15 Best Things To Do In Stratford, England

15 Best Things To Do In Stratford, England

By will

Welcome to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare and a charming English market town.

Located in Warwickshire, England, Stratford-upon-Avon is a great place to explore and experience the culture and history of England.

From the beautiful River Avon to the bustling market town, there are plenty of exciting and interesting things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Here are 15 of the best things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon.

From walking along the river to exploring Anne Hathaway’s cottage, these activities will make your Stratford-upon-Avon experience unforgettable.

So, let’s get started and explore the best things to do in this wonderful English town.

Walk Along the River Avon

River Avon
Photo by Peter Trimming

You’ll love strolling along the River Avon, where you can admire the picturesque scenery and take in the fresh air!

The River Avon is a beautiful river that winds its way through Stratford-upon-Avon, and there are plenty of places to stop and take in the sights. Whether you’re looking for a quiet stroll or a more adventurous outing, the River Avon has something for everyone.

A walk along the riverbank, with its rolling hills and lush green meadows, is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the area. Along the way, you’ll find many interesting landmarks to explore, such as the historic Swan Theatre, the remains of a 13th century castle, and the picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon Canal.

Plus, you can take in the stunning views of the River Avon as you wander, and be sure to keep an eye out for the local wildlife that call this area home.

There’s no better way to get to know Stratford-upon-Avon than on a leisurely walk along the River Avon.

Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Henley Street outside the Shakespeare birthplace
Photo by Philip Halling

Experience a piece of history and visit the home of the world-famous William Shakespeare!

Located in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the original Shakespeare family home is a must-see for anyone looking to be enchanted by the works of the Bard.

The house is a quaint, thatched-roof, 16th-century building situated on Henley Street, and it’s surrounded by a quaint garden.

You can take a guided tour of the house, and marvel at how life was like in the Elizabethan era. Inside the house, you’ll find a collection of rare artifacts, paintings, and furniture.

You can also learn about William Shakespeare’s life and how he managed to create such timeless works of literature.

The house is open year-round and offers different programs and activities throughout the year.

From guided tours to interactive theater performances, you’ll be able to learn more about the great playwright and explore his beloved Stratford-upon-Avon.

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to take a step back in time and experience a part of English history.

Explore Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

Anne Hathaway's Cottage
Photo by Philip Halling

Adjacent to Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a must-see for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the life of the Bard.

The thatched cottage dates back to the 16th century and was owned by Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s wife.

The beautiful grounds surrounding it are full of picturesque gardens, a pond, and a working farm, making it a peaceful and serene spot to explore.

Inside, the cottage has been lovingly restored to look much as it did during Shakespeare’s day.

The rooms are filled with period furniture, portraits, and textiles that feel like a window into the past.

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It’s a great place to spend the afternoon, as there are often costumed guides who give tours and tell stories about Shakespeare and his family.

There’s also a gift shop, cafe, and a restaurant where visitors can enjoy a great meal.

All in all, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is an interesting and educational experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation of the Bard and his life.

Shop at the Stratford-upon-Avon Market

Discover the unique local wares of Stratford-upon-Avon Market, where you can explore a variety of stalls and vendors offering everything from handmade crafts to fresh produce.

With its friendly atmosphere and bustling energy, the market is a great place to spend an afternoon.

Whether you’re looking for a souvenir, a special gift, or just a snack, the market has something for everyone.

From locally sourced produce to homemade jams and jellies, there’s something to fit everyone’s taste.

You can even pick up some traditional English treats such as scones and pastries.

The market also offers a variety of clothing, accessories, and other unique items.

There are also several delicious eateries where you can grab a bite to eat or just have a cup of tea.

A visit to the Stratford-upon-Avon Market is a great way to experience the local culture and find something special to take home with you.

Take a Boat Cruise on the River Avon

Take in the majestic views as you cruise down the River Avon – the perfect way to relax and unwind after a busy day exploring Stratford-upon-Avon.

As you cruise down the river, you will pass by beautiful scenery, including the stunning Bancroft Gardens, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and the Holy Trinity Church.

