The whole time I was in Stratford Upon Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace (among other things), it rained. The weather added to the quaint charm of this beautiful little city. Everywhere you go there are flowers – boxed in windows, in mini-gardens, on the tables of the pubs (check out some of the pubs near the Stratford-Upon-Avon clock tower and seek the “original Crapper,” aka one of the first pull-chain toilets, which are still in use in some of the older pubs) – and the thatched, gentrified buildings make even the Boot’s chemist chain look positively fairy-tale-esque. Besides ambling through the town (Sheep Street is particularly enjoyable) and checking out the riverside area (the town is situated “upon” the River Avon), you can get your British Lit fix easily; there are five different homes/tourist spots dedicated to Shakespeare. I went to all of them, but I have to vote in Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (Shakespeare’s wife’s home) as the best; the home is kept hidden amid beautiful wildflower gardens, and the gardens themselves allow for a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of travel. Stratford-Upon-Avon is also near Warwick Castle, which is SO worth a visit (you’re also near the industrial city of Birmingham). There are tons of theaters in Stratford-Upon-Avon, as the town is proud of it’s Shakespearean landmarks and influence, but don’t let that be the only reason you go – make sure to soak up the vibes of this happy city, lapping up your hot toddy while daydreaming in the rain.
Filed under: Europe | Tagged: Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Boot's the chemist, British Literature, crapper, England, fresh flowers, friendly folk, history, lit, market, pubs, pull chain toilet, River Avon, riverside, Shakespeare, Sheep Street, shops, Stratford-Upon-Avon, theater, UK, United Kingdom, walking, Warwick Castle | Leave a Comment »