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Stratford-Upon-Avon This is England at its Finest

Aug 17, 2007
It was in 1196 that Stratford-upon-Avon was first granted the right to hold a market and recognised as a town. Its name has become synonymous with its most famous son - William Shakespeare who was born here in 1564.

The town remains mostly unspoilt with fine examples of Elizabethan buildings in a picturesque setting. The river Avon runs through this pretty town and the marina harbours an array of brightly coloured boats providing a holiday atmosphere to what has become the most popular tourist attraction outside London.

Shakespeare's Birthplace
Shakespeare was born of middle class parentage and his home has been lovingly and authentically restored. It provides an insight into life during the Elizabethan period. The actual birth room has been recently refurbished revealing a less austere look.

The room is 'decorated' with some interesting graffiti of the many famous visitors. Robert Browning and Walter Scott are just two of the literary giants that have scratched their names into the walls, ceilings and windows of this room.

Ann Hathaway's House
At aged just 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway who was many years older than him. Ann lived in a house situated two miles from the centre of Stratford. It was occupied by the Hathaway family up until 1892. Here you will be fascinated by an Elizabethan kitchen and beautiful English country garden. There is a seat by the great fire place where Shakespeare is said to have sat whilst courting Ann.

Hall's Croft
In 1607, Shakespeare's daughter Susanna, married local physician Dr John Hall. This impressive Tudor building was named after him. Here you will find a collection of sixteenth and seventeenth century paintings and furnishings typical of a middle class family. Also, there is a collection of medical paraphernalia. Outside in the walled garden, you will find varieties of herbs and trees used in medicines of the time.

Holy Trinity
Dating from the thirteenth century this is the final resting place of William Shakespeare. Alongside him rest his wife and daughter Susanna. If you happen to be in Stratford on the Sunday closest to St. George's day you will witness a grand possession of people, including school children from Shakespeare's old school, coming to honour him and lay flowers at his grave.

Harvard House
There are many other attractions to entice you to visit Stratford-Upon -Avon. Harvard House may be of particular interest to American visitors. Amongst the interesting exhibits you will find the walking stick of Thomas Davis the Southern leader in the Civil war. This house was the home of John Harvard whose legacy is that of Harvard University.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is the centre of activity for the royal Shakespeare Company famous the world over. The theatre was designed specifically for the performance of Shakespeare's plays. Set on the banks of the river Avon it is best viewed at night when floodlit. Here you will find many artefacts from the theatre on view and a picture gallery of famous Shakespearian thespians.

A visit to Stratford will take you to the heart of the area known as the Cotswolds renowned for its rolling gentle hills and distinctive Cotswold stone buildings. Steeped in history and folklore, dotted with quaint villages and churches, dry stone walls and village greens, this is England at its finest. To quote the bard himself, 'I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.'
About the Author
Ann Coveney is a freelance writer and part time school teacher. She can be hired to write articles on a wide range of topics. The web site she uses the most for Stratford low cost travel and hotel bookings is http://www.AskVicki.co.uk
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