Stratford-upon-Avon Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > United Kingdom > Stratford-upon-Avon > History

Stratford-upon-Avon is a small city big on charm! With its Elizabethan streets, hidden alleyways and points of interest at almost every turn, Stratford is perhaps best seen on foot. Alternatively get your bearings by taking an open top bus tour with Guide Friday.

While many cities have specific districts, given the size of Stratford-upon-Avon it is arguably its individual streets that characterise particular features or moods:

For shopping look to Bridge Street, Stratford-upon-Avon's central street packed with a combination of old and new buildings. High street names include British Home Stores (with its two floors of family clothing, home ware and lighting), Jaeger for chic tailoring and Marks & Spencer. Additional shopping can be found in High Street and Wood Street, home to the department store Debenhams and individual shops such as Britain's oldest cheesemongers, Paxton & Whitfield, and shoe specialists Jones Bootmaker.

For eateries, inns and pre- or post-theatre dinner go west of Bridge Street to Sheep Street, a delightful mixture of shops and intimate restaurants. Look out for Café Rouge for a taste of France or Thespians specialising in Bangladeshi food, Northern Indian dishes and Kashmiri Baltis. For a traditional English pub there is the Rose & Crown, a former hostelry dating back to 1596, or the Garrick Inn resplendent in olde worlde charm, at the top of Sheep Street in High Street.

Henley Street, at the northern end of Bridge Street, is headily reminiscent of days gone by and marks the heart of all things Shakespearean. The Shakespeare Centre, which houses early editions and originals of the Bard's work, is here as is Shakespeare's Birthplace - the very house in which the great man was born.

The Bancroft Gardens on the southern edge of the town centre, with its impromptu street performers and The Gower Memorial (depicting Shakespeare and four of his best loved characters), indicate that this is an area in which you are bound to be entertained. The great bastions of dramatic art are all here: Royal Shakespeare Theatre, home to the world famous Royal Shakespeare Company, the galleried Swan Theatre on Waterside and The Other Place in Southern Lane.

Head out of town in any direction, either by car or by public transport and you will find Stratford-upon-Avon's outlying villages:-

Shottery: A small village to the west of Stratford-upon-Avon that draws visitors to Anne Hathaway's Cottage.

Wilmcote: A quintessential English village, home to Mary Arden's House and the Shakespeare Countryside Museum.

Wellsbourne: Set to the east of Stratford-upon-Avon and renowned for the Wellsbourne Watermill, this small town neighbours some of Warwickshire's finest countryside.

Welford-on-Avon: A traditional English village to the west of Stratford-upon-Avon famed for its white washed thatched cottages. For idyllic out of town accommodation why not consider Bridgend Guest House in its stunning riverside setting?

For visitors who use Stratford-upon-Avon as a base from which to explore Shakespeare Country and Warwickshire, or even further afield to the edge of the Malverns or the Cotswolds, then a car is essential. Your reward? A plethora of picturesque towns and villages rich with historical charm and much, much more.

Alcester: A market town lying c.10 miles west of Stratford-upon-Avon boasting a picturesque high street with half timbered buildings filled with small shops and tea rooms. If you find yourself here look out for Ragley Hall, one of the finest stately homes in the area.

Warwick: Rich in heritage and architecture, Warwick is a must for antique, craft and gift shopping or bookshop browsing. If time allows, a trip to the 'finest mediaeval castle in England' - Warwick Castle - is a must.

Leamington Spa: A short distance north east of Stratford and renowned for its stunning array of regency and Victorian terraces, the recently refurbished Royal Pump Rooms have added to the town's impressive character.

Henley-in-Arden: Another delightful market town well worth a visit for its Heritage Centre and for those of us who cannot resist prize winning ice cream at Henley Café!

Mickleton: Stop off here en route to the Cotswolds, to the south west, and savour the delights of thePudding Club (for lovers of great British puddings) in this most traditional of English villages.

Evesham: Famed for its fine fruits and home to one of the top 10 hotels in the British Isles, the Evesham Hotel, this historic market town lies to the west of Stratford along the River Avon.

Broadway: A delightful Cotswolds town that is within striking distance of Stratford-upon-Avon. Its main street is a mixture of flower-strewn cottages, country pubs and individual shops. If you have time on your hands take a look at Broadway Antique Clocks or turn back time to memories of childhood and visit Broadway Bear & Dolls.

Whichever area you choose be prepared - The Heart of England captures the hearts (and minds) of all who visit, making a return journey a necessity!

Weather

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High 42° 43° 48° 53° 59° 65° 69° 68° 63° 56° 48° 44°
Avg. Low 32° 32° 34° 37° 42° 48° 52° 51° 47° 43° 37° 34°
Mean 38° 38° 41° 46° 51° 57° 60° 60° 56° 50° 43° 40°
Avg. Precip. 2.2 in 1.9 in 2.0 in 1.9 in 2.2 in 2.2 in 1.8 in 2.6 in 2.1 in 2.1 in 2.3 in 2.6 in

Fahrenheit temperature scale is used.