Stratford-upon-Avon fun to visit without loving Shakespeare

Community Highlights Europe Stratford-upon-Avon fun to visit without loving Shakespeare

This is the house where Shakespeare was born in 1564; the wing on the right was added later once Shakespeare's birthplace became a tourist attraction

This is the house where Shakespeare was born in 1564; the wing on the right was added later once Shakespeare's birthplace became a tourist attraction

Shakespeare was supposedly born in front of this fireplace; beds were far too valuable in that day to risk having them dirtied so births typically took place on the floor

Shakespeare was supposedly born in front of this fireplace; beds were far too valuable in that day to risk having them dirtied so births typically took place on the floor

I've enjoyed trying to make friends with critters all over England like these at Mary Arden's Farm; I still haven't seen a hedgehog

I've enjoyed trying to make friends with critters all over England like these at Mary Arden's Farm; I still haven't seen a hedgehog

This portrait of Shakespeare dates from 1610 but the artist is unknown; his early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best works produced in these genres

This portrait of Shakespeare dates from 1610 but the artist is unknown; his early plays were primarily comedies and histories and are regarded as some of the best works produced in these genres

The Royal Shakespeare Theater opened in 1932 and became the first important work erected in Britain from the designs of a woman architect; a prior 1879 Shakespeare theater existed here but had burned

The Royal Shakespeare Theater opened in 1932 and became the first important work erected in Britain from the designs of a woman architect; a prior 1879 Shakespeare theater existed here but had burned

We had very pleasant weather for our visit but Stratford is seldom very warm; Stratford's warmest month is July, with an average maximum temperature of <dfn title='23°C'>73 °F</dfn>

We had very pleasant weather for our visit but Stratford is seldom very warm; Stratford's warmest month is July, with an average maximum temperature of 73 °F

This is the baptismal font at Holy Trinity Church in which Shakespeare was baptized; the church records showing Shakespeare's baptism as well as his death are on display

This is the baptismal font at Holy Trinity Church in which Shakespeare was baptized; the church records showing Shakespeare's baptism as well as his death are on display

The American fountain is a Gothic clock tower with a roundabout fountain given by a Philadelphia businessman in 1887 in honor of Queen Victoria's jubilee

The American fountain is a Gothic clock tower with a roundabout fountain given by a Philadelphia businessman in 1887 in honor of Queen Victoria's jubilee

This 1709 version of The Works of William Shakespeare was the first to include illustrations, to be published as a set of 6 portable volumes and the first to include a biography of Shakespeare

This 1709 version of The Works of William Shakespeare was the first to include illustrations, to be published as a set of 6 portable volumes and the first to include a biography of Shakespeare

Lee decided our hotel in Stratford was finally up to his standards although it was a fading beauty; the countryside around Stratford was very pretty but the roads were windy, narrow two lane former horse paths

Lee decided our hotel in Stratford was finally up to his standards although it was a fading beauty; the countryside around Stratford was very pretty but the roads were windy, narrow two lane former horse paths

Stratford-upon-Avon has a population of around 28,000 and lies 91 miles NW of London and 22 miles SE of Birmingham; this small town is inundated with 2.5  million visitors per year

Stratford-upon-Avon has a population of around 28,000 and lies 91 miles NW of London and 22 miles SE of Birmingham; this small town is inundated with 2.5+ million visitors per year

Anne Hathaway's Cottage is a twelve-roomed farmhouse where Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare, lived as a child; the earliest part of the house was built prior to the 15th century, the higher part is 17th century

Anne Hathaway's Cottage is a twelve-roomed farmhouse where Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare, lived as a child; the earliest part of the house was built prior to the 15th century, the higher part is 17th century

This was William and Anne's marital bed which was later given to the Hathaway family; when they married William was 18 and Anne 26 (she was also 3 months pregnant!)

This was William and Anne's marital bed which was later given to the Hathaway family; when they married William was 18 and Anne 26 (she was also 3 months pregnant!)

The house was occupied by the Hathaway family until 1892 when it was acquired by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust; the strangest part to me was the sloping floor and why it wasn't built where the land was flat

The house was occupied by the Hathaway family until 1892 when it was acquired by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust; the strangest part to me was the sloping floor and why it wasn't built where the land was flat

This bed at Anne Hathaway's Cottage remains unaltered from the late 1500s; beds were expensive during that era and reflected the wealth of Anne's family

This bed at Anne Hathaway's Cottage remains unaltered from the late 1500s; beds were expensive during that era and reflected the wealth of Anne's family

Mary Arden's Farm was the home of Shakespeare's mother although this building (for decades thought to be Mary's) actually belonged to a neighbor; we bought tickets to visit all 5 of the properties of Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust

Mary Arden's Farm was the home of Shakespeare's mother although this building (for decades thought to be Mary's) actually belonged to a neighbor; we bought tickets to visit all 5 of the properties of Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust

The Wiltshire horned sheep is unusual among native British breeds, for it has the unusual feature of molting its short wool and hair coat naturally in spring, alleviating the need for shearing

The Wiltshire horned sheep is unusual among native British breeds, for it has the unusual feature of molting its short wool and hair coat naturally in spring, alleviating the need for shearing

