Stratford-upon-Avon is a charming, historic town in the heart of Warwickshire.
This beautiful town is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world who are drawn to its historic architecture, vibrant cultural scene, and scenic natural landscape.
Perhaps the most iconic landmark in Stratford-upon-Avon is Shakespeare’s birthplace, built in Tudor times this beautiful house has been preserved as a museum.
Visitors can explore this historical site and learn about Shakespeare’s life and work, as well as gain insight into Tudor society and culture.
In addition to its rich history, Stratford-upon-Avon also boasts a lively arts scene with numerous theaters, art galleries, and performance venues.
Whether you’re a fan of classical music or contemporary theatre, there is something for everyone in this vibrant town.
Beyond its cultural offerings, Stratford-upon-Avon also enjoys a stunning natural setting with picturesque riverside walks and rolling green hills that are perfect for exploring.
Things To Do In Stratford Upon Avon
1. Shakespeare’s Birthplace
Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a landmark in the history of literature.
It was constructed in the 16th century, and William Shakespeare called it home during his formative years.
Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a half-timbered house with heavy stone walls and large fireplaces that reflect the materials and construction techniques typical of the time period.
Visitors can gain a deeper understanding of what life must have been like for young Shakespeare as he was growing up by exploring the various rooms.
Today, Shakespeare’s Birthplace is owned and managed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which also maintains a museum on the premises.
The house is an essential destination for anyone interested in English literature or history.
Address: Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6QW
2. The MAD Museum
The MAD Museum can be found in the town centre and houses around 60 interactive exhibits.
This fascinating destination is distinguished by its commitment to exhibiting some of the most outstanding works of mechanical art and design from around the world.
Visitors will be amazed by high-tech robots as they carry out jaw-dropping feats, watch lasers shoot through intricate marble runs, or marvel at moving contraptions.
At The Mechanical Art and Design Museum, you will have plenty of chances to interact with some incredible machines and mind-boggling mechanical creations.
There is something enjoyable at the museum for people of all ages, from the very young to the older family members.
Address: MAD Museum, 4-5, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6PT
3. Mary Arden’s Farm
Visitors to Mary Arden’s Farm will have the opportunity to travel back in time and explore the home where Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, spent her childhood.
Located in Wilmcote, just 3.5 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon, the historic farm is a wonderful location for a day trip with the whole family.
This historic farmhouse offers a wide variety of entertaining activities and demonstrations for visitors of all ages.
When you go outside, you can wander around the farmyard and visit the petting zoo to get up close to some adorable animals like cows, pigs, goats, sheep, and chickens.
In addition, there is a playground nearby where children can run around, burn off some energy, and have some fun in the fresh air.
There are also several historic buildings on site that give visitors an insight into what life was like in Tudor England, making the buildings perfect for history buffs.
Address: Mary Arden’s Farm, Station Road, Wilmcote, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9UN
4. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens
The Cottage of Anne Hathaway is among the most well-known and historically significant locations in England.
This farmhouse has been home to many generations of the Hathaway family throughout its long history.
It can be found in the picturesque village of Shottery, which is located just outside of Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon.
The cottage was constructed in 1463 using sturdy cruck wood beams, which gives it a distinct rustic charm that is characteristic of medieval buildings.
Although much of Anne’s original home has been lost over the course of time as a result of undergoing various renovations, many aspects of Anne’s time spent there are still present today.
A herb garden can still be found in the back garden of the cottage, and the kitchen has kept its original layout and cooking utensils from the medieval period.
In addition, visitors to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage will have the opportunity to view artefacts related to Shakespeare himself.
These will include manuscripts as well as personal effects that belonged to Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway and their daughter Susanna.
Address: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, 22 Cottage Ln, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9HH
5. Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, owned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious and popular locations for staging live performances.
This magnificent theatre is devoted to the memory of William Shakespeare, one of the most influential authors and playwrights in history.
You can expect an immersive and compelling experience, whether you are attending a show or taking part in one yourself.
In addition to the productions that take place on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s main stage, the theatre also houses a more intimate theatre known as the Swan Theatre.
The Swan Theatre is dedicated to the production of more experimental works.
Both of these stages have received a great deal of acclaim for their stunning designs and exciting programming, which regularly bring in large crowds.
Address: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BB
6. Tudor World
Anyone who is interested in learning about the fascinating Tudor era should visit the Tudor World museum.
This small but well-curated museum features recreations of various aspects of Tudor life, including royal courts and kitchens, marketplaces, and streetscapes.
Each section is staffed by enthusiastic and well-informed guides who are eager to impart their knowledge on this fascinating but frequently neglected era in history.
The Tudor World museum not only features interactive displays, but it also hosts a variety of unique events and activities throughout the course of the year.
These include lectures, guided tours, and live demonstrations of traditional arts and trades, such as glassblowing and blacksmithing.
When you go to Stratford-upon-Avon, don’t forget to stop by the Tudor World museum if you’re looking for an interesting and engaging day out.
