Stratford upon Avon

Stratford upon Avon is a small market town in South Warwickshire known for its photogenic (although not always authentic) black and white architecture, a busy racecourse, some traditional English boating opportunities and a thriving motorcycle club. The River Avon has also long been celebrated for its swans. Now, have I forgotten anything? Oh yes, a certain Mr Shakespeare was born here in 1564 and had the good manners to return here to die fifty two years later, after having achieved some modest success in the Great Metropolis.

This hallowed ground: “the birthplace”, has gained such an international reputation as a “must see” tourist destination visited each year by millions of people, many of whom would be hard pressed to name more than a few of his works and have never read through any of them in their entirety, who are nevertheless intent in ticking it off of the list. It must be pretty obvious by now that I am hardly brimming with enthusiasm for the town of Stratford or for Warwickshire in general (its probably best not to mention Warwick Castle or Medieval World Inc. as it is sometimes better known) and I find that I have remarkably few photographs considering how many times I’ve visited over the years.

I was fortunate enough to be raised to enjoy the plays of William Shakespeare performed upon the London stage and nothing that my schoolteachers were able to do could dampen that enthusiasm, however, before I come down with an attack of literature, I should remember that this is a travel website. And my travel advice would be:

If you want to feel in touch with Shakespeare’s world, hang around in Southwark for a while and then take in a performance at the Globe, the National or the Barbican (whichever is showing something that you actually want to see). Otherwise, hang onto your money.

Here is a gallery of pictures from last week’s delightful little visit to Stratford when I happened to be in the neighbourhood.

Categories: Britain, West of England

1 Comment

  • Chris says:

    I don’t think anyone from the tourist office chancing upon your post would be very impressed. Great pictures though

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