Stratford-upon-Avon introduces you to a market town with more than 800 years of history, containing not only many buildings that survive today and would have been familiar to Shakespeare, but also a thriving community offering a wide variety of leisure, accommodation and shopping experiences.
There are many fantastic areas of Stratford-upon-Avon to explore, which is why visitors flock back year after year to discover more. From quaint side streets with unique and individual shops to open parklands along the river, there’s something for everyone.
A good place to start is our Visitors Guide where you’ll find a wealth of information about Stratford-upon-Avon, including things to do, shopping, celebrations and not forgetting the RSC. Our Town Centre page has a handy map showing the locations of tourist hot-spots, along with a street by street guide to Stratford-upon-Avon.
Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon
A town synonymous with William Shakespeare.
Every visit to Stratford would not be complete without finding out more about the English poet and playwright that makes it famous. Shakespeare’s Birthplace allows you to visit the house where the world’s most famous playwright was born and grew up to discover more about his early years.
Other must see Shakespeare locations include Hall’s Croft (home to William’s daughter), Nash’s House and New Place (the last chapter in his life), Anne Hathaway’s cottage (a romantic setting) and Mary Arden’s Farm (the childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother)
Shakespeare’s Birthplace has been welcoming visitors for over 250 years. This is the house where William Shakespeare was born, grew up and played. He ate meals in the hall and he slept and dreamt in these rooms. Shakespeare also spent the first five years of married life in this house with his new wife, Anne Hathaway.
See how his father, John, earned his living as a glove maker and explore The Shakespeare Exhibition, before entering the house and it’s outstanding gardens.
For millions of Shakespeare enthusiasts worldwide, this house is a shrine. Here you will discover the world that shaped the man and find out what other famous writers thought when they visited here. Follow in the footsteps of not only Shakespeare, but other well-known visitors such as Charles Dickens, John Keats, Walter Scott and Thomas Hardy.
Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a fascinating house that offers a tantalising glimpse into Shakespeare’s early world. It’s a special place that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime.
Explore his life story at the fascinating Famous Beyond Words exhibition
Journey back in time with captivating tales by our costumed guides
Enjoy live performances with Shakespeare Aloud!, our resident acting troupe
See treasures from the archives
Gift shop and cafe
Tickets, Directions and Opening Times
Why not buy a Shakespeare Five House Pass for entry to Shakespeare’s Birthplace and all the other Shakespeare Family Homes, which now includes a visit to Shakespeare’s grave. You can save between £7.00-£29.50 compared to a Shakespeare Birthplace Pass plus tickets to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens and Mary Arden’s Farm.
5 House Pass Prices:
Adult: £26.25 Child: £17.00 Concession: £24.75 Family: £69.50
Shakespeare’s Birthplace is situated on Henley Street in the town centre of Stratford-upon-Avon.
Dogs are welcome in the gardens at Shakespeare’s Birthplace, provided they are accompanied and on a lead.
Daughter and Granddaughter
Hall’s Croft was home to Shakespeare’s eldest daughter Susanna and her esteemed husband Dr John Hall before they moved to New Place on Shakespeare’s death.
Built in 1613 it is an impressive piece of architecture reflecting the Hall’s comparative wealth and status, the displays inside the house also reflect this. With an exquisite walled garden filled with a wealth of beautiful roses and herbaceous borders, it’s the perfect place for a tranquil respite from the town.
Hall’s Croft cafe serving locally sourced, home-made fare in delightful surroundings.
Wander through the elegant home of Susanna Shakespeare and her husband, Dr John Hall. Enjoy the luxurious rooms and beautiful decoration of this fascinating house, befitting a wealthy physician of Dr John Hall’s status.
Examine the intriguing collection of apothecary’s equipment and books in the doctor’s consulting room along with a first edition of his medical notes published in 1657.
Highlights at Hall’s Croft
Explore the beautifully furnished Jacobean home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her wealthy physician husband, Dr John Hall.
