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Things to Do in Stratford-upon-Avon

A living homage to William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon was the birthplace of the Bard back in 1564. Today, a stroll down its Tudor streets makes it easy to feel like you’re really living in the times of Shakespeare, especially when you catch a play by the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Company along the way.

Many Shakespeare fans that come to Stratford-upon-Avon make a pilgrimage to the historic homes of the Shakespeare family. Today they are open to the public as well-preserved museums: Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace as well as his last home. Discover Nash’s House, where his granddaughter Elizabeth lived, and go inside Mary Arden’s farm—where Shakespeare’s mother grew up. You can also visit the cottage and gardens where his wife, Anne Hathaway, lived before they married. And there is also Hall’s Croft to visit, where his daughter Susannah lived. In Stratford-upon-Avon, it’s also possible to visit Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare now rests in a tomb, which is said to be the most visited parish church in England!

If you’ve had enough Shakespeare while you’re in town, you can always rent a rowing boat and take a trip down the peaceful river Avon.
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Holy Trinity Church
12 Tours and Activities

With a history dating back more than 1,000 years and a serene setting on the banks of the River Avon, the Holy Trinity Church has long been renowned as one of England’s most beautiful and most visited parish churches. An architectural highlight of Stratford-upon-Avon, the Grade I listed church dates in part from the 13th century and is celebrated for its fine Clopton Chapel, Victorian stained glass windows and series of 26 ornately decorated misericords, as well as a first edition 1611 King James Bible on display.

The lavish interiors are impressive enough, but for most visitors the main draw to the Holy Trinity is its connection with William Shakespeare. The iconic playwright was famously born in Stratford-upon-Avon and was both christened and buried at the church. Visitors can view Shakespeare’s Grave for a small fee, as well as the graves of Anne Hathaway, Dr John Hall and his wife Susanna, and Thomas Nash.

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Harvard House
2 Tours and Activities

With its gabled roof, oak beams and elaborately carved façade, the Harvard House is undeniably attractive, and it’s long been touted as one of Stratford-upon-Avon's most beautiful buildings. The Elizabethan-era town house was built in 1596 by local businessman Thomas Rogers and is now a Grade I listed property, remarkably preserved and decorated in period style. The Harvard House takes its name from Rogers’ grandson, John Harvard, who went on to found America’s famous Harvard University. Although he never lived in the property, the house is none-the-less an intriguing link between Harvard’s family and William Shakespeare, who lived just down the street. Today, the house is preserved as a museum and offers a fascinating glimpse into Elizabethan life. Visitors can explore the three floors, where exhibitions chronicle the property’s history and life in Elizabethan and Tudor times, including fun hands-on activities for children.

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