STRATFORD UPON AVON

STRATFORD UPON AVON

 ‘I am one who loved not wisely but too well.’

(Othello Act 5, Scene 2)

***warning*** I took too many pictures as normal!!!!

There is nothing better in life than a lazy Sunday exploring a new place with your camera and the sun shining, absolutely nothing! A couple of Sundays ago that’s exactly what I did. I jumped in my car and went and explored Stratford upon Avon, somewhere that I have been meaning to visit for years now and have never actually got around to going. I am pretty sure by the end of this year I will have been everywhere in the UK that I have been meaning to go and never gone! I have been planning a trip to Florence at the end of July but actually think I am going to put it off while I spend this summer exploring the UK, especially if the weather stays as beautiful as it has been.

In case you were wondering “Stratford-upon-Avon, a medieval market town in England’s West Midlands, is the 16th-century birthplace of William Shakespeare. Possibly the most famous writer in the English language, Shakespeare is known for his sonnets and plays such as ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Hamlet’. The Royal Shakespeare Company performs his plays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and adjacent Swan Theatre on the banks of the River Avon.”

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I started my tour with Anne Hathaway’s Cottage which is a twelve-roomed farmhouse where Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare, lived as a child in the village of Shottery. This is the perfect place to start your Shakespeare tour, a little further out of the way, certainly not in walking distance if you only have a day. The thing that utterly amazed me was that a ticket to all houses was something like £22, seems like a normal price to me but wait it is actually valid for 12 months, you can keep revisiting just keep your ticket! I wouldn’t have thought twice about paying that over and over again and it is lovely that it isn’t just a money making business. Even more of an excuse for me to visit again.

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As always I took far too many pictures and struggled to edit them down to just a few, but honestly, this was a really big edit. I must have taken something like 300 pictures in just a few hours the place really is stunning. Forever the daydreamer I imagined myself walking around in the gowns of the time wondering what it would have been like to live in such a time. Could you imagine being around when Shakespeare was writing some of the worlds most famous plays? Did anyone ever imagine that hundreds of years later they would still be around? Imagine if whatever you are working on right now would be studied by children in schools around the world for centuries to come! I really need to step up my forever game!

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There is no flower more perfect or sweeter smelling to me than a rose, there is something incredibly beautiful about an English rose garden. So much love needs to go into them for such a small window of return, but boy when they are in bloom it is like having a piece of heaven on earth.  In case you are wondering I am that girl who actually stops to smell the roses, literally.

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Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a restored 16th-century half-timbered house situated in Henley Street, where it is believed that William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and spent his childhood years.  The Birthplace recreates a picture of family life at the time of Shakespeare complete with period domestic furnishings, a glass window inscribed with the signatures of visitors to the house over the centuries, and John Shakespeare’s glove making workshop. The walled garden at the back of the house has been specially planted with flowers and herbs that would have been known in Shakespeare’s time.

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“I long to hear the story of your life” if there was one quote in this world that summoned me up, you are looking at it!

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Could I have been blessed with a more beautiful day?! I mean really, it was ridiculous. I literally have everything crossed for the most beautiful, hot, blue-skied summer!

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“Shakespeare’s New Place was his family home from 1597 until he died in the house in 1616. The house was demolished in 1759, a registered garden has been designed to commemorate the importance of the site and allow visitors to make their own personal connection with Shakespeare. When Shakespeare bought New Place he was an established playwright and it is believed that he wrote his later plays there, including The Tempest.”

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By far my favourite building, Shakespeare’s new place, is a beautiful place to visit with stunning gardens and pretty artwork. I would have been super easy to just spend a whole day here, there were deck chairs, lawn games, and art everywhere. I don’t want to ramble too much, you know for a change……so I took lots of pictures, enjoy!

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Hall’s Croft is a building that was owned by Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna Hall, and her husband Dr John Hall whom she married in 1607. I was determined to get in as many places as possible during the day and its safe to say I got the top 5 things to do in Stratford upon Avon in. There is a beautiful flow to the town, I didn’t feel rushed and managed to just stroll around, the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon if you ask me. And the perfect time of year, gardens and streets were filled with the sweet smell of flowers, not to mention I saw every colour of the rainbow in each garden. Everything just seems much more wonderful with a bright blue sky too.

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The Collegiate Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity also known simply as Holy Trinity Church or as Shakespeare’s Church, due to its fame as the place of baptism and burial of William Shakespeare is a beautiful church on the river. I couldn’t go all that way without stopping for a visit, and you all know me by now I love a good graveyard. (I swear there is something wrong with me)! I didn’t take many pictures, it might be a tourist attraction and all but there are still people visiting as part of their religion so didn’t want to be rude or disrespectful.

I finished my day with a stroll along the river, stopping to watch actors perform some of Shakespeare’s work, there were performances happening everywhere. The whole place has just a beautiful feel to it like nothing bad could ever happen there. I must have sat and watched parts of half a dozen plays. Is there a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than watching Shakespeare in the park!? If that’s not your thing I would highly recommend giving it ago, its hard not to get caught up in the moment while visiting.

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I wandered around the market, ate ice cream and started looking at local hotels for my next visit, I already can’t wait to return. Stratford upon Avon with all its beauty has stolen a piece of my heart. If you haven’t visited yet, you have to go this Summer because it will amaze you and take a little bit of your heart too.

 

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