Stratford-upon-Avon, a small but charming town located just two hours from London, is a favorite amongst those looking for a getaway from city life. In addition to its lively yet peaceful surroundings, Stratford is known for its history dating back to the 1100s and its connection to William Shakespeare. The Bard himself was born in this very town, and in his memory, the town has five exhibits that offer the public a glimpse into Shakespeare’s life.
Although all sites are fascinating and well worth a visit, a personal favorite of mine is Shakespeare’s birthplace. This exhibit allows you to go on a self-guided tour of the house William Shakespeare grew up in, which was originally built by his father John Shakespeare. From Shakespeare’s writing table to artworks made by other artists to commemorate him, this exhibition showcases items that cover all aspects of Shakespeare’s life. Whilst there are many posters and information tablets throughout the house, I would advise doing some background research on your own before going, just to help gain some insight on Shakespeare’s childhood.
One thing I loved about the tour was the interactive experiences situated around the house. For example, in the shed was a leather making booth that let children smell and feel leather similar to those of John Shakespeare’s glove making shop. Upstairs, a costume station encourages visitors to take pictures of themselves in 16th century clothing. These booths kept the tour engaging throughout, especially for young children.
If you ever find yourself nearby, be sure to pay Stratford-upon-Avon a visit!