Stratford-upon-Avon: a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace

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While the literary genius of William Shakespeare (April 1564 - April 23, 1616) may have left the world 400 years ago, his legacy lives on even today. His timeless comedies, tragedies, sonnets and verses have contributed to English drama, theatre and literature in a manner that is incalculable and remains unparalleled.

As the world celebrates his 400th death anniversary today and I read about all the celebrations in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, I am reminded about my visit to this charming market town.

Photo of Stratford-upon-Avon: a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace 1/9 by Rashmi Gopal Rao

Located on the River Avon, south east of Birmingham, this town is an extremely popular tourist destination as it is the birthplace of England's most famous playwright and poet William Shakespeare. Having grown up reading his immortal creations, I was more than keen to visit the house where the story of the world's greatest story teller began.

Photo of Stratford-upon-Avon: a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace 2/9 by Rashmi Gopal Rao

The house now owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is impeccably maintained and a visit here truly transports you back in time during which Shakespeare was born. The house where he lived with his parents and seven other siblings, followed a traditional plan with a parlor and central hall on the ground floor along with a service/shop area that was separated by a passage. It is likely that there was a separate kitchen at the back of the house.

The decor of the rooms, the traditional fireplaces and articles used during those times have been showcased in a manner that is completely real and authentic.

Photo of Stratford-upon-Avon: a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace 3/9 by Rashmi Gopal Rao
Photo of Stratford-upon-Avon: a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace 4/9 by Rashmi Gopal Rao
Photo of Stratford-upon-Avon: a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace 5/9 by Rashmi Gopal Rao
Photo of Stratford-upon-Avon: a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace 6/9 by Rashmi Gopal Rao

Since Shakespeare's father, John Shakespeare was a glove-maker, the area behind the house was probably used as his workshop. This has been recreated remarkably as well with displays of animal hides, skins and also a live demo of how a glove is made!

Photo of Stratford-upon-Avon: a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace 7/9 by Rashmi Gopal Rao

A visit to the house is truly a fascinating insight into the life and times of the Bard. While we exited, we thoroughly enjoyed the live performance by the members of Shakespeare Aloud! They are a group of of professional actors who bring to life some of Shakespeare's most memorable plays and entertain the visiting tourists.

Photo of Stratford-upon-Avon: a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace 8/9 by Rashmi Gopal Rao

Spending some time by the riverside and visiting the bustling Sunday market was time well spent and memorable before we left this lovely town.

Photo of Stratford-upon-Avon: a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace 9/9 by Rashmi Gopal Rao
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