throughout. The menu had plenty of options for starter, main and dessert, and all three courses were much enjoyed!

The breakfast the next morning was just as impressive, with an offering of hot and cold options to suit all, and the same attentive service.

We didn’t have time to unwind in the spa or pool, but the facilities looked great and worth a try during a longer stay.

As well as exploring the vibrant town of Startford-upon-Avon the hotel makes the ideal base to visit other local attractions, such as Stratford Butterfly Farm, Sims Vintage Antiques Centre, Cadbury World and Bancroft Gardens.

Whether it’s a weekend of family fun, a much needed catch-up with friends, or a romantic getaway, Stratford-upon-Avon is the perfect destination.