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Day Trip from London to Stratford-upon-Avon

  • Published: 2009-01-06 (Revised/Updated 2016-03-20) : Author: Mairead Foley
  • Synopsis: Directions and things to see on a scenic day trip from London to Stratford-upon-Avon located just 35km south of Birmingham.

Main Document

"If you've a few hours to spare then you should make time to visit the Royal Shakespeare Theater and catch one of the shows, perhaps something Shakespearean!"

Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, is only about 170km north west of Central London beside the River Avon. So if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of London for a day, you can't go wrong here.

What's to see in Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town located just 35km south of Birmingham, almost in the Center of England.

The town is is probably most famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, considered by many to be one of, if not the greatest writer in the English language ever. You can visit the site thought to be Shakespeare's Birthplace on Henley Street which has been restored to its 16th-century decor and has many authentic items from the period.

You can also visit Anne Hathaway's Cottage, who would later become Shakespeare's wife. Anne Hathaway was 8 years his senior and was pregnant before they married. The cottage is located in the hamlet of Shottery a short distance from Stratford.

Shakespeare is buried in Holy Trinity Church, and his tomb is a place of pilgrimage for many fans of his works. The church isn't very remarkable and is still functional. So if you're planning a visit be sure to do so outside of service times.

If you've a few hours to spare then you should make time to visit the Royal Shakespeare Theater and catch one of the shows, perhaps something Shakespearean! The main theater is undergoing renovations until 2010 but the smaller stages are still in use. Tickets can be in demand during the tourist season so it's best to book in advance.

Located on Henley Street is the Creaky Cauldron - Wyrd Museum and Henley Street Theater. This is home to the creepiest family in Britain, the Bombay family who can scare the living day lights out of you. This animatronics' exhibit is one of the best haunted house experiences anywhere in the world.

There's also the Falstaff's Experience on Sheep Street, an award-winning 500 year-old half-timbered Shrieve's House. It's the largest museum in Stratford and is home to an impressive collection of waxwork figures relating to the story of Stratford. The TV show Most Haunted was filmed here in 2004 and there have been hundreds of paranormal investigations of the property!

Continuing with the ghostly theme of some of the attractions of Stratford, you can go on a Stratford Ghost Cruise along the River Avon while listening to all the ghost stories from the local area.

How to get to Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon is located about 170km north west of Central London.

If you're driving out from the city Center then you will want to head west along the A4. This becomes the M4 and it intersects the M25.

If you're driving out from Heathrow Airport, just head north out of the airport and turn left as you meet up with the M4. Then turn north when you hit the M25.

Head north along the M25 for about 7km until you come to the M40 turn off (Junction 16). Take this exit towards Birmingham and follow it for about 120km. At Junction 15 you'll want to exit left onto the A46/Stratford Road and then left again on the next roundabout for Stratford-upon-Avon.

We hope this will give you a few ideas of what to see and do in Stratford-upon-Avon. All you need is a car!

Reference: Mairead Foley writes for where you can book car hire at airports, ferry ports, rail stations, cities and towns all over the world.

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