England's greatest dramatist and poet William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, which has become one of Britain's biggest tourist centres after London. Stratford is a small and delightful old market community, in the rural heart of England. With its many memorable buildings, broad streets, meadow-flanked river and canal filled with bright narrow boats, it would be a rewarding place to visit even without its links with Shakespeare.

Birthplace of William Shakespeare

Birthplace of William Shakespeare © TAB

Any tour of the town would not be complete without a visit to one of the most famous timber framed houses in Britain - the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Britain's most famous Bard was born in Henley Street, on or near April 23, 1564. His father, John Shakespeare (recorded as Shakspere in the parish records) was a glover and wool dealer who later became the town's bailiff. His mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a yeoman farmer from the nearby village of Wilmcote.

The house, complete with cider-mill, dovecot and other outbuildings, dates from the early 16th-c and has been owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust since 1930. It is open to the public and more than 500,000 people visit every year. The rooms are furnished with items typical of middle-class homes of the time. Access to the house is via the Shakespeare Centre, located next door. Despite its modern appearance, the interior is furnished in a style in keeping with the era.

Tourist Information Centre:

62 Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6PT - Tel: 01789 264293

Content by Steve B

Places of Interest to Visit in Stratford-upon-Avon

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Anne Hathaway, a local farmer's daughter, married Shakespeare in 1582. The thatched cottage that was her home is located in Shottery, 2 miles from the centre of Stratford.
Read more about Anne Hathaway's Cottage

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, built on the riverside in 1932, stages many consistently outstanding productions of Shakespeare's plays, which draw audiences from all over the world.

Other Historic Places to Visit in the Town Centre

  • Hall's Croft: another of Shakespeare's family homes.
  • Judith Quiney's House: home of the youngest daughter of William Shakespeare.
  • Harvard House: a late 16th century timber frame house, the stained glass windows are 14th century.
  • Theatre Picture Gallery and Museum.
  • Guildhall: a Tudor half-timbered building, used for centuries a grammar school.
  • New Place and Nash's House: another of Shakespeare's family homes.
  • Holy Trinity Church: church where Shakespeare was baptised and buried.

Map of Stratford-upon-Avon

The Midlands

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Towns and Villages in Warwickshire

Coventry, Birmingham, Nuneaton, Rugby, Stratford-upon-Avon, Solihull, Warwick

Attractions in Warwickshire

Anne Hathaway's Cottage | Arbury Hall | Baddesley Clinton | Charlecote Park | Coventry Cathedral | Edgehill | Kenilworth Castle | Mary Arden's House | Packwood House | Ragley Hall | Royal Shakespeare Theatre | Rugby School | Stoneleigh Abbey | Warwick Castle


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