In 1616 William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, which is a lovely town of old Tudor-style buildings. The town’s Shakespeare connection ensures that it is one of the most visited towns in the Midlands.
Most of Stratford’s major sights revolve around the town’s Shakespeare connection and these include William Shakespeare’s birthplace, his school, his wife’s cottage, his mum’s house, his daughter’s house and his granddaughter’s house.
The town also boasts the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Theatre, which is one of the world’s leading theatres to focus primarily on the works of William Shakespeare. The theatre includes an exhibition space with an exhibition about Shakespeare, his work and legacy.
If you’re not a fan, you may feel that all this Shakespeare hype is much ado about nothing; however, even the most jaded non-literary visitor will appreciate the beautiful town with its restored Tudor-era houses. However, you may need to get up early to walk around the town to appreciate it before the tourist coaches arrive.
Non-Shakespeare-related sights and activities include the MAD Museum, a butterfly farm as well as river cruises and punting on the River Avon.
Stratford-upon-Avon enjoys excellent transport connections and it is relatively easy to make a day trip here from either Birmingham or London. However, you will get the most out of your visit if you stay overnight.
There are two trains per hour from Stratford to Birmingham with a journey time of around 50 minutes and there are also direct services to London with a journey time of around 2½ hours.
Stratford is also well connected by local buses to destinations in Warwickshire and neighbouring countries. Useful routes include X18, which goes to Coventry via Warwick, Leamington Spa and Kenilworth, X19 to Redditch and X20 to Coventry via Solihull.