15 best Things To Do Stratford Upon Avon, England

15 Best Things To Do Stratford Upon Avon, England

By will

Welcome to Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the birthplace of one of the world’s greatest playwrights, William Shakespeare.

This quaint town in the West Midlands is filled with history and culture, as well as plenty of activities and attractions for visitors.

From boat trips on the River Avon, to exploring Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, there are so many things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon.

In this article, I’ll be sharing 15 of the best things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

So, grab a cup of tea and let’s explore all the wonders this town has to offer.

Visit the Birthplace of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare's Birthplace
Photo by Len Williams

Visiting the Birthplace of William Shakespeare is a must-do for anyone looking to explore the cultural and historical richness of Stratford-upon-Avon.

The house, which dates back to the 16th century, has been lovingly preserved and showcases the life and times of England’s greatest playwright.

Visitors can explore the five different buildings, which include the house where Shakespeare was born and grew up, as well as the family home where his grandparents lived.

Each room is filled with artifacts and furniture that visitors can touch and explore, giving them a glimpse into the life of Shakespeare and his family.

Other attractions include the garden where he’s believed to have written some of his plays, and a small museum with a range of artifacts from the time.

It’s a true delight to explore the birthplace of such a great figure in world literature.

Explore Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

Anne Hathaway's Cottage
Photo by Philip Halling

Exploring Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a must-see for any visitor to the area. It offers a unique glimpse into the life of Shakespeare’s beloved wife. The picturesque thatched cottage is located in the small village of Shottery just outside Stratford-upon-Avon. This is where Anne Hathaway grew up and where she and William Shakespeare were married. It’s believed that he courted her there and was a frequent visitor during their courtship.

Today, the cottage is a museum that visitors can explore to learn more about the life of Anne Hathaway and her family. Visitors can walk through the cottage and gardens, as well as see artifacts from the era. The cottage also features interactive activities for children, making it a great destination for families.

With its beautiful setting and history, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage offers a memorable experience that visitors won’t soon forget.

Take a Boat Trip on the River Avon

Luxury river cruiser in Stratford-upon-Avon
Photo by Roger Kidd

Cruising down the River Avon in Stratford-upon-Avon is a magical experience that takes you back in time to an era of romance and beauty.

As you sail along the tranquil river, you get to enjoy the stunning views of the quaint countryside dotted with patches of lush greenery and the historical buildings that have been here for centuries.

It’s a wonderful way to relax and take in the sights and sounds of this picturesque town.

On the river, you might be lucky enough to spot some of the local wildlife, such as swans, geese, ducks, and herons.

And, if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a kingfisher or two!

The boat trips are a great way to experience the town’s unique history and culture, as well as get a different perspective of the landscape.

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Whether you’re a local or a visitor, a boat trip on the River Avon is definitely a must-do experience.

Learn about the History of Stratford-upon-Avon

Steeped in history, Stratford-upon-Avon is a town that takes you back in time and offers a unique glimpse into the past. From its humble beginnings as a small market town to the birthplace of the world’s most famous playwright, William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon has an abundance of historical sites to explore.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the town and explore Shakespeare’s Birthplace, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and the New Place, the home of Shakespeare’s final years. They can also visit Anne Hathaway’s cottage, where Shakespeare courted his future wife, as well as other sites connected to the Bard.

With so much to see and do, Stratford-upon-Avon is a great place to learn about England’s rich history and all the fascinating stories behind it.

Visit the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Take a journey to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and experience the beauty of the Bard’s work brought to life!

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is a must-see for any visit to Stratford-upon-Avon. Standing proud since 1879, it’s a living tribute to the works of William Shakespeare and an incredible reminder of the genius of the man who wrote them.

From the moment you step inside the theatre, you can feel the history and the grandeur that’s so intimately tied to the plays and the man himself.

The theatre is full of interesting facts and stories, and the experience of watching a show in this wonderful building is truly unforgettable.

From the stunning auditorium to the perfectly preserved costumes and props, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is a place where history and artistry come together to create a unique and magical experience.

