STRATFORD UPON AVON

Hey guys, back with another travel post. Before summer 19 ended my family and I got to spend time down in Stratford-Upon-Avon before I went back to college. We only stayed the night but got A LOT done. If you’re familiar with the place you’ll know how iconic it is with English history, because of course it is home to no one other than The William Shakespeare.

We arrived in Stratford-Upon-Avon around early evening and immediately took our bags and checked into our hotel room. The first thing we did once there was we went to get food. The town is pretty small so after walking around it once you kind of get the hang of where everything is already. We had our dinner in Bella Italia and let me just tell you how good the dough balls are there omg 10/10 would recommend.

After food we went down to the river where I took these beautiful shots of the sunset. We ended up being there on the day of what I was told Al-Hijra which is the Islamic New year but I’m not 100% sure. There were a few Islamic festivals taking place where all the ladies were dressed in their beautiful traditional Islamic dresses and the men were dressed in their colorful thawbs, all dancing to music along the river side. There was also a rowing competition on that day too which we sat and watched for awhile, before walking around the park and back into town.

Before heading back to the hotel we went for a stroll towards the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. This is when we passed a motorbike convention and a friendly police officer gave us a talk about how we can raise awareness towards motorbike accidents. Since both my parents used to ride motorbikes they were really intrigued but it’s safe to say that since we got home my mum has not joined any clubs on motorbike emergencies or is planning on.. We googled what to do if one occurs and got a lot of information from there but the website he told us to look at was Motorcycle Awareness if you want to educate yourself on that.

He also let me take a photo on his motor cycle and before any of you guys ask yes I know, I went out like this is was a chilly night and I was cold, the industry is screaming I know 🙂

The next morning we went straight for breakfast in Wetherspoons and I had my usual Veggie breakfast which I get every single time and love. We decided over breakfast to make a brief plan of where we’re going to visit that day and found a voucher online for 20% off the whole Shakespearean tours. (The link for vouchers). The first place we headed for after we were finished was Shakespeare’s birth place where we started the tour of the town.

Once you’ve paid and you’re in, the first room is filled with artwork. It’s either artwork of Shakespeare himself or in relation to his plays. There are sculptures and screens with his plays on as well as graphic art versions of his novel covers. One of my favorites had to be this one below by David Maghradza, it was just amazing.

After you’ve finished in the gallery section you head straight out the back into the garden, which as you can imagine my dad being a gardener.. he loved. The garden is full of flowers and in a really beautiful shape. Once done exploring you head straight into the house and are instantly greeted by live actors explaining what each room was. The first main room was called The Parlour where the Shakespearean family were known to gather and talk in the evenings. The bed in this room was considered the family’s best and they put it in this room so it was the first thing guests saw when they entered to show off the family’s social status.

Upstairs was William’s bedroom that he shared with 2 of his brothers. Each child slept in their parents room until they were 5 and then were allowed to share with their siblings. The bed was small to save wood and the wooden sticks in the holes around it were there to make sure none of the children would fall out at night. The outfits on the bed are what the boys had to wear growing up. Little boys would have to wear dresses until there parents thought they were old enough to breech. Breeching was an event when a young boy became a man and it was celebrated across the family. Also fun fact, during that period there was a myth that at night a female horse would come and haunt you which is actually where the word nightmare comes from. If you look closely into the wallpaper at the bottom left you can actually see the image of the female horse.

After we were done looking around, there was a gift shop in the house next door which sold almost anything and everything to do with Shakespeare. I bought a Mean Girls scripted novel in Shakespearean language which I will get into in another post (it’s really funny btw guys), and a Back to the Future one and a Star Wars one as presents.

Between tours, we stopped off at a few charity shops. I found a genuine Kenzo Jeans blazer jacket for only £7.50!? Like huhhh?! £7.50!! I would highly recommend charity shop hunting around here because of the amount of treasures you’ll find!!

The next place we made our way to was Shakespeare’s house after marriage, which actually is no longer there.  It got knocked down centuries ago and only one of Shakespeare’s daughters’ husbands’ house is still standing next to it. Since it got knocked down they decided to create a garden display in its place with a flag for each one of his plays. The house next door you could go inside to was filled with facts about Shakespeare’s actual house and how they all lived.

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Behind the front garden is of course the back garden, which was HUGE. There were so many beautiful flowers and we walked around the whole place in awe. There were sculptures that represented a few of Shakespeare’s plays such as Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s dream. Also look how cute this picture of this butterfly I captured below! Truly wouldn’t of wanted to be anywhere else on this amazing day.

Inside the house next door was actually a little place where you could dress up and of course being the kids that we are we took advantage of it. 

The time was coming around to 4pm now and the church for William Shakespeare’s grave closes at 4:40 so we made it by about 10 minutes by the time we got there. You could donate to the church  or simply just wander through to see the graves all close together. It was amazing seeing them in real life and wandering around the streets of Stratford-Upon-Avon getting educated on his life.

After we saw this, we wandered along the riverside back to the hotel, passed a lottt of swans on our way and for a while we sat and watched a guitarist singing 80’s music in the park. Honestly since 80’s style was back in now, everyone was walking around as if it was the 80’s, I loved it. The boys were on their skateboards, people walking past were wearing double denim and flared jeans, the whole atmosphere of this park was amazing and I will definitely be going back there but for longer next time 🙂

Thank you for reading this blog post, hope you all have an amazing week! Be sure to let me know in the comments if there’s any places you’d like me to visit!

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