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The Best Shakespeare Sites in Stratford-upon-Avon

The Best Shakespeare Sites in Stratford-upon-Avon

Tudor houses in Stratford-upon-Avon

Chances are, you might just have heard of that guy William Shakespeare. The best-known playwright of all time began and ended his life in the UK town of Stratford-upon-Avon, where he lived with his family and worked on history’s most famous theatrical plays. His influence still resonates today, over four centuries after his death.

For anyone with an interest in Shakespeare, the picturesque market town of Stratford-upon-Avon is the perfect UK break or day trip for learning more about his life, works and influence. If you’re considering a Bard-based adventure, these are your must-visit Shakespeare sites in Stratford…

The Full Story Ticket

For £22.50, The Full Story Ticket grants access to Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Shakespeare’s New Place, Hall’s Croft, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Mary Arden’s Farm, which cost between £8.50 and £17.50 individually – saving a total of £43.50 if you visit all five! It’s valid for unlimited visits to all sites for 12 months.

Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon
Table set for traditional Tudor meal at Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Begin your story where William Shakespeare began his, in a Tudor house that was once the largest on Henley Street. William’s father John was a tradesman, businessman, and later High Bailiff of Stratford – equivalent to the present-day role of mayor.

After a short presentation and artefact gallery all about Shakespeare’s overwhelming affect on high and popular culture, you’re able to step inside his first home.

Henley St, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6QW
Entry
: £17.50 (adult) – included in Full Story Ticket

Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall

Take a trip back to Shakespeare’s schooldays with a visit to the King Edward VI School, aka Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall – the place a young William would have honed his writing skills. Visitors today can step inside his classroom, discover some of the lessons he would have taken, and even have a go at some Tudor homework.

Church St, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6HB
Entry: £8.50 (adult)

Boat sculpture at Shakespeare's New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon
Gardens at Shakespeare's New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare’s New Place

William Shakespeare inherited his Henley Street home when his parents died, and in 1597 bought New Place, which served as a family home for the Shakespeares, where William lived until his death in 1616. It’s believed to be the place he wrote his later works, including The Tempest and Macbeth.

Although the house itself was demolished in 1759, the space where it stood is now a garden space and information centre. Throughout the gardens, there are statues and specially commissioned art pieces inspired by Shakespeare’s works and life.

22 Chapel St, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6EP
Entry: £12.50 (adult) – included in Full Story Ticket

Exterior of Hall's Croft, Stratford-upon-Avon
Book and personal items on a table at Hall's Croft, Stratford-upon-Avon
Table set for a Tudor dinner at Hall's Croft, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hall’s Croft

As well as leaving behind a legacy of plays, Shakespeare also fathered three children: Susanna, Hamnet (who died aged 11) and Judith. Susanna, his eldest daughter, married physician John Hall. The couple lived in Hall’s Croft in Stratford-upon-Avon with their daughter, Elizabeth.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust bought and restored the timbered Jacobean house, opening it to the public in 1951. The space chronicles how the Hall family would likely have lived, and also has an exhibition dedicated to John Hall’s work, and medicine in the Jacobean era. Including how to tell what’s wrong with you by looking at your urine. Yum.

Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BG
Entry: £8.50 (adult) – included in Full Story Ticket

Exterior of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
Interior of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon
William Shakespeare's Grave at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon

Holy Trinity Church – Shakespeare’s Grave

Just up the road from Hall’s Croft, you’ll find where William Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon story ends: Holy Trinity Church.

Shakespeare died on his birthday, April 23rd 1616, at the age of 52. His grave lies within the church itself, alongside four other family members including his wife and daughter Susanna.

The words on his funerary monument contain a curse, and read: ‘Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, and cursed be he that moves my bones.’ So basically, if you’re planning on moving his bones…probably don’t do it.

Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BG
Entry: Entry to the church is free, but there’s a £3 donation to see the grave itself

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Book at a Shakespeare attraction, Stratford-upon-Avon
Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Stratford-upon-Avon

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

Nope, not the movie star. Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in 1582, and this cottage was her home from when she was born in 1556, until she married William. Her descendants lived in the cottage until 1911, and the home now tells the stories of thirteen generations of the Hathaway family. It’s a picturesque spot,

Cottage Ln, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9HH
Entry: £12.50 (adult) – included in Full Story Ticket
Getting there: 5min drive or half hour walk from the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Mary Arden’s Farm

Mary Arden married John Shakespeare in 1557 and was the mother of eight children – including William Shakespeare. Before they married, she lived at the Warwickshire house built by her father, Robert Arden, in the early 1500s.

Today, visitors can experience how life would have been on a working Tudor farm in the adjoining Palmer’s Farm, see craft and falconry demonstrations, and find out how Mary Arden’s childhood home was built.

Station Rd, Wilmcote CV37 9UN
Entry: £15 (adult) – included in Full Story Ticket
Getting there: 10min drive from the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon, or a 20 minute bus ride (route: 229).

Shakespeare display in Stratford-upon-Avon

The Royal Shakespeare Company           

What better way to end a day of Shakespearian discovery than seeing one of his plays brought to life by the Royal Shakespeare Company? The company performs works by Shakespeare, his contemporaries, and modern writers in their Stratford-upon-Avon home and on tour around the world.

Even if you’re not seeing a show, the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre is worth a visit – they offer backstage behind-the-scenes tours. You can also have lunch, dinner or afternoon tea in their rooftop restaurant.       

Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BB