Take a Tour of the Shakespeare Houses

Immerse yourself in a world of history and culture when you tour the Shakespeare Houses in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Whether you’re a fan of literature, theatre, or just intrigued by the life of William Shakespeare, this tour is sure to entertain.

Starting at the birthplace of the playwright, you’ll visit five of the most important residences associated with him. From the gardens of Anne Hathaway’s cottage, to the rooms of New Place where Shakespeare spent his later years, you’ll gain fascinating insight into the life of the Bard.

You’ll learn how he lived, wrote, and the creative and scholarly pursuits that made him so famous. You’ll even get a glimpse of the world of theatre during Shakespeare’s time, and how it has changed over the centuries.

A tour of the Shakespeare Houses is a must-do for any fan of the Bard, making it one of the best things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Enjoy the Countryside Views from Bancroft Gardens

Experience the tranquil beauty of the Bancroft Gardens in Stratford-upon-Avon when you visit. Located right in the middle of town, the Bancroft Gardens provide a tranquil respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Take a stroll through the gardens and admire the luscious greenery, the well-manicured flower beds, and the numerous statues that adorn the area. See the beautiful River Avon up close, and take in the stunning views of the countryside.

Spend an afternoon here and relax in one of the many benches and chairs scattered throughout the gardens. Enjoy a picnic lunch, or just take a peaceful break and soak up the tranquil atmosphere.

The Bancroft Gardens are a must-see when visiting Stratford-upon-Avon.

Tour the Stratford Butterfly Farm

After taking in the beautiful views of Bancroft Gardens, I decided to take my exploration to the Stratford Butterfly Farm. This incredible place is a must-see for anyone visiting Stratford upon Avon.

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It is home to more than 15,000 tropical butterflies from around the world. Walking through the farm is like stepping into a wonderland filled with stunningly beautiful butterflies. Not only can you observe the butterflies fluttering around the various plants, but you can also learn about their life cycle and habitat. The knowledgeable staff is always happy to answer any questions you may have.

The Stratford Butterfly Farm offers an interactive experience, where visitors can enjoy the butterflies up close. You can take part in a ‘Butterfly Encounter’ where you can hold a butterfly on your finger and have your picture taken with it. There are also a variety of educational activities available, such as an audio tour, a 3D movie, and a guided tour.

After spending time in the farm, you can also explore the gift shop, which has a variety of souvenirs and butterfly-related products. This is a great way to take a piece of the Stratford Butterfly Farm home with you.

Sample Delicious Local Fare at the Stratford Town Center

Head to the Stratford Town Center and sample some of the delicious local fare! Tucked away in the heart of Stratford upon Avon, this unique shopping center is home to a variety of eateries that serve up delicious dishes from all over the world.

From tasty pastries to hearty steaks, there’s something for everyone! Enjoy a classic afternoon tea, or a tasty baguette with a side of chips. If you’re looking for something a little more exotic, try some traditional Indian curries or aromatic Chinese noodles. Whatever your taste, you’re sure to find something to tantalize your taste buds.

The Stratford Town Center is also an excellent place to find unique gifts and souvenirs. Peruse the stands of local artisans and pick up something special for yourself or a friend. Whether you’re looking for a hand-crafted necklace, a one-of-a-kind painting, or a piece of pottery, you’ll be sure to find something special.

So why not head to the Stratford Town Center and sample some of the delicious local fare? You won’t be disappointed!

Admire the Architecture of Holy Trinity Church

Admire the stunning architecture of Holy Trinity Church – one of Stratford’s oldest churches – and be transported back in time.

With its beautiful spire and stained glass windows, it is a sight to behold.

As soon as I stepped into the church, I was mesmerized by its grandeur and artistry.

Inside, intricate carvings adorn the walls, while a vaulted ceiling offers a breathtaking view.

The atmosphere of the church is peaceful and calming, and the combination of history and beauty make it a must-visit destination.

As I explored the church, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the centuries of history within its walls.

