With the birthplace and gravesite of Shakespeare, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and historic Tudor buildings, Stratford-upon-Avon is a wonderful town in England to visit. It gets its name because it is located on the River Avon and is sometimes simply referred to as Stratford. Located in the county of Warwickshire, there is also the Warwick Castle nearby, which is definitely worth visiting as well. Although it is definitely a tourist destination, we went during the off-season and enjoyed sharing the streets with more locals than tourists.
Obviously, seeing the birthplace of Shakespeare is a highlight of any visit to Stratford-upon-Avon. The house where Shakespeare was born in 1564 is located on Henley Street, which is part of the historic section of the town. The timbered house has been restored and looks very much today as it might have in the 16th century when Shakespeare was a child. There is also the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Swan Theatre where performances still occur throughout the year, but especially over the summer months featuring many famous actors. With over two million visitors per year, Stratford-upon-Avon can be quite busy.
We were in Stratford-upon-Avon during the holiday season, so there was a Christmas market and the town was decorated for the holidays. We also were there to watch the mayor kick off the holiday season as people gathered around the town hall. There were also many stores that featured holiday gifts as well as other typical shops selling items for tourists. Perhaps even better were the various pubs that were offering mulled wine to keep us warm on a cold autumn evening.
We spent a couple of days in Stratford-upon-Avon visiting the historic town and seeing the impressive Warwick Castle before catching a train to continue on to Manchester. Seeing the English countryside and the historic buildings was certainly one of our favorite parts of our trip to England several years ago.