35 Things to do in Stratford upon Avon on a day out or a longer stay. Could take quite a while to do them all, so simply choose your favourites.
This guide includes a combination of things you can do for free and other activities or attractions which charge an entrance fee. The activities are listed in no particular order and latest suggestions are added at the bottom of the list. TOP TIP: be sure to visit one of the Tourist Information Centres, as they sometimes have voucher offers to get reduced entrance fees to attractions.
For a free map of Stratford upon Avon click here
1.AWARD WINNING TOWN WALK
Award-winning town walk every day, including Christmas Day.
A Ghost Walk around the town every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.
For more information visit http://www.stratfordtownwalk.co.uk/
2. SEE SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE – FREE
There is an admission fee to go into the house and gardens, but you can see the house for free and take photos of the front from Henley Street
3. SEE HARVARD HOUSE – FREE
A traditional Tudor building once owned by the founder of Harvard University in the USA – you can’t go in but can get a great photo from outside (located on High Street)
4. LOOK AROUND NEW PLACE Shakespeare lived in the house towards the end of his life – the house is no longer there but you can see the site and also go around the wonderful Knot Gardens behind. (located on Chapel Street)
5. WALK DOWN TO HALLS CROFT
Another fine historic building which is located on Old Town, just up from the Holy Trinity Church
6. PICNIC BY THE RIVER AVON – FREE
As well as all the historic buildings, the river Avon runs through the town. The banks of the rover provide an ideal location for a picnic.
For a free map of Stratford upon Avon click here
7. WALK WITH SHAKESPEARE
Fancy a walking tour of Stratford upon Avon with William Shakespeare?
Visitors and locals alike are loving seeing William Shakespeare guiding locals and visitors around the town.
The tour now includes entering Holy Trinity Church, where visitors will receive a discount on entry to Shakespeare’s grave.
The tour starts outside Tudor World at 2pm every Saturday and everyday (except Sundays) during the holiday periods.
For a free map of the town click here
£2.00 children (under 14s)
For further information or to book call 01789 298070.
40 Sheep Street
Stratford upon Avon
Warwickshire CV37 6EE
8. WANDER ALONG THE STRATFORD UPON AVON CANAL – FREE
The canal was built between 1793 & 1816 and runs for 25.5 miles.
9. VISIT HOLY TRINITY CHURCH (SHAKESPEARE’S FINAL RESTING PLACE)
The Holy Trinity Church is set in beautiful surroundings on the banks of the River Avon in Stratford upon Avon. Admission to the main part of the Church is free, where you can admire the wonderful stained glass windows.
10. WANDER AROUND THE BANCROFT GARDENS – FREE
These landscaped gardens are nestled on the banks of the River Avon. There are lots of places to laze around and enjoy a picnic, whilst watching the boats sail up and down the river. You can also see the many statues, which are featured thoughout the gardens.
11. VISIT STRATFORD BUTTERFLY FARM
Stratford Butterfly Farm is a visitor attraction in Stratford-upon-Avon. A tropical environment has been simulated in large greenhouses.
For more information visit www.butterflyfarm.co.uk
12. TOUR THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE – FREE
The newly refurbished theatre is a sheer joy to wonder around, where you can appreciate the 1930s Art Deco features which have been lovingly restored. Access to the ground floor areas is free, but you can pay to go up the newly erected tower to get a vista of the town.
13. TOUR NASH’S HOUSE
You can find Nash’s House next door to the ruins and gardens of William Shakespeare’s final residence, New Place. It now contains a museum to visit.
14. RELAX IN THE ELIZABETHAN KNOT GARDENS
This hidden gem is located directly behind New Place (Shakespeare’s former residence). You can enter the Knot Gardens from Chapel Lane and it is like entering a secret garden, hidden away from the modern world. A wonderful place to just wander, or sit down read a book, or simply watch the world go by.
15. BROWSE THE LOCAL MARKETS – FREE
Every Friday a market is held on Rother Street, which ranges from old antiques to locally sourced products and crafts. It is free to browse around the market and is always buzzing.
16. WALK TO ANNE HATHAWAY’S COTTAGE
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a farmhouse where Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare, lived as a child in Shottery located about 1 mile from Stratford-upon-Avon.
