Photos and words by: Isabelle Cameron
Being a journalism and literature student, lover of books and speaker of the English language it is a slight given that I consider Shakespeare to be a complete and total rock star. I mean, who is cooler than Shakespeare? No one.
So a day trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon was a must for my stint in the UK and the day was filled with as much Shakespeare covered paraphernalia as anyone could hope for!
There are five historic houses linked to Shakespeare and they are run by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. This includes:
– Shakespeare’s Birthplace
– Mary Arden’s Farm
– Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
– Hall’s Croft
– Nash’s House and New Place
I only did two out of the five and opted to spend the remaining part of the day exploring the town!
We started off at Anne Hathaway’s cottage. For those of you who are not huge Shakespeare fanatics (or those who haven’t seen Shakespeare in Love – you really should it’s a good watch!) Hathaway was Shakespeare’s wife. Possibly the Juliet to his Romeo… possibly but probably not (once again, Shakespeare in Love reference. Gwyneth you fox).
After admiring the gardens and humble home of Hathaway the next stop was Shakespeare’s Birthplace, which was located in the centre of town. The cottage was a nice start to the day but I would only recommend it for true fanatics. For those of you who are less crazed, heading straight into town and ticking just his birthplace off the list would do for your daily dose of history.
Shakespeare’s Birthplace was just cool (nerdy-cool that is). The gardens were beautiful and included mobile actors who would recite and act out any play or sonnet you wanted. Hours could be spent watching them alone! The house was a realistic view into what life would have been like growing up as Shakespeare himself, and the tour guides were dressed to impress and up for putting on a Shakespearian show. It really was an overall great experience and I would recommend it to anyone. If trying on Shakespeare’s shoes isn’t cool enough there have been a number of other greats who have paid homage to the master including: John Keats, Charles Dickens and Mark Twain (frothing at the mouth from all this nerdy coolness).
Shakespeare history aside, the actual town of Stratford-Upon-Avon was something out of a postcard. I mean, already with that name it had a lot to live up to (I swear Shakespeare could have named the town himself – it has such a magical ring to it). The town was covered in Shakespeare themed graphics and art (even the McDonalds logo had a Shakespearian make-over), quaint shops (including a homemade candy shop that I pretty much emptied), a canal running through it with the option to explore the town on boat, and is also the home to the biggest and most decadent scone I have ever eaten.
If the candy and scone part didn’t convince you, on top of all the Shakespeare tinsels, then I don’t know what will! Stratford-Upon-Avon – parting is such sweet sorrow!
Stratford-Upon-Avon flighteth of fancieths:
– GO TO HOBSONS PATISSERIE AND HAVE A SCONE. DO IT AND THANK ME LATER. Also, get a cold pie because you are in England and so forth. YOU ARE WELCOME.
– There are vintage markets on the weekend and I got to meet an owl. Yes, a real life owl and I touched it. Needless to say I recommend the weekend to make the trip and pass my love on to said owl who probably misses me on account of our bonding.
– Speak only in Shakespearian – be that person, you know you want to 😉