March 1, 2016

Visiting Stratford: Everything Else

A long but wonderful September day in Stratford-upon-Avon had been spent going to Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Shakespeare's Birthplace, and Shakespeare's Grave. What a day! But there was still so much more that Stratford had to offer. From fantastic architecture to tasty eats in historic pubs, this place is quaint and English and just the way I thought it would be. It was and continues to be a wonderful day trip from Birmingham.




If you enjoy shopping, eating, history, or exploring, Stratford is for you. There's a reason why it's always buzzing with people - locals and tourists alike.

During the rest of our first trip there, we visited a few other little places, only some of them having to do with William Shakespeare. Hall's Croft, a historic half-timbered Tudor home belonging to the Shakespeare's daughter Susanna and her husband John Hall, was one of those stops. We got there just in time as they were closing it for the winter in just a few weeks.








The rest of the town is filled with wonderful half-timbered buildings and other wonderful architecture. I couldn't get enough of it, especially juxtaposed to that beautiful blue sky!










We stopped for lunch at The Garrick Inn - the oldest continuous pub in Stratford. This building dates back to the 14th century, and it has loads of charm to prove it! It's filled with original wooden beams and nods to historical figures (including the big man around town). 

The service was great; we were able to sit, eat, chat, and just relax without feeling as though we were being pushed out despite the crowd. If I remember correctly, my mom and Patrick split a traditional meat pie and I had broccoli cheddar soup, both of which were completely devoured. They're also a bit famous for their "Shakesbeer" - I didn't have one, but I hear that it is delicious and a must if you're a fan of local English brews.






We had to get a photo with the big man around town in The Garrick Inn.



The town of Stratford-upon-Avon is situated right along the River Avon (It seems silly to say that, but if you're from America, it might not be obvious unless you see both names side by side... trust me).

These pictures are from the trip Patrick and I took to Stratford later, but the river and the details around town are just as beautiful every time we go. (I also have a theory that a place is magical if it is where swans reside. I haven't been proven wrong yet.)




Come on. Little boats named after characters in Shakespeare's play sitting along the River Avon, mere feet from the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre. Plus swans and willow trees and blue skies. Good grief.






There happens to be a local market that happens every Saturday in the town market square. Patrick and I decided to get some fudge and the best strawberries I have tasted in my entire life.



They weren't kidding. These guys were ridiculously delicious!








We made a friend along the river.

Four posts to sum up our first few trips to Stratford-upon-Avon and I feel like I've left out so much detail, but there's no easy way to sum it all up. Basically, it's one of our favorite places to visit and escape city life. If you're ever in England and want to visit Shakespeare's hometown, I would tell you to definitely put it on your list. Until then, you're missing out! We absolutely love it.

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