17. TOUR THE CREAKY CAULDRON
A magical visitor attraction located on Henley Street near Shakespeare’s Birthplace. The building is over 450 years old and spread over several floors. It also has a gift shop including a wide range of wands. For more information visit http://www.coulditbemagic.co.uk/
18. CRUISE THE RIVER WITH BANCROFT CRUISERS
Experience the charm and beauty of historic Shakespeare County with Bancroft Cruisers, Stratford’s only guided sightseeing cruises. Sit back and relax as you enjoy the glorious Warwickshire countryside from the comfort of our wide-beam open cruiser or heated modern cruiser. From 45-minute, walk-on sightseeing tours to private event charters, we provide the ultimate river experience – complete with expert guides and delicious food. For more information visit http://www.bancroftcruisers.co.uk/
19. MAD MUSEUM
You can hire a boat with a small engine or if you are feeling energetic, you can hire a rowing boat and spend an hour admiring the town from the river itself. A very relaxing way to spend an hour in Stratford. For more information visit http://www.avon-boating.co.uk/
21. ENJOY A TRULY ENGLISH CREAM TEA
Enjoy a home made scone with Cornish Clotted Cream and strawberry preserve at Henley Street Tea Rooms (opposite Shakespeare’s Birthplace). For more information visit http://www.stratfordupon.com
22. CYCLE ALONG ‘THE GREENWAY’ IN STRATFORD
Stratford Bike Hire is a cycle hire and cycle delivery service who you can contact and arrange to pick up your bike at the Cycle centre at Stratford Greenway. The Greenway is a wonderful place to cycle with picturesque views to either side. For more information visit http://www.stratfordbikehire.com/
23. TAKE A TRIP UP THE TOWER AT THE RSC
Take the lift up the RSC tower for panoramic views of the town. Standard price is £2.50 but some concessions are available. For more information visit http://www.rsc.org.uk/visit-us/tower-visits.aspx
24. HOP ON THE SIGHTSEEING BUS
These run all day around Stratford upon Avon and is a great way to see the town. You can hop on and hop off at various key attraction points throughout the town. Look out for these red buses and bus stops. A fee applies for this tour.
25. MEDIEVAL WALL PAINTINGS AT THE GUILD CHAPEL
The Guild Chapel, which was built in the 15th Century can be found at the corner of Chapel Street and Church Street. From Autumn 2013, you can view the wall paintings, which date back to the late 15th Century.
For more information visit http://www.stratfordguildchapel-friends.org.uk
26. WALK TO MARY ARDENS HOUSE
You can walk to Mary Arden’s Farm along the canal network in Stratford upon Avon. For more information, contact the Visitor Information Centre at Bridgefoot in Stratford upon Avon.
27. VISIT SHAKESPEARE’S CLASSROOM
On several occasions throughout the year, Shakespeare’s Classroom is opened to the public. You will need to check once in Stratford, as it is not al ‘all year round’ attraction. The classroom is located on Church Street and forms part of the King Edward VI Grammar School for boys, widely known as ‘Shakespeare’s School’. A great experience, if you are lucky enough to be in town on one of the open days.
28. WANDER ROUND STRATFORD UPON AVON MARINA
The boating marina in Stratford is located near Bridgefoot and is home to local canal boats and a café with a terrace.
29. TAKE A LOOK AT CLOPTON BRIDGE
Clopton Bridge is a masonry arch bridge with 14 pointed spans over the River, crossing at the place where the river was forded in Saxon times, and which gave the town its name. It was built in 1480 and financed by Hugh Clopton, who went on to become Lord Mayor of London. Part of the bridge was rebuilt in 1642, after it had been deliberately damaged to block the army of Oliver Cromwell.
30. HAVE AN AFTERNOON OR EVENING AT THE CINEMA
The Picture House cinema in Stratford can be found on Windsor Street in the heart of the town, showing all of the latest releases. The cinema also has a 1st floor bar and balcony to enjoy a relaxing drinks before the performances. For more information visit http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Stratford_Upon_Avon/
31. BROWSE THE MANY STALLS AT THE ANTIQUE CENTRE
The Antique centre is located in the heart of Stratford upon Avon on Ely Street. This place is well worth a visit to look at the many different types of antiques on sale.
32. BOOK IN FOR A SEWING WORKSHOP
A series of workshops are run at ‘Sew Me Something’ in the Minories just off Henley Street. Classes include Dressmaking, Rug Making plus more. For more information visit http://www.sewmesomething.co.uk/
33.VISIT STRATFORD UPON AVON TOWN HALL
The Town Hall was built in the reign of Charles I and bears the message ‘God Save the King’. It houses many historic arts and treasures.
34. EXPERIENCE TUDOR WORLD
This award winning museum is located on the heart of Stratford in a grade 2* listed building. It explores the life of people living in Tudor England.
For more information visit http://www.falstaffexperience.co.uk/
35. ENJOY A TRADITIONAL ENGLISH BREAKFAST
Bensons in Bards Walk Arcade offer a £5 English Breakfast which includes bottomless tea or coffee. For more information visit www.bensonsrestaurant.co.uk
For a free map of Stratford upon Avon click here
Information contained within this blog is accurate at time if writing, but may vary over time subject to changes within the town. We cannot be held responsible for variations to entrance fees.