Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon

‘Friends, Romans, countrymen…’, sorry we couldn’t resist. But we thought we’d start as we mean to go on; our local guide to Stratford-upon-Avon is pretty Shakespeare heavy. That’s only because we recognise that a good deal of our guests are here to see a performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays in either The Royal Shakespeare Theatre or The Swan Theatre. We’ll tell you all about the theatres, show you the nearby restaurants and give you a tour of the town’s top Shakespeare sights. When it comes to what to do in Stratford-upon-Avon, the town is no one-trick pony though. As you’ll see from our guide, we’ve also got great cafés, historic pubs, modern shopping centres, exciting entertainment venues, an exquisite gallery, positively weird museums and much, much more for you to get to grips with during your stay in one of our welcoming Stratford-upon-Avon hotels.


Attractions

People have been making the pilgrimage to Shakespeare’s birthplace for centuries. Charles Dickens even engraved his signature on one of the window panes. So, if you want to find out more about the five famous Shakespeare houses in Stratford, as well as his final resting place, our attractions guide should be your first point of call.

Theatre

Seeing one of Shakespeare’s plays in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon is on a lot of bucket lists. If that’s why you’re in town then take a look at our guide for an introduction to Stratford’s theatres. As well as being the home of the world-famous RSC, you may not be aware that Stratford has some top-class fringe theatres too.


Places to eat

If you’re wondering where to go for dinner before or after a trip to the theatre, we’ve gathered some of the best restaurants in town that are handily located a hop, skip and a jump away from The Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Our guide also ticks off some of Stratford’s most popular cafés, as well as the fortnightly farmers’ market.

Nightlife

Less ‘Grey Goose’, more like The Dirty Duck; what Stratford’s nightlife lacks in bars and clubs it more than makes up for in top-notch pubs. Take a look at our guide to read about our favourite micropub, the oldest watering holes in town (along with their ghost stories) and a pub made popular by its famous visitors.


Video guide to Stratford-upon-Avon


Entertainment

Without doubt, the main entertainment hotspots in Stratford-upon-Avon are the theatres, but you can also enjoy some live music and stand-up comedy during your stay. Our guide shows you some of the town’s other entertainment venues, including a 15th century timber yard and a 21st century arts hub.

Culture

For such a small town, Stratford has a weird and wonderful cultural scene. Our guide begins in an award-winning gallery, surrounded by Capability Brown countryside. From there, it delves into marble runs, ghost tours and a museum that’s centred around whether or not Shakespeare was a time-travelling wizard...


Shakespeare's Birthplace

Discover Shakespeare’s humble beginnings at his birthplace. As its name suggests, this house on Henley Street is where the famous playwright was born in 1564 and raised throughout his childhood years.

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

One of the most visited attractions in the town, this beautifully thatched Tudor cottage was the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife. Learn all about the history behind the building that has earned the title of England’s most romantic home.

The MAD Museum

A celebration of Mechanical Art and Design, the MAD Museum showcases weird and wonderful examples of engineering in a fun and interactive way. It’s a brilliant day out for all the family and one of Stratford-upon-Avon’s best-loved attractions.


Shopping

Thanks to the recent arrival of Bell Court – a £30 million retail hub – the shopping in Stratford-upon-Avon has never been better. With a good mix of popular retailers, high street names, stylish boutiques and some of the best markets around, you’re sure to find whatever you’re looking for – maybe even a new magic wand!
 

Activities

If you’re wondering what to do in Stratford during your stay – perhaps you’ve already been to the theatre and seen the five Shakespeare houses – our guide gives you the lowdown on some of the town’s top activities, including the Everyman cinema, the UK’s largest tropical butterfly farm, a surprisingly tricky mini golf course and plenty more.

Getting around

Stratford-upon-Avon is small enough for many of its main attractions to be within walking distance. Getting around by foot is a good option, as it gives you the opportunity to take in the sights of this picturesque and historic town . We’ve put together a guide to travelling into and around town, including the train station and catching a transfer from Birmingham Airport.


Our Stratford-upon-Avon map


Looking for a hotel in Stratford?

Whether you're in Stratford-upon-Avon to soak up the culture and history of the town where William Shakespeare was born, or to enjoy the bucolic Warwickshire countryside, one of our Stratford hotels will suit you down to the ground.