5 Hidden Gems in Stratford-upon-Avon

Now that lockdown has been eased and we have a lot more freedom to travel (!!) I thought I'd share some hidden gems of places to visit in a town very near to me. I've lived near Shakespeare's hometown all my life and it's somewhere that I probably take for granted as I walk past his house most weeks. As an English student, I sometimes hear my coursemates talking about Shakespeare, the RSC and Stratford and how they'd like to visit or have visited and it makes me laugh cause Shakespeare's actually quite a big deal for English students! It's only when the town has been so quiet that I've realised just how popular a tourist destination it is and how odd it is to be walking around without the steady stream of tourists that normally occupy its streets. Now that there are fewer restrictions in place, I thought I'd share my favourite places in and around Stratford and things to do whilst you're there if you ever fancy a visit!

shakespeare birthplace, stratford upon avon, shakespeare

RSC Walk
The RSC itself is worth a visit anyway and it's free to just walk in and look around - there's a lookout tower at the top too which is fun! Also, if you're aged 16-25 and fancy watching a show you can get £5 tickets for everything if you sign up to the RSC keycard - it's well worth it even if you only see 1 play. The RSC Walk isn't an official thing but it's one of my favourite places to go to in Stratford. If you go around the far side (nearest the river) and keep walking you'll be on a little path that follows the river. It's really picturesque and one of my favourite past-times in Stratford. You go through the RSC gardens where people often have picnics, walk past some boats you can rent, look at the huge pictures the RSC have up of past performances they have on a brick wall or catch the 50p ferry across to the other side of the river. If you continue on the walk, without going across the river, you end up by the church Shakespeare is buried in (but you have to pay to see that) and the walk is really peaceful.

Shakespeare's Birthplace
The most obvious place to go to in Stratford is, of course, Shakespeare's birthplace. It is perhaps the main reason why people actually visit the town and the house is situated on a nice cobbled street. I'd recommend popping into all the little shops near the birthplace as there are some gems in there and even the library is quite picturesque! If you're lucky, you might see the fake statue man hovering around the birthplace - he's a regular feature of Stratford and is always amusing! The house itself is pretty difficult to miss and is a lovely place to visit. They often have actors inside the house and its gardens acting out Shakespeare plays that you can sit and watch on your way round too. If you have time, there's a ticket that allows you to get into all 5 Shakespeare attractions in and around Stratford- I recommend New Place which is in the town centre and has some very snazzy art installations and Anne Hathaway's Farm if you like animals and can travel a bit further afield!

Antique Bookshop
Near Shakespeare's New Place (which is supposedly on the site where Shakespeare built his own house) is the most gorgeous little bookshop. It's the type of place that you typically walk past without really noticing as it's so small but inside it has so many old books that I could spend hours looking around. It's quite a small place so can't really fit many people inside but it's well worth a look if you're a fan of literature, which, as an English student, I definitely am! Also, the charity shops in Stratford often have old RSC pamphlets and flyers along with a lot of books on Shakespeare so if you're after souvenirs or Shakespeare plays they are probably your best bet to get something authentic! Oxfam in particular often has lots of this kind of thing!

Look at the Lamposts
Around the back of the RSC, the Church and along the street there are loads of different lamposts. They may seem like nothing special but they are each in different colours and each one of them is a gift from another council. I like to stroll up and down the streets finding as many as I can and looking to see where each particular lampost was a gift from - you'll most likely find your local council has gifted one too! If on the way back from the RSC walk you go through all the houses, you'll end up walking past all of these lamposts!

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Charlecote Park
This isn't actually in Stratford but if you can drive, it's well worth taking a visit to Charlecote Park. It's also rumoured that Shakespeare once poached on the land of the Lucy family (who still live there today). It's a National Trust place that has acres of land and a beautiful house you can look inside. They let the deer roam freely as well so there is often the opportunity to get up close and personal with them too! I'd highly recommend it! There's also the Charlecote Mill that is a few minutes walk from the park, I believe it's one of the oldest working mills in the UK so it's worth a look if it's open!

Those are some of my top picks if you ever find yourself in Stratford-upon Avon or the surrounding areas. Hopefully, there are some things in this list that you didn't know about as I tried to give more of a 'locals guide' to Stratford and steer away from the more generic and common things to do. Let me know if you've ever been to Stratford and what you did there!


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84 comments

  1. These are some great suggestions - I've been to Stratford a couple of times and it was beautiful! I went on a Halloween themed walk one time which was fun. When I visit again I will definitely be making use of your recommendations; for some reason we never went into Shakespeare's house - probably because of the queues! There are such a great selection of shops too - always a bonus ;) x

    Paige // Paige Eades

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    1. It's such a lovely place to visit! Hope you enjoy Shakespeare's House if you visit again!

