UK Student Life homepage
Study, work or travel in the UK. British culture and life.
A-Z index
Message Board
Contact us
cheap coach tickets and timetable for coaches to stratford-upon-avon
Trips to Stratford-upon-Avon from London
Book tickets for RSC productions at the Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
The English Bus day tour to Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds
< Up
Travel / Tours / England / Stratford
Visit Stratford-upon-Avon
  William Shakespeare
  Anne Hathaway's Cottage
  Henley Street
  High Street
  Chapel Street / Chapel Lane
  Church Street / Old Town
  Southern Lane / Waterside / Shrieve's Walk
  Bancroft Gardens
  Along the Stratford to Birmingham canal
  Further information


A visit to Stratford-upon-Avon

(guide book for tourists)
Publisher: Live the City Publishing
Date: March 2010
Stratford-upon-Avon: More Than a Guide
(guide book for tourists)
Publisher: Jarrold Publishing
Date: January 2004

Back to top


Stratford-upon-Avon is the town where the famous writer/poet William Shakespeare was born in 1564. He married a lady called Ann Hathaway, and had three children. Soon afterwards he left the town to work for a successful theatre company in London, sending money back to support his wife and children. He wrote 37 plays - these were usually performed first in the Globe Theatre.

His plays were as follows:
All's Well That Ends Well, Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Coriolanus, Hamlet, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Love's Labour's Lost, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard II, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Winter's Tale

When Shakespeare retired he moved back to Stratford, and died there in 1616.

William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's crest

In Search of Shakespeare (DVD)
(BBC documentary about Shakespeare's life)
Studio: BBC Worldwide Publishing
Date: August 2003
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Author: William Shakespeare
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
Date: August 1996

Back to top


Before Anne Hathaway married Shakespeare, she lived in a pretty farmhouse in the village of Shottery (about 1 mile - 1.6 kilometers - west of Stratford-upon-Avon). There is an entry charge to see the gardens and inside the cottage, where some of the family's furniture is displayed.

If you travel to Stratford-upon-Avon independently and have plenty of time, you can walk here from the town centre. Alternatively, sightseeing buses from the town centre travel here regularly.

Cottage garden

View of the front of the cottage

Back to top


The sections below show images from a walk starting and ending at the coach terminal.
At the northern end of Henley Street you can see a statue of a fool.
Further down on the left is a museum called the Shakespeare Centre, and Shakespeare's Birthplace (where Shakespeare was born in 1564).

A fool

Shakespeare's Birthplace

Back to top


Turn right into High Street. There is a clock tower on the corner. Harvard House was built in 1595 by Thomas Rogers - his daughter's son founded Harvard University in America. The building which you can see on the left in the picture below is the Garrick Inn.

Clock tower

Garrick Inn (left); Harvard House (right)

Back to top


Continue straight and High Street becomes Chapel Street. On the left is Nash's House. Shakespeare lived in a house next door from 1610 until he died in 1616. There is no longer a house there (New Place), but there is a garden called Great Garden which you can enter from Chapel Lane.

Nash's House

Great Garden at New Place

Back to top


On the left at the start of Church Street is the Guild Chapel and then King Edward the Sixth School, where Shakespeare went to school. Turn left at the end of the street into the road called Old Town. On the left is Hall's Croft, the home of the man who married Shakespeare's daughter.

The Guild Chapel, and King Edward the Sixth School

Hall's Croft

Back to top


Walk straight ahead into Mill Lane, where you can visit Holy Trinity Church

Shakespeare's grave is inside the church, and there is a memorial on the left.

Back to top


There is a ferry (for foot passengers only) which runs frequently between the north side of the River Avon to the recreation ground on the south side. This works using a chain under the river.

A chain ferry travels to the south side of the river ...

... and back

As you walk along Southern Lane you can see a sign for the pub "The Black Swan". If you look back after you have passed the sign you can see that the name has changed to a less elegant one: "The Dirty Duck"!

The centre for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on Waterside. Shakesperean plays are often performed here or in two other nearby theatres called the Swan Theatre (next to the river) and The Other Place Theatre (on Southern Lane).

"The Black Swan" ...

... or "The Dirty Duck"?

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Back to top


The Gower Memorial is situated in Bancroft Gardens. In the centre is a statue of Shakespeare sitting down, surrounded by statues of Lady Macbeth, Prince Hal, Hamlet and Falstaff, representing Philosophy, Tragedy, History, & Comedy. The memorial was completed in 1888, and moved to its current location in 1933.

The Tourist Information Centre is nearby.

Shakespeare: at the centre of the Gower Memorial ...

... surrounded by Prince Hal ...

... Lady Macbeth ...

... Falstaff ...

... and Hamlet

Back to top


To return to Shakespeare's Birthplace you can either walk along Bridge Street and Henley Street, where many of the main shops are located, or you can follow the canal and return using Great William Street. There are a series of locks along this part of the Stratford-to-Birmingham canal. Each boat must enter the lock, close the gate behind them, and wait for the water level to change so that the boat can continue on its journey.


Canal boat

Back to top


* Booking a tour
- Coach tours from London by Anderson Tours : click here
- Minibus tour from London by International Friends: click here
- Local walking tours in Stratford:

* Visitor information
- Stratford-upon-Avon tourist information:
- Tourism in the surrounding area:
- Note that there is a celebration in Stratford each year on the Saturday nearest to 23 April, to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday.
- Information about Shakespeare and the houses connected with him (from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust):
- If you prefer not to walk, two options are to take the sightseeing bus (click here to book a ticket) or to ride in a horse-drawn carriage.

* Transportation
- For train timetables and to buy a ticket online, see: Shop/Company/TheTrainline.
(from London, there are trains to Stratford-upon-Avon from London Marylebone - the journey takes about 2 hours)
- For coach timetables and to buy a ticket online, see: Shop/Company/NationalExpress.

* Weather forecast for Stratford-upon-Avon
- See:

* More photos
- 360 degree panoramic pictures of Shakespeare-related properties:

Lonely Planet verdict: Stratford-upon-Avon
"Simply as a town boasting numerous historic buildings, including some attractive timber-framed houses, Stratford would be worth a visit. But it's the fortunate circumstance of being the birthplace of the world-famous Elizabethan playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616) that has brought Stratford-upon-Avon international fame and fortune plus tourists in ever-growing numbers"
(extracts from "Lonely Planet Great Britain - 2003 edition", used with permission)
Lonely Planet Great Britain
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Date: May 2009
Lonely Planet England
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Date: March 2009
Other Lonely Planet publications

Back to top


Anderson Tours: Travel/Tours/Company/AndersonTours
Oxford: Travel/Tours/England/Oxford
Warwick: Travel/Tours/England/Warwick
Coventry: Travel/Tours/England/Coventry
English literature: English/Reading/Literature

Home page: Home

Back to top

© UK Student Life 2002-2009

* Search this website ( or the web: