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Bucket list destination:

Last updated: 19 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Annabelle Thorpe

Ardent fans of the world’s most famous playwright – or anyone even mildly interested in history – should head to picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon to explore the life and works of the great William Shakespeare.

The town is dotted with historic houses linked to the Shakespeare family, from his mother’s farm, to the homes where he lived and died. All are now cared for by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

There are five Shakespeare-related ‘houses’ to visit: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens, Hall’s Croft, Mary Arden’s Farm, Nash’s House & New Place, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, and also Shakespeare’s grave. Together, the properties give a unique insight into Shakespeare’s life, and the times he lived in.

To complete the Shakespeare experience, book in to see a play at the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

If you’ve peaked on the Bard, Stratford does have non-Shakespearian attractions; the Butterfly Farm is the largest in the UK, with hundreds of free-flying butterflies, while the MAD (mechanical art and design) museum is the only permanent collection of kinetic art – from marble runs to 3D faces and mechanical birds – in the country.

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this destination, plus helpful tickets and transfers

City Sightseeing Stratford-upon-Avon Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Stratford-upon-Avon

City Sightseeing Stratford-upon-Avon Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Explore Stratford-Upon-Avon with a 24-hour or 48-hour bus ticket aboard an open-top double-decker City Sightseeing bus! See Stratford’s most exciting landmarks and attractions with ease with our flexible hop-on hop-off feature – passengers can hop on and hop off at any of the 10 tour stops along the route! Hop-off and discover key points of interest including Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Hall’s Croft and the River Avon!

Price: £15

Min age: 0

Rating 4.09 / 5 [176 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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When to go

In the summer months, the town can get over-run with visitors and tour groups – if you want to visit then, try and come first thing in the morning, or late afternoon. Spring and autumn are more pleasurable time to visit, when the weather is still warm and the streets and historic sites are markedly quieter.

Getting there and away

Stratford is around 2.5 hours’ drive from London. Trains from London Marylebone take about 2 hours, and it’s a short walk from the station into the centre of town.

The nearest airports are Birmingham (18 miles) and Luton (60 miles) while Heathrow is around 60-90 minutes’ drive (72 miles).

Getting around

Stratford is small enough to be easily walkable, and with the train station a short stroll from the centre and plenty of taxis available, it’s an ideal car-free break. If driving, and just coming for the day, there’s an efficient Park & Ride service.

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