a VirtualTourist member from Blackburn
Hi - off to Stratford Upon Avon in a couple of days.
OK - well we all know that it is very famous for William Shakespeare.
However i am very interested in what else there is to see?
Many people are very negative about this - and many say there is little else to see - i do not believe this - there has to be some things other than Shakespeare.
Now in my FootPrint Britain book it mentions about the Teddy Bear Museum - this looks no longer here - which is a damn shame.
Then I was following in the footsteps of Anne Wood - famous for Telletubies - but also Rosie and Jim - so i would like to go to the Canal where it was flimed - i think Rosie and Jim was great. On google maps you can go to the former home of The Ragdoll Shop and you go to streetview you will see Rosie and Jim looking out of the top window.
So would like to follow in footsteps of Anne Wood - and any other notable people that have had an effect on the town.
Then there may be other things to see in Stratford Upon Avon.
Well, if you were from another country and this was your first visit but still didn't want to visit Willy, I'd suggest catching the local bus and going to Warwick Castle. But I suspect you've probably already visited there before.
I tend to wander around and see what improvs have been set up in the area as well. Some can be quite good.
Stratford is, inevitably, rather focused on its Shakespeare-related visitors but there are some interesting bits to see as well as pleasant riverside walks. Do visit Holy Trinity Church, not so much for its Shakespeare connection but for its misericordes. I have tips about it, and a couple of other less-visited buildings, here:
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Warwick is interesting too, with a magnificent church (where Robert Dudley, Queen Elizabeth l's favourite, is buried) and a very pleasant centre. It's not just worth a visit for its castle (excellent...but expensive... though that is). I'd suggest you spend some of your time exploring Warwick.
Will you have a car? If so, there is some pleasant countryside & villages, and 'great houses' in the surrounding area.
The weather may not be suitable but there is a walk along the "Greenway" which runs along the path of an old railway track, past the back of the racecourse towards where the Avon and the River Stour join. It's possible to hire bikes at the start (I think you have to book) and there is a cafe at each end of the walk set inside old rail carriages.
Just across the park away from the theatre is the Butterfly Park - hot and humid inside!
The riverside walk is nice on dry days anyway - you can watch boats go-through the locks.
I live about 15 miles from Stratford (DD is at school there). I have to say it's basically good for a mooch, but even that is less of a pleasure at the moment. Times are not being kind to a lot of the smaller shops and like many high streets it's not looking great.
If you have a car then the Cotswolds are no distance. Of nearer Cotswold villages, Broadway is probably the best. Very much worth a visit. The footpaths around Broadway are very popular with walkers and can be relied upon to be easy to find.
The Crown and Trumpet in Broadway is CAMRA main listed as is The Round of Gras in nearby Badsey. Of course the local gem is The Fleece in Bretforton, which is owned by the National Trust but operates as regular pub (one of the finest in existance).
Although Warwick Castle is much the more famous, Kenilworth is excellent. Check it's opening times as I don't believe it's open all winter. Warwick Castle is expensive to get in but there are often two for one offers around for it (you can get in with Tesco Vouchers I think).
There are several other national Trust properties in easy reach. The garden at Hidcote is well past its best at this time of year, but nearby is Charlcote Park. Packwood House and Baddesley Clinton are easy to do together (there's no tea room at Packwood, so you need to get your tea and buns at Baddesley Clinton). Coughton Court is a similar distance to the SW.
One of the places that you might like is a museum called The Falstaff Experience, which can be quite hair-raising, you will see why. For more information on this, see my Stratford-upon-Avon page. As for places to visit in the area, see my Rollright Stones, Broadway, Chipping Campden, Wroxton and Hanwell pages. I also found Burford and Bourton-on-the-Water interesting but didn't have a camera there.