I fell in love with Stratford-upon-Avon the moment I stepped into one of its streets. That weekend the weather was horrible, lots of rain and wind. We arrived in the late afternoon, early evening and we only had time to check in the hotel, get changed and head for dinner before going to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre see Hamlet.
The next day we decided to start the tourist trail, visiting the most important places in Stratford-upon-Avon and enjoying the warm atmosphere the place offers. We had bought in advance the card to access all the houses related to Shakespeare.
The first house we visited was Shakespeare’s Birthday Place. This is the house where William Shakespeare spent his youth and where his father had a glove leather business. The house is well kept and the volunteers explain the story and answer all the questions visitors have. One of my favourite things in the house were the signed windows, where people used to sign their names when visiting the house (now there’s a visitor’s book).
The gardens are also very well kept and there are benches around, probably to enjoy the views on the days when the sun comes out. There is, of course, the souvenir shop. I couldn’t help myself and ended up buying lots of stuff I don’t need, but my skull mug and the Shakespearean insults were irresistible (also a feather and ink to write with).
Next stop was Harvard House, not related to Shakespeare, built by a wealthy merchant and a great example of Elizabethan architecture. The merchant’s grandson became one of the founding benefactors of Harvard University.
After Harvard House we went to visit Hall’s Croft, which is the house where Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna lived with her husband, Dr John Hall. The house is another example of how life was back then, although only for families with money as not everybody could afford that type of house. A curiosity in the house is that you can read some notes that patients sent to Dr Hall, some praising him, some complaining about his services.
As you can see I really fell in love with this place and I can’t wait to be back. I must mentioned also how lovely everybody we encountered were!
I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Thank you for reading and see you next time.