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Stratford upon Avon Guide




Getting around

Stratford is a small and very compact town, so hopping between bars, restaurants and clubs at night is most definitely not an issue, even in the spikiest of stilettos. You’ll also be able to cover most of the main tourist areas on foot too – though if you’d rather not, there is a city bus tour that will take you around some of the bits of Stratford that are a little further away.

Shakespeare

We don’t know if you’ve heard of this guy called Shakespeare, but he’s kind of a big deal. He’s especially a big deal in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he was born and lived (before he moved on to London and wrote a couple of plays). If you want to check out where the greatest playwright in history hung out before he became the greatest playwright in history, visit:

  • Shakespeare’s birthplace, where he was born and spent his childhood. It’s naturally more than just a house now – there are restored rooms, live presentations from Shakespearean characters, and exhibitions. If you’re not a Shakespeare fan, Charles Dickens also stopped by a couple of times – he even signed his name in the guestbook.
  • Holy Trinity Chruch, where Shakespeare is buried, along with his slightly threatening epitaph ‘Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
    And cursed be he that moves my bones.’ Not his best work, we’ll admit.
  • Nash’s House, where Shakespeare lived shortly before he made the journey to Holy Trinity Church, and possibly wrote some of his later works.

If you’re really in to Shakespeare, you might want to take this time to stop in to the houses of some of his nearest and dearest too, like:

  • Anne Hathaway’s cottage
  • Halls Croft, where Shakespeare’s daughter and her husband lived
  • Mary Arden Farm, where Shakespeare’s mum lived

Venues

Let’s face facts – if you want to see a play in Stratford-upon-Avon, you probably want to see a Shakespeare play. The Royal Shakespeare Theatre will be the best choice for that. If by this point you’re a bit sick of the Bard, check out the Picture House for slightly more recent productions – they show all the latest films, and there’s not a neck-ruffle in sight.

Speaking the language

One of the reasons Shakespeare is still as popular today as he was back when he started writing (in fact, more popular) is that a lot of what he said, despite the ‘ye olde English’ language, is still hugely relevant and accurate. Here are a few key quotes to master, so you can use them on the night out and impress the girls with your eloquence and wit:

When you meet someone you don’t like very much:
‘Thou art as loathsome as a toad.’
‘I do desire we be better strangers.’
‘Thine face is not worth sunburning.’

 When your friend is drunk and won’t stop talking:
‘You speak an infinite deal of nothing.’

When you find a good bar:
‘I like this place, and could willingly waste my time in it!’

When you want a drink:
‘I would give all my fame for a pot of ale.’
‘Give me some wine, fill full. I drink to the whole table.’

When your best friend is getting married, and you’re still single:
‘Thus goes everyone to the world but I, and I am sunburnt. I may sit and cry heigh ho for a husband.’

When you see said future husband across the club:
‘Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.’

And when it’s time to go home:
Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow.’

In the morning, after you drank your pot of ale:
By my troth! I am exceeding ill.


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