Address: 40 Sheep Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6EE
7. Holy Trinity Church
The Holy Trinity Church is a significant landmark; it is well-known for both its stunning architecture and being the place where William Shakespeare was baptised and is buried.
The church, which was originally a Saxon monastery and was built in the 14th century.
It has been meticulously maintained throughout the centuries and is now recognised as one of the most popular and frequently visited religious sites in England.
Some of the highlights of Holy Trinity Church include its striking wooden spire, elegant stained glass windows, and ornate carvings.
Located on the banks of the Avon, the church welcomes visitors.
Address: Holy Trinity Church, 1 Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BG
8. Hall’s Croft
Hall’s Croft is a stunning manor house constructed in the Jacobean style that was the home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her husband, the physician John Hall.
Due to its significance in the Shakespeare family saga, the house is frequented by a great number of tourists.
Once inside the house, visitors have can see Susanna and Dr. John Hall’s extensive collection of artwork and furniture, as well as explore their living spaces.
The highlight of Hall’s Croft is its walled garden, which featured a variety of medicinal herbs that were used in traditional healing practises by both Dr. Hall and other members of family.
Address: Hall’s Croft, Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BG
9. Stratford-upon-Avon Canal
A historic waterway, the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal can be found stretching over 41 kilometres from the town of Stratford-upon-Avon to the Kingswood Junction.
The canal was constructed in the early 18th century and today, the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal continues to be an important part of England’s proud canal heritage.
Visitors can enjoy leisurely boat tours from the centre of Stratford upon Avon, with regular departures every day.
Address: Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, Stratford-upon-Avon
10. Stratford Butterfly Farm
The Butterfly Farm provides visitors with a great opportunity to learn about the incredible world of butterflies while also allowing them to observe and appreciate their beauty.
This fantastic attraction is housed in a gorgeous greenhouse with waterfalls, ponds, tropical plants and free flying butterflies.
The lifecycle of these stunning insects can be experienced by visitors, who can watch the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies by observing the various stages.
The Butterfly Farm is open for visitors every day of the year apart from Christmas Day.
Address: Stratford Butterfly Farm, Swan’s Nest Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 7LS
11. River Avon
Every tourist who comes to Stratford should check out the River Avon, which is not only a beautiful natural feature but also one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks.
Cox’s Yard is the departure point for a number of boat trips that last half an hour each and offer passengers great views of the river and the scenery that surrounds it.
Those who would like a more active experience can choose to walk along the River Avon path that is well maintained and runs along the river’s edge.
Along the way, you’ll come across some charming bridges and locks.
Visitors can also rent a rowboat or go for a ride on the historic chain ferry that operates across the River Avon.
Address: River Avon, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6BB
12. Stratford Armouries
The Stratford Armouries is a small museum that displays an incredible collection of historical arms and armour.
It can be found on the grounds of the Stratford-upon-Avon Lodge Retreat, which is a cabin-based hotel in the rural countryside close to Snitterfield.
The most important room in the museum is devoted to Winston Churchill, and contains artefacts and relics associated with his life and career as a military leader and statesman.
Personal items belonging to him, such as his hat and gloves, as well as paintings and busts depicting significant events from his life, are on display in this room.
In addition, there is a life-size model that depicts the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II.
The model shows soldiers landing on the beaches of Normandy while coming under heavy fire from enemy troops.
Visitors are able to view recreations of pivotal moments from that day as well as artefacts such as uniforms, weapons, and vehicles that were utilised by the British forces during this historic battle.
Address: Stratford Armouries, Hawkeswood, Gospel Oak Ln, Pathlow, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 0JA
13. Bancroft Gardens
Bancroft Gardens are located adjacent to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and was originally an area that was used to graze animals.
Including the Stratford Canal Basin that formed the terminus of the Stratford-to-Birmingham canal, that is a haven for barges and pleasure boats.
Visitors can enjoy the wide grass lawns and gardens with the backdrop of the river.
There is also the lovely swan fountain, and the Gower memorial that features Shakespeare and 4 characters from his plays.
Address: Bancroft Gardens, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BA
14. Sheep Street
Sheep Street runs from the Town Hall at the top, along and down to the waterside.
Famous for it’s quirky shops, the street has a variety of independent shops and restaurants that are worth a visit.
Near the end of Sheep Street is the famous Teddy Bear shop, with a much photographed, enormous teddy bear outside.
Address: Sheep Street, Stratford upon Avon
Is Stratford upon Avon walkable?
The Stratford upon Avon town centre is quite compact and easily walkable.
Most of the top sights are within easy walking distance of one another making it suitable for most visitors.
What is the Shakespeare Centre?
The Shakespeare centre was opened in 1964.
It celebrates the life of William Shakespeare and showcases his works.
What is the main shopping area in Stratford-upon-Avon?
Stratford-upon-Avon has many of the main high street shops but it is worth checking out the smaller courtyards and streets for some more quirky and independent stores.
Including Henley Street that has a wide variety of shops, bars and restaurants.