Wander into the tranquil walled garden and discover fragrant, medicinal herbs
See examples of the equipment that Dr John Hall would have used
Exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I (until 31 October 2015)
Arter gift shop with unique, locally handmade gifts
Why not buy a Shakespeare Five House Pass for entry to Hall’s Croft and all of Shakespeare’s Family Homes, which now includes a visit to Shakespeare’s grave? You can save between £7.00 – £29.50 compared to a Shakespeare Birthplace Pass plus tickets to the Cottage and Mary Arden’s Farm.
Dogs are welcome in the gardens at Hall’s Croft, provided they are accompanied and on a lead.
New Place, the next chapter
Visit New Place, the site of Shakespeare’s last home and where he died in 1616.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is transforming New Place, the site of Shakespeare’s home for the last 19 years of his life, to create a major new heritage landmark where visitors can discover the story of the world famous playwright at the height of his success as a family man, writer and prominent citizen of Stratford-upon-Avon. This unique site will be the jewel in the crown of our national literary and cultural heritage, at the heart of the worldwide celebrations of 400 years of Shakespeare’s legacy in 2016.
Visitors will be invited to walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps through a new entrance on the footprint of his original gatehouse
A contemporary landscape treatment will echo the known footprint of the original Shakespeare family house
A new exhibition centre will feature rare and important artefacts relating to Shakespeare’s life at New Place, many of them on display for the first time. The centre will be located in the neighbouring Nash’s House, the Grade 1 listed Elizabethan town house which was home to Shakespeare’s granddaughter Elizabeth Hall, and her wealthy husband Thomas Nash. The building will undergo conservation work which is essential to keep it open to the public; it will also be extended to create space for informal learning and family activities, and modern, fully accessible, facilities for visitors, staff and volunteers.
The sunken Knot Garden, will be restored in keeping with the intention of the original design by Ernest Law, the renowned garden designer who was considered one of the finest exponents of the Jacobean knot garden revivals of the early twentieth century. Elements of the Great Garden, the largest surviving part of Shakespeare’s estate, will be conserved and restored following the opening of New Place in 2016.
For updates on the New Place project, visit www.shakespeare.org.uk
Dogs are welcome in the gardens at New Place & Nash’s House, provided they are accompanied and on a lead.
Love and marriage
The world famous Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is situated in Shottery 1 mile from Stratford-upon-Avon and was the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife and has been a pilgrimage for visitors for centuries.
The young Shakespeare would have courted Anne here and the thatched cottage has often been described as the most romantic in England. The beautiful thatched farmhouse was occupied by descendents of the Hathaway family until it’s purchase by the Trust in 1892 and still contains many rare family items of furniture that date back to Anne’s time, including the finely carved, oak Hathaway bed.
Enjoy beautiful gardens in Stratford upon Avon. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a thatched farmhouse with stunning grounds and gardens, which overflow with fragrant blooms and traditional shrubs.The cottage is in Shottery, a hamlet within the parish of Stratford-upon-Avon. It is just over one mile from the town centre and can be accessed via a pleasant, well sign-posted footpath.
Highlights at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Garden
Relive Shakespeare’s Tudor love story where he courted his bride-to-be
Explore this 600-year old cottage and some of its original family furniture, including the Hathaway four-poster bed and the courting settle
Nine acres of beautiful cottage gardens and heritage orchards, woodland walks and sculpture trail
Nature-themed family activity tent (April – October*)
New Tudor Courtship exhibition (opens 28 March)
Enjoy a scrumptious English afternoon tea in the garden café
*Weekends and school holidays
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens can be reached via a pleasant 1.3 mile walk from the town centre which takes approximately 30 minutes. The postcode reference for sat nav is CV37 9HH.
Dogs are welcome in the gardens at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, provided they are accompanied and on a lead.
Visiting Hathaways Cottage
Allow at least 1 hour to view the Cottage, gardens, grounds and shops. The grounds are a perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch or tea.