Stratford - upon - Avon

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Photo of Stratford - upon - Avon by Nirali Shah

Stratford is a market town on the River Avon and hence, the name. The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as the birthplace and gravesite of playwright and poet William Shakespeare, and receives approximately 2.5 million visitors a year.

Photo of Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

Shakespeare's Birthplace is a restored 16th-century half-timbered house where William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and spent his childhood years. Shakespeare grew up here with his parents and siblings and spent the first five years of his marriage living here with wife Anne Hathaway.

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

John and Mary Shakespeare were wealthy enough to own the largest house on Henley Street. John Shakespeare lived and worked in this house for fifty years. When he married Mary Arden she came to live with him and they had a total of eight children, William was the third to be born.

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

The original house in the picture

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

The recreated dining area

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

John Shakespeare died in 1601 and as the eldest surviving child, William inherited the house. When Shakespeare died he left the house to his eldest daughter Susanna, and when she died she left it to her only child, Elizabeth.

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah
Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

John Shakespeare John Shakespeare moved to Stratford in 1551, where he became a successful businessman involved in several related occupations. But records identify him a glover and whittawer (leather worker) by trade mainly.

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

Shakespeare's room (which he shared with his brothers) and their clothes.

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

The birthroom - this is the room where supposedly all the children of John and Mary were born.

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah
Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

The Birthroom Window: This window became traditional for visitors to etch their names into the glass as a symbol of their visit. The earliest record date on the glass is 1806 with famous names written on the glass like those of Scottish writer Walter Scott.

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

Elizabeth had no children, so when she died the house fell to a descendant of Joan Hart, one of Shakespeare’s sisters. The house was owned by the Hart family until the late 18th century, until it went up for sale and was purchased by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1847.

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

The Shakespeare funerary monument is a memorial to William Shakespeare located inside Holy Trinity Church at Stratford, the church in which Shakespeare was baptised and where he was buried. You can take a 1 hour cruise to see the town from Avon river. There isn't much else to do in Stratford.

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

However, you can choose to visit Shakespeare's New Place which was his family home from 1597 until he died in the house in 1616. When Shakespeare bought New Place he was an established playwright and it is believed that he wrote his later plays there, including The Tempest.

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

You can also chose to visit Anne Hathaway's Cottage, the beautiful 500 year old cottage where Shakespeare courted his bride-to-be. See original furniture including the Hathaway bed and uncover five centuries of stories in this picturesque cottage.

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah

A single ticket to Shakespeare's Houses and Gardens covers entrance to all these attractions. Signing off with a picture of these beautiful swans (feed them on the banks of river Avon).

Photo of Shakespeare's Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK by Nirali Shah
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