From its ancient choir stalls and memorial tombstones to its richly decorated chapel, this is a place of spiritual and architectural beauty.

Whether you are looking to admire its architecture or to find a moment of peace and contemplation, Holy Trinity Church is an experience that will stay with you for years to come.

Explore the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal

Meander along the tranquil Stratford-upon-Avon Canal and be enchanted by its serenity. The canal is a great way to explore the region, as it meanders its way through the beautiful English countryside, passing through greenery and pastures. It occasionally provides glimpses of the many historic landmarks that dot the landscape.

The canal’s many locks are a perfect place to take a break and watch the boats slowly passing through. They also provide a great opportunity for wildlife spotting, with many species of birds, mammals, and aquatic creatures making their home along the banks.

The views from the canal, especially in the evening when the sun is setting, are simply breathtaking. It’s a great way to relax, take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and simply enjoy the beauty of nature.

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Visit the Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse

After exploring the history of the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, the next logical step is to visit the Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse, located just a few miles away.

It’s a great way to spend an afternoon in the area, enjoying the thrill of the races and all the fun that comes with it.

If you’re looking for an exciting day out, the Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse is the place to be. With its picturesque views of the surrounding countryside, it’s the perfect setting for a day at the races.

There are plenty of events to keep you entertained, as well as an array of delicious food and drinks to enjoy between races. And with a wide selection of betting options, you’re sure to find a way to win big.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your hat, your friends and head to the Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse for a day of excitement and fun that you won’t soon forget.

Try a Guided Walk around the Town

Take a journey through time and explore the charming town of Stratford-upon-Avon with a guided walk! Guided walks are a great way to get a better understanding of the history of the town and to really appreciate the beauty of the area.

Your guide will lead you through the streets, giving you an insight into the rich history of this special place. You will visit the house of William Shakespeare, the birthplace of the great bard, and learn about his life and works.

You will also get to experience the unique atmosphere of the town, stopping by the old churches, pubs, and other important sites. This is a truly memorable way to explore Stratford-upon-Avon and one of the best things to do while visiting the town.

Relax in Gower Memorial Park

Relax and unwind in the peaceful Gower Memorial Park, located in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon. The park is surrounded by lush greenery, providing a tranquil atmosphere perfect for picnics or just taking a leisurely stroll.

With its picturesque lake and spectacular gardens, Gower Memorial Park is the ideal spot to while away an afternoon.

The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, such as ducks, swans, and butterflies. Visitors can stroll the pristine pathways, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.

For those interested in history, the park also contains a monument in memory of William Shakespeare, the great English playwright.

With its tranquil atmosphere and beautiful natural setting, Gower Memorial Park is a great place to relax and enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Shop at the Stratford-upon-Avon Market

For a unique shopping experience, come to Stratford-upon-Avon Market where you’ll find a wide variety of goods and produce, all at great prices.

Whether you’re looking for fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, baked goods, or a variety of locally crafted items, it’s all here. With vendors from all over the area, the market is a great place to find something special that can’t be found anywhere else.

Plus, the friendly atmosphere and friendly vendors make shopping here a pleasure.

The market also has a range of other items, including jewelry, clothing, handmade crafts, and even antiques. You’ll find something for everyone here, from the newest fashion trends to vintage pieces.

You can also enjoy special events, such as live music, art displays, and food tastings. Plus, the market is a great place to find unique gifts for friends and family.

So, come to Stratford-upon-Avon Market and find something special, all at great prices!


It’s been a great day exploring the best things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon.
From learning about Shakespeare’s life at his birthplace to exploring Anne Hathaway’s cottage, there’s something for everyone in England’s most famous town.
Taking a boat trip along the river Avon and exploring the Royal Shakespeare Theatre were highlights for me – not to mention the great shopping at the market.
If you’re looking for a relaxing day, head to Gower Memorial Park.
It’s been a fantastic day and I’ll definitely be back soon to explore more of what Stratford-upon-Avon has to offer.

About the author

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