The ancient town of Stratford-Upon-Avon is graced with beauty, culture, and history—perhaps that’s why I love it so. Home to William Shakespeare and still a center of theatrical excellence, it’s also an ideal place for a long weekend thanks to its abundance of walks, restaurants, bars, shops, and historical curiosities.
Whether you’re interested in the arts or you’re looking for a relaxing break in the English countryside, Stratford-upon-Avon has enough charm to win you over. And if the quaint Tudor buildings don’t float your boat, how about dining on contemporary classic British cuisine in one of the town’s many high-class restaurants? Here’s how to spend three days here.
It’s in the rain shadow of the Malvern, Chiltern and Cotswold Hills—still, bring a jacket.
If you only have time for one thing, make it Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall.
On your first day, experience its Shakespearian connections. The Bard was born and raised here, and his influences are everywhere, from his well-preserved Elizabethan garden at Shakespeare’s New Place to Shakespeare's Schoolroom and Guildhall and the red-brick Royal Shakespeare Theater by the river. Pop in for fish and chips and a drink at the Dirty Duck afterwards.
Take an open-top bus tour around the historic market town and the surrounding countryside to see even more. Tour the historic churches and pubs that Shakespeare would have visited, and drink where he would have enjoyed a nightcap.
Take some time today to enjoy the finer things in life—food, drink, and peace and quiet. Experience the world of gin at the Shakespeare Distillery on a unique tour. Then enjoy a Shakespearian cookery class, with all dishes inspired by his plays and Elizabethan cooking.
For dinner, Stratford-upon-Avon boasts a wide selection of fine restaurants, including highly regarded The Woodsman Restaurant and the Michelin-starred Salt, both within easy reach of the center of town—no taxi required. Or, get a taste of traditional English fayre at the 550-year-old the Old Thatch Tavern, the town’s last remaining thatched-roof building.
On your last day in Stratford-upon-Avon, see things you might have missed on a flat-bottomed river boat tour. Or, if the weather’s good, set off on an adventure in the nearby Cotswolds and get close to the honey-colored houses and rolling green hills.
On your return, refresh yourself with a cream tea at Huffkins or Hathaway Tea Rooms for a taste of the traditional British pastime. Once the sun sets, head out—if you dare—on a horror-themed ghost walk. Hear about Stratford-upon-Avon’s sordid history, learn where notorious crimes took place, and find out where the most haunted places in town are.