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Visiting the home of Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon

10 August 2015

image from Visiting the home of Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon

At the start of 2015 I wrote a travel wishlist but so far I’ve been a bit of a failure and haven’t visited any of those places. I am still intent on seeing more of the UK during our limited summer days so last Monday I went on a day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon so I could finally tick something off my wishlist (Stratford-upon-Avon has been on my UK bucket list for a long time).

Stratford-upon-Avon was the birthplace of William Shakespeare so this draws millions of visitors to the town every year. Within Stratford there are five houses relating to Shakespeare’s life which are owned and managed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. I visited four of these during my time in Stratford and was able to use my Art Pass to gain free entry to all of them, saving me £24.90 in admission charges.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace

William Shakespeare was born and raised in this house which is located in the centre of town. Of all the Shakespeare properties I visited this one attracted the most tourists and was quite busy for a Monday. The house itself is fairly small but one of the things I loved about this property was that they had a couple of actors who were reciting scenes from Shakespeare’s plays in the garden. I was very impressed with how they were able to remember all the lines from multiple plays!

Harvard House

Harvard House is an Elizabethan town house, about a 10 minute walk from Shakespeare’s Birthplace. The house is open to visitors while New Place and Nash’s House are closed for conservation. Shakespeare himself and his family never lived in this house but the owner, Thomas Rogers, served as Alderman alongside John Shakespeare, William’s father.

Hall’s Croft

Continuing on from Harvard House, Hall’s Croft is about a 5 minute walk. This was the home of William’s daughter, Susanna Shakespeare, and her husband, Dr John Hall. There’s a nice garden at the back of the house filled with roses and fragrant herbs that were used in medical treatments in the late Elizabethan era.

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

The cottage is about a 20 minute walk from the town centre but it’s definitely worth the trip and was my favourite of all the Shakespeare homes. This is where Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare, lived as a child. It’s one of those cute, quintessentially English cottages with a thatched roof and is surrounded by a beautiful garden.

Have you visited the Shakespeare homes in Stratford-upon-Avon? Which was your favourite?

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