A little over five minutes away from our closest Stratford-upon-Avon Waterways hotel, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens is one of the most visited attractions in Stratford-upon-Avon, giving Shakespeare’s Birthplace a good run for its money in the popularity stakes. The beautifully restored thatched Tudor cottage was bestowed with the title of the most romantic home in England. It’s so famous that full-size replicas have been made around the world, including Australia, Canada, and three in the United States.
Anne Hathaway was the wife of William Shakespeare, but despite her famous husband relatively little is known about her except that she grew up in this beautiful 600-year-old cottage in the village of Shottery. Pay a visit and you can find out about the building, which was originally a farmhouse, alongside the thirteen generations of her family that lived there right up until 1911.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a fascinating place to explore, particularly to get an idea of what life would have been like during the 15th century and to see where Shakespeare would have courted his wife to be. However, the real highlight of any visit there is the gardens. In total, you can explore nine acres of gardens, woodlands and orchards, as well as the fascinating sculpture trail that links them together.
The sculptures themselves are largely inspired by the plays of Anne’s husband, namely Hamlet, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar and everyone’s favourite comedy character, Falstaff, who appeared in three of Shakespeare’s plays and was mentioned in a further two.
While Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Gardens are a little way out of town, if the weather’s nice, we recommend making your way there by foot. The ‘Anne Hatha-way’ is a walking trail that begins at Shakespeare’s Birthplace and makes its way through town, past Harvard House and Hall’s Croft out towards Shottery. In total, it should take you around 35 minutes to walk from town, through the beautiful Shottery fields to the cottage. It’s quite an experience when you think that this is close to the route that William would have walked to see his future wife.
And don’t forget, if you’re also planning on seeing the other buildings owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust – Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Shakespeare’s New Place, Hall’s Croft and Mary Arden’s Farm – if you purchase a Full Story ticket, you save up to 60% compared with buying individual tickets for each of the attractions.
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.