This past Saturday, the Exeter College Summer School was kind enough to organise a weekend excursion for us to the quaint little town of Stratford Upon Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. It was a lovely day full of history and amazing weather! So I thought I would share a little of my day with you.
Stratford upon Avon is a small market town with more than 800 years of history. It developed along the River Avon (hence the name) and the town still contains many buildings that have survived from medieval times. Many of which would have been familiar to the famous William Shakespeare who was born here.
After an introductory tour of the town, there were a few sites that we came back to explore further. The first was Shakespeare's birthplace...
Shakespeare was apparently born in this house and lived here until he was old enough to marry and spend the first five years of family life here with his new wife, Anne Hathaway. The house has been beautifully preserved, allowing visitors to walk through and experience the home.
We also visited Hall's Croft, the home of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna and her husband Dr John Hall. As well as Harvard House, built during Shakespeare's lifetime by the wealthy Roger's family who were ancestors of the principle benefactors in establishing Harvard University in the U.S.
The last Shakespeare site of the day was his grave, located inside the Holy Trinity Church. The church itself was beautiful as well as the gardens that surround it.
It is certainly worth spending at least a full day in this lovely town, so that means enjoying a meal while you're here. I highly recommend the traditional British fish and chips from Kingfisher on Ely Street. Before going, I was told that this place serves the 'world's best fish and chips' and after trying it for myself, I would definitely agree! Salt and vinegar is a must, then take your food down to the park to enjoy the sunshine!
If you have time, definitely head to the top the Royal Shakespeare Company's Tower! You will be treated with some stunning views of Stratford Upon Avon.
We even stayed for a show! The Royal Shakespeare Company is currently performing The Merchant of Venice. I hadn't seen or studied this particular play before so thankfully the night prior we listened to a talk explaining the storyline and key themes we would be seeing on the night. This was certainly helpful and I enjoyed the production immensely!
It was a wonderful Saturday of exploring! I cannot wait for next weekend when we will be heading out the Bath for the day.
Stay tuned for then!
You can read all about my adventures in Welcome to Oxford! By Christiarne Carroll