The relatively rare Cotswald sheep provides both meat and wool; I think this particular animal at Mary Arden's farm thought we were related since we have similar hairstyles

The relatively rare Cotswald sheep provides both meat and wool; I think this particular animal at Mary Arden's farm thought we were related since we have similar hairstyles

The Oxford sandy and black pig is one of the oldest pigs native to Britain; it's a hardy, docile pig but I'm not sure how the mama pig can see

The Oxford sandy and black pig is one of the oldest pigs native to Britain; it's a hardy, docile pig but I'm not sure how the mama pig can see

This Shakespeare Memorial was created in 1888 and shows the Bard seated on a pedestal surrounded, at ground level, by statues of Hamlet, Lady MacBeth, Prince Hal and Falstaff

This Shakespeare Memorial was created in 1888 and shows the Bard seated on a pedestal surrounded, at ground level, by statues of Hamlet, Lady MacBeth, Prince Hal and Falstaff

Each Shakespeare sight had a well-stocked gift shop with tons of stuff no one needs; I always thought I was good at Trivial Pursuit but I wouldn't get a single question correct in this version

Each Shakespeare sight had a well-stocked gift shop with tons of stuff no one needs; I always thought I was good at Trivial Pursuit but I wouldn't get a single question correct in this version

This is the timber and brick home Shakespeare bought in 1597 for 60 pounds; it was the second largest house in town and had 10 fireplaces, 5 handsome gables and grounds large enough for 2 barns and an orchard

This is the timber and brick home Shakespeare bought in 1597 for 60 pounds; it was the second largest house in town and had 10 fireplaces, 5 handsome gables and grounds large enough for 2 barns and an orchard

This mulberry tree, at Shakespeare's New Place, is believed to have been grown from a cutting of a tree Shakespeare planted; Shakespeare had one son named Hamnet (not Hamlet)

This mulberry tree, at Shakespeare's New Place, is believed to have been grown from a cutting of a tree Shakespeare planted; Shakespeare had one son named Hamnet (not Hamlet)

The Guildhall and Shakespeare's grammar school; in the late 1500s traveling players performed regularly at the Guildhall providing Shakespeare with his first experience of professional theater

The Guildhall and Shakespeare's grammar school; in the late 1500s traveling players performed regularly at the Guildhall providing Shakespeare with his first experience of professional theater

The Guildhall, founded in 1269, recently uncovered 600 year old medieval paintings during restoration work; the work would have been painted over during the Reformation

The Guildhall, founded in 1269, recently uncovered 600 year old medieval paintings during restoration work; the work would have been painted over during the Reformation

This sculpture at Shakespeare's New Place, called His Mind's Eye, is supposed to show Shakespeare's creativity, and the sheer force of his genius in the world (it's a cool work but I don't get Shakespeare from it)

This sculpture at Shakespeare's New Place, called His Mind's Eye, is supposed to show Shakespeare's creativity, and the sheer force of his genius in the world (it's a cool work but I don't get Shakespeare from it)

To bee or not to bee; Shakespeare must have gotten his inspiration from the pink chrysanthemums in the garden at his New Place

To bee or not to bee; Shakespeare must have gotten his inspiration from the pink chrysanthemums in the garden at his New Place

Hall's Croft was owned by Shakespeare's daughter, Susanna, and her husband Dr. John Hall; the displays inside included many medical instruments from that era that made you wonder how anyone survived very long

Hall's Croft was owned by Shakespeare's daughter, Susanna, and her husband Dr. John Hall; the displays inside included many medical instruments from that era that made you wonder how anyone survived very long

This Jacobean stool box or commode (just lift the lid) reflects the importance Dr. Hall (Shakespeare's son-in-law) placed on hygiene; people were superstitious and typically would not sleep lying flat (too coffin-like)

This Jacobean stool box or commode (just lift the lid) reflects the importance Dr. Hall (Shakespeare's son-in-law) placed on hygiene; people were superstitious and typically would not sleep lying flat (too coffin-like)

Holy Trinity Church, on the banks of the River Avon, attracts 200,000  visitors each year due to its connections to Shakespeare; we visited sights first thing in the morning before all the day-trippers arrived

Holy Trinity Church, on the banks of the River Avon, attracts 200,000+ visitors each year due to its connections to Shakespeare; we visited sights first thing in the morning before all the day-trippers arrived

The graves of Shakespeare, his wife and some of their kids are in front of the pulpit at Holy Trinity Church; Shakespeare was only 52 when he died but his cause of death remains a mystery although it appears to have been sudden

The graves of Shakespeare, his wife and some of their kids are in front of the pulpit at Holy Trinity Church; Shakespeare was only 52 when he died but his cause of death remains a mystery although it appears to have been sudden

The Avon Bank Gardens has a large Ferris wheel (the Stratford-upon-Avon Eye); the last mechanical chain ferry in Britain crosses the River Avon here

The Avon Bank Gardens has a large Ferris wheel (the Stratford-upon-Avon Eye); the last mechanical chain ferry in Britain crosses the River Avon here

This featured blog entry was written by RNRiggins from the blog The frugal travels of a vagabond.
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By RNRiggins

Posted Thu, Sep 05, 2019 | Comments