Welcome to my page on all about Stratford Upon Avon a town which is steeped in historical, as well as cultural traditions. Been the Birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford upon Avon has always been a tourist haven for people from all over the world fascinated to find out more about the famous Bard, from where he lived to where he was buried.
But the town has both historical and modern touches, from Theatres to shopping centres, to Ghost tours, and haunted houses, as well as offering relaxing boating tours along the River Avon, to walking tours into the beautiful countryside which surrounds Stratford. The history of the town dates back to as far as the 7th century, the town been founded by the Saxons, with the word Straet Ford which means by the roman road, and Avon is a Celtic word which means river or water.
By the 12th century the village had been transformed into a town, and from then on it soon became a bustling town with various trades present. So that’s a short history of the town, but as I said earlier the town has many other assets, as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the world famous theatre known for its Shakespeare’s plays and productions. Its main aims is to keep audiences up to date with Shakespeare, but it also hosts work from other dramatists-and artists from all over the world.
If you are a Theatre goer then you won’t be dissapointed, as the Royal Shakespeare Company employs some 500 people, and uses the latest technology like “CAD” designs for it set designs, and no detail is left to chance right down to the wigs the performers wear. But if you would rather do something else then Stratford has a array of attractions like the Stratford Butterfly Farm, which houses Europe’s largest butterfly farm, or visit Bancroft Gardens, and while there take a relaxing cruise down the River Avon. Or take what is known as a riverside walk, which is a great way of exploring the town, the distance been about 1 to 2 miles along metalled footpaths.
Then a visit would not be complete without visiting the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and the Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare was baptised and was buried, plus you can also visit Anne Hathaways cottage at Shottery.
If its the Dark history of the town you are after there are the museums you can visit, like the Creaky Cauldron, which as history goes is said to be England’s most haunted museum.
If you would rather be out and about then the Stratford Town Walk can offer ghost tours and cruises(go at your own risk!),and the Falstaff Experience can take you to “Shrieve`s building and museum said to be the most haunted building in the UK.
Buts that’s enough about some of the interesting events and places, what about the all important eating out and shopping experience, in Stratford, once again you have a mixture as you would expect from the antique shops selling you Art and souvenirs, to modern complexes like the Maybird Centre which has a number of famous brands under its roof. And you should not forget the famous outdoor markets, like the Stratford Farmers Market, held at Rother Street, where you can purchase local produce like chutneys and cheeses.
As for restaurants think you will find that the town has a good selection to suit all tastes and budgets, from Indian to Chinese to Thai, and of course the Italian and French to traditional English restaurants’ as you would expect, with most been located in and around Ely Street, which is only about 4 minutes walk from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
There is also something for the Art and Music lover in Stratford, various Art galleries are dotted around the town, but the two main ones are located at Henley Street, and Chapel Street, and have on view large selections of watercolours, and etchings, plus sculptures and fine art on view. But if its entertainment you want then you need to visit Cox’s Yard located at Bridgefoot,this is the hub of live music and events in Stratford.
They have a vast array of different music and bands on offer, and there order books are always full, ranging from heavy metal to jazz and blues music to salsa, and sometimes even gospel choirs have been on the playlist.
Stratford upon Avon would not be a major tourist town if it did not cater for the many thousands of visitors it has all year round, therefore you can find what you need to know by visiting the Stratford Tourist Information Centre located at Bridge foot, which can be easily accessed from the major motorway networks. Then catering for the tourists themselves you have several caravan and camping sites around the town, all within easy reach of the town centre. Plus bed and breakfast accommodation is in abundance, all located in and around Grove Road which once again is only about ten minutes walk from the RSC and other famous attractions.
If you don’t want the hassle of a B&B,then you may want to consider going self catering, Stratford has some beautiful and well equipped cottages which are available in season as well as out, some of which are set in beautiful landscaped gardens, the Windmill Grange been one example, a luxury self catering cottage with all the mod cons as you would expect.Also ever wondered which city Stratford upon Avon is twinned with,well it is Stratford Ontario in Canada.
The city is located in Perth County Southern western Ontario Canada and has a population of approximately 31,000, and it was Thomas Mercer Jones who was a agent of the Canada Company who in 1832 founded and named the village Stratford,as well as renaming the river that ran through the village as the river Avon.
Then as time progressed the village became a town in 1859,and finally got recognition as a city in 1886.Formerly the town was just a railway junction,but then industries like furniture manufacturing took hold and by the 20th century had become part of the local economy.But it was the Shakespearean Stratford Festival that began in 1953 that really boosted the local economy,and the annual festival now attracts visitors from all over the world.There are also sporting activities in Stratford upon Avon,you can take up,for example biking,and hiking are popular with the Stratford ramblers association always looking for members.Or you can join up to the Stratford bike hire club.
All in all i think you will find that Stratford upon Avon is a fascinating and enjoyable town to visit with lots to offer.
For more on Stratford upon Avon visit:Activ Stratford