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About Stratford-upon-Avon

Find your bed by the bard with the help of a Best Western Hotel. Our hotels in Stratford-Upon-Avon can be found a stone’s throw away from Shakespeare County’s most loved attractions.

Visiting Stratford-upon-Avon is like taking a step back in time. A market town filled with Elizabethan and Tudor architecture and nestled on the banks of the tranquil River Avon. If excitement is what you’re after, the greatest thespians in the world are on hand to inject some drama into your mini escape and there’s a chance to visit the playwright’s birthplace too.

Our unique hotels across Warwickshire are filled with character including The Welcombe Hotel, a grade II-listed country mansion with a golf course and spa. Away from the Jacobean building, you’re spoilt for choice for restaurants, museums and even opportunities for ghost hunting. There’s more to this corner of the West Midlands than you might think.

Culture and history in Stratford-upon-Avon

Culture and history in Stratford-upon-Avon

Ghosts, playwrights and centuries-old castles, Stratford is a must for history fans.

  • Warwick Castle - Just a 15-minute-drive away, Warwick Castle is a medieval fort built on foundations laid by William the Conqueror. Expect battle re-enactments, falconry shows and even a Horrible Histories Maze for the kids. The spectacular building sits on 64 acres of beautiful grounds.
  • Join a ghost tour - The 800-year-old market town is steeped with tales of spirits that wander the tourist trail. One of the most disturbing finds is the shallow grave of a teenage boy at the Tudor World Museum. Visitors are said to experience a sinking sensation when stood near the boy’s final resting place but we’ll let you be the judge of that…
  • Visit Shakespeare’s birthplace - To visit or not to visit, that is never a question! Over 25 million tourists have stepped through the door at the bard’s birthplace for a slice of life in Elizabethan England. Costumed guides talk you through the first 23 years of William’s life in his family home and the perils of the bubonic plague that killed a quarter of the town’s population.

Shopping in Stratford-upon-Avon

Shopping in Stratford-upon-Avon

Looking for some retail therapy? Stratford’s picture-perfect streets are filled with unique shops where you can pick up gifts for the whole family.

  • Magic Alley & The Creaky Cauldron - Budding witches, wizards and magicians step right up. The self-proclaimed oldest makers and purveyors of magical wares in the world can be found in Magic Alley’s emporium. Selling everything from crystal balls, broomsticks and spell books, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in Diagon Alley rather than Shakespeare County.
  • Antique shopping - Stratford-upon-Avon lets tourists take a piece of history home with them thanks to a vast array of antique shops. As You Like It Antiques is situated less than 100 metres from Shakespeare’s birthplace in The Minories, while Lovejoy Antiques serves up one of a kind pieces from a shop on Ely Street.
  • Shakespeare gift shopping - If your bookshelves are missing some timeless tragedies, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to pick up some of Shakespeare’s work across town.  But it’s not all plays written in Elizabethan English, there are Shakespeare socks, biographies and even rubber ducks sold in the likeness of the bard.

Eating and drinking in Stratford-upon-Avon

Eating and drinking in Stratford-upon-Avon

Sit back, relax and feast in some of the best restaurants the Midlands has to offer.

  • No. 44 Brasserie - Stood opposite The Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre, the No. 44 Brasserie prides itself on serving high quality local ingredients in a seasonal menu. The holder of two AA rosettes, the restaurant is part of the Arden Hotel and diners can enjoy their meals on the terrace with a view of the River Avon for company.
  • The Garrick Inn - Soak up the history while you sip on a refreshing drink in Stratford-upon-Avon’s oldest pub. The Garrick has been an inn since 1718 and the building dates back to the 14th century and hasn’t lost any of its period charm. Rumour has it that a weaver’s apprentice haunts the hallways after falling ill to the bubonic plague.
  • Countess of Evesham - Head to Bancroft Gardens for your chance to board a boat for dinner. The floating 70-foot-long restaurant takes you gently through the centre of town and into the village of Luddington, for an ever-changing view that’s sure to please. There’s even the option for daytime dining thanks to the cream tea cruises.

Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon

Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon

Get your Stratford itinerary sorted with a little help from the local wildlife, theatre and water.

Catch a show at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre - We wouldn’t normally advise adding some drama to your staycation but when it’s provided by the Royal Shakespeare Company, we’d strongly suggest you do. Book tickets for Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Midsummer Night’s Dream and more with evening and afternoon performances.

Take a punt on the River Avon - Time your trip between March and October for the chance to explore the town on the water. Punters can take a short stroll from the farmer’s market to hire pedal boats, canoes, gondolas and motorboats. Think weeping willows, perfect lawns and swans floating by as you take it all in.

Visit Butterfly Farm - Get closer to the rainforest in the heart of the West Midlands. Butterfly Farm is one of the market town’s most popular family attractions, and recreates conditions in Belize to host some of the most unique butterfly species in the world. For wildlife closer to home, there’s always the option to cool off in the wildflower garden between June and September.

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