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  2. This isn't actually too far from where I am! I really need to go and check it out, I am so intrigued by the lamp posts. Sounds like such a lovely place to go and visit
    Charlotte / Charlotte's Picks

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    1. I never noticed them until recently and it's such a fun fact!

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  3. I live Shakespeare but I don't think I've ever been to Stratford! I'll definitely need to go some time!

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    1. I really recommend it! Hope you get to go soon!

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  4. I've never been, but it looks a very cute place to visit! I love the buildings, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you - I hope you manage to go one day!

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  5. I've always wanted to visit Stratford Upon Avon! Thanks for sharing your tips too especially about the part where you can get a ticket for 5 Shakespeare attractions. :)

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  6. I visited Stratford years ago but on a school trip so I didn't get to see much! I'd love to explore more of the town and browse the bookshops!

    Serena / http://www.ramblingsofanotherunigraduate.com

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  7. Great guide! I love how much detail you have for each hidden gem :)
    I've never been to Stratford before but it definitely seems like a great market town to explore.

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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  8. Love it so much.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  9. Stratford isn't that far from me and I've been wanting to go for years! Hoping to get there before I go back to work :)

    MB | http://www.megbeth.travel.blog

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    1. I hope you manage to visit soon! Thanks for reading!

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  10. I visited here a few years ago and loved it! It was all so beautiful and amazing!

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  11. This place looks so beautiful, I'd like to visit it! :)

    https://julesonthemoon.com/

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  12. oh my goodness - the antique bookshop sounds like an absolute dream! xx

    mia // https://beautiful-inspiring-creative-life.com

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  13. I've never been to Stratford-upon-Avon but it looks like such a pretty town! Thank you for sharing this guide, it's good to know recommendations from a local!
    Sophie | https://thisbrilliantday.com

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  14. Thanks for sharing I have been many times to Charlecote Park as it's near my brother and his family, it's a lovely place to visit :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

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  15. I love Stratford, it's been a while since we've been though. You've got some great suggestions here. Charlecote is one of our favourite national trust properties x

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  16. Great post! I've never been there but it seems like a lovely place!

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  17. I've never been to Stratford Upon Avon! I definitely need to explore more. Seeing Shakespeare's birthplace seems like quite an incredible experience!

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  18. I am not too far from Stratford Upon Avon but I have never been! I will have to venture there at some point!

    Amber - https://theunpredictedpage.com

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  19. Wow great to know where Shakespeare lived, looks so lovely.
    The vibe of writing is present..

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  20. Great suggestions! I visited Stratford-Upon-Avon quite a few years back when I was at university in Coventry, it's such a beautiful place to visit.

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  21. Putting this on my places to visit list. I've never been and I actually don't know why.
    Great suggestion!
    xxx

    https://ooomaye.com

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  22. Love these suggestions! I was looking for places to visit now that lockdown is easing. Love the lamppost fact. I cant wait to see it!

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  23. I've been wanting to go to Stratford upon Avon for ages now so I'm hoping to get there soon! Thanks for all these suggestions of what to do when I do make it! :)

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    1. No problem - I hope you manage to visit soon!

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  24. I absolutely loved this post and these are such cute and vintage hidden gems ! Shakespeare’s birthplace really stood out to me, that must be so cool to get to see !

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    1. Thank you - it's so interesting to walk around!

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  25. Awesome content 😇
    Continue your great work

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  26. This sounds like an amazing place! I haven't actually been here before, so thank you for opening my eyes to new places! I cant wait to go out again and explore!

    Em | www.loveemblog.com

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  27. Wow this looks like such a quaint little place! Lovely pics too x

    🌿 Marissa Belle × marsybun.com 🌿

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  28. Actually never been to Statford upon Avon, but you make it sound so appealing!

    Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

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  29. I absolutely love Stratford Upon Avon, it is gorgeous!

    Love, Amie ❤️

    The Curvaceous Vegan

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  30. This seems so fancy! I'd love to go here some day!! <3

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  31. Thank you - I hope you get to go!

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  32. It really is! Thanks for reading!

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  33. Haha, thank you! I hope you get to go!

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  34. No problem - hope you like if you manage to visit!

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  35. I hope you manage to visit soon!

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  36. Thanks - I thought it was such an interesting fact!

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  37. It really is! Thanks for commenting!

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  38. Haha, thank you! It is a very interesting place!

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  39. Thank you - hope you get to go one day!

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  40. Thank you - I hope you manage to go one day!

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  41. I hope you get to visit again!

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  42. No problem - hope you like visiting!

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  43. No problem - thank you for reading!

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  44. It's such a fun fact! Hope you manage to visit one day!

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  45. That sounds like fun! Hope you manage to visit soon and explore again! x

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