Stratford-upon-Avon – London to York
DAY 1 – This morning was an early start for our drive north through the Oxfordshire countryside into the ‘Heart of England’ to Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare. Situated on the River Avon, Stratford-upon-Avon is everything that you expect a beautiful English town to be, with picturesque houses, pubs, churches, parks, canals and lakes. One could easily spend a week here exploring this historic market town and its surroundings. There are a number of attractions here linked to the great bard and tourists from all over flock to Stratford each year to enjoy the literary and cultural activities and to pay homage to this great writer and dramatist. Our first stop of course was Shakespeare’s birthplace. We were guided through the family home where he grew up and gained inspiration for his works.
In Bancroft Gardens, you’ll see a memorial, together with statues of his literary characters, including Hamlet and Lady McBeth. In the canal along the garden, there were many “Narrow boats” or canal live-aboard barges in a loch at Stratford-on-Avon. They look pretty neat, but one disadvantage is that you’ll get heaps of tourists gaping into the boats during the day.
Check out the Holy Trinity Church where you’ll find Shakepeare’s graveyard in the gardens. It was really great just walking all over the town as there were so many pretty views and buildings decorated with hanging baskets. I’m so envious of the flowers as mine don’t seem to grow so well back home.