You will also have the opportunity to spot different types of wildlife, such as swans, ducks, and geese.

Enjoy the peacefulness of the river as you watch the world go by.

Many boat cruises are available in Stratford-upon-Avon, ranging from short, one-hour trips to longer, two-hour tours.

All cruises include a guide who can provide interesting facts and stories about the area.

And don’t forget to bring your camera, as you will be able to capture some amazing photos of the stunning views.

So why not take a boat cruise on the River Avon and make some unforgettable memories?

Visit the Holy Trinity Church

Experience the history and grandeur of Stratford-upon-Avon’s Holy Trinity Church as you cruise along the River Avon. This iconic church is one of the city’s most popular attractions and is the final resting place of William Shakespeare.

It’s a beautiful building, with a stone exterior and a thatched roof that was rebuilt in the 18th century. Inside, you’ll find a number of interesting features, including a huge stained-glass window that dates back to the 1700s. The interior is also home to some of Shakespeare’s personal possessions, including a memorial bust of the great playwright that was created in 1623.

Visiting the Holy Trinity Church is a must-do when you’re in Stratford-upon-Avon. The church offers guided tours throughout the year, which provide an in-depth look at the incredible architecture and history of the building.

You can also take part in one of the regular services, which range from traditional High Anglican services to more modern, inclusive services. Whether you’re a fan of Shakespeare or just looking to appreciate some of England’s finest architecture, a visit to the Holy Trinity Church is sure to be a memorable experience.

Tour the Harvard House

Leaving the Holy Trinity Church, I headed to the Harvard House, a stunning Tudor building that dates back to the 17th century.

Built in 1640, the Harvard House is the birthplace of John Harvard, a prominent benefactor of Harvard University in the United States.

Inside, there are interactive exhibits that tell the story of John Harvard’s life and legacy.

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A visit to the Harvard House is a great way to learn about the history of Stratford-upon-Avon and the influence it had on the foundation of the United States.

There’s also a beautiful garden with a wildflower meadow, where you can relax and take in the stunning views.

After exploring the house, I recommend a stroll amongst the blooms for a truly peaceful experience.

Explore the Shakespeare Centre

After taking in the sights of the Harvard House, I headed to the Shakespeare Centre, a fantastic museum dedicated to the life and works of William Shakespeare.

The centre is well-reputed for its collection of artifacts related to the playwright, such as costumes, props, and original documents.

It also houses a recreation of the Globe theatre, where visitors can enjoy performances of some of Shakespeare’s most well-known plays.

The museum also offers various interactive activities to engage visitors in the history of Shakespeare. They have a great audio guide which gives you an in-depth look into the life and works of the famous playwright.

Additionally, they have a hands-on workshop where visitors can learn about the production of a play.

The Shakespeare Centre is a must-see for anyone interested in the life and works of the great playwright, offering a comprehensive and entertaining experience.

Visit Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm

Take a journey to the Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm and marvel at the beautiful array of butterflies and moths on display!

With over 4,500 species of butterflies and moths from all around the world, this butterfly farm is a great place to learn about the diversity of these insects and their habitats.

Visitors can explore the large indoor and outdoor butterfly enclosures and learn more about the lifecycles of these creatures.

The farm is also home to a range of exotic birds, reptiles, and amphibians, making it a great day out for families and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

There are plenty of interactive activities, such as feeding the animals or taking part in educational talks.

You can also purchase souvenirs from the farm’s gift shop, so you can take a piece of the butterfly farm home with you.

With its great variety of animals, educational talks, and interactive activities, Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm is a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the natural world!

Discover the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Discover the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, a majestic theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, and experience the captivating performances that have thrilled audiences for centuries!

Founded in 1879, the theatre has been the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company since 1932.

Today, the theatre continues to be a beacon of culture and art in Stratford-upon-Avon, providing world-renowned performances of some of Shakespeare’s most beloved works.

Visiting the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is a truly magical experience.

Spend some time exploring the theatre’s beautiful architecture and admiring the stunning views of the Avon river.

Experience the works of some of the world’s greatest playwrights in an atmosphere that is both intimate and inviting.

Whether you’re interested in the history of the theatre or looking to simply enjoy a night of live entertainment, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is the perfect place to experience it all.

Take a Guided Tour of Stratford-upon-Avon

Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Stratford-upon-Avon with a guided tour! Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time local, you can learn more about this unique and historic city with the help of a knowledgeable guide.

Take a tour of the historic city centre and visit some of its many attractions, or take a coach tour to explore the surrounding countryside. With a guided tour, you’ll get an up close and personal view of some of the town’s most beautiful and interesting sites.

You can also learn more about the town’s fascinating past and the people who shaped it. The tour will also provide you with insights into the town’s vibrant culture and its many festivals and events.

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From learning about Shakespeare’s plays to discovering the local cuisine, a guided tour of Stratford-upon-Avon is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Visit the Royal Shakespeare Company

Explore the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon to witness the timeless works of the Bard come to life!

Located on the banks of the River Avon, the Royal Shakespeare Company has been the home of the world’s greatest playwright since 1879. It’s a must-visit for any Shakespeare lover, with performances of the classics, new works, and educational programs offered throughout the year.

Catch a performance of a classic like Romeo & Juliet or Macbeth, or experience one of the more modern works of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The theatre also offers educational programs and workshops, allowing you to explore the works of Shakespeare and their modern interpretations.

Immerse yourself in the timeless works of Shakespeare and explore the Royal Shakespeare Company for a truly unique experience.

Explore the Stratford-upon-Avon Town Walk

Stroll the streets of Stratford-upon-Avon and uncover the town’s history on the Town Walk! Taking this self-guided tour of the town allows you to explore the city’s iconic sights at your own pace.

The walk begins outside the Tourist Information Centre, where you’ll find a map of the route. The path takes you through the old streets, past the Tudor houses, and up to the 900-year-old St. Lawrence’s Church. Along the way, you’ll discover the town’s rich history and its connection with the world-renowned playwright and poet, William Shakespeare.

There are also plenty of shops and restaurants to explore, offering everything from authentic English pubs to modern cafes. The Town Walk is a great way to get to know the town of Stratford-upon-Avon and to appreciate its unique character and culture.

Visit the Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse

Experience the thrill of the races at Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse, one of the oldest horse racing venues in England! This is a great way to take in a bit of history and excitement all at once.

Located in the beautiful Warwickshire countryside, Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse is the perfect destination for those looking to enjoy the thrill of thoroughbred racing. The racecourse has been around since 1718 and is still going strong today. It hosts 12 days of racing a year, with a variety of meetings including a Ladies Day and Music Evenings.

The atmosphere is always lively and welcoming, with plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy. Visitors can also take part in a variety of on-site activities, including a children’s play area, mini golf, a casino, and a zoo.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned racegoer, a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse is a must for any fan of horse racing.

Have a Picnic in Bancroft Gardens

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy a tranquil picnic in Bancroft Gardens.

Located on the banks of the River Avon, Bancroft Gardens is a beautiful open space in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon. It’s a popular spot for family picnics and a great place to relax and watch the world go by.

The gardens are also home to several monuments, including a statue of William Shakespeare which stands in the centre of the park. There is also a bandstand, a cafe, and plenty of benches and tables for a leisurely lunch or dinner.

At the end of the day, visitors can take a stroll along the river and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Bancroft Gardens is the perfect spot for a peaceful picnic in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Conclusion

It’s been an amazing journey exploring the best things to do in Stratford, England.
From taking a boat cruise on the River Avon to visiting Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, there’s something for everyone.
There’s also plenty of shopping opportunities at the Stratford-upon-Avon Market and the chance to explore the Stratford-upon-Avon Town Walk.
For a day out with friends or family, don’t forget to visit the Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse or have a picnic in Bancroft Gardens.
All this and more awaits you in Stratford, England, so don’t miss out on these wonderful experiences!

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.