Ciao Raggazi! So I have been a busy bee starting my final year of university eeek, I have given myself a little while to get settled in and to get a schedule going, so I know the ideal times to blog that fit in with my degree etc. preambles aside, it’s onto the focus of this post, travel! A lot of my travel posts are to do with Italy and my year abroad there, so I thought I’d mix it up and show you guys what the UK has to offer! Everyone and their mother knows that London is England’s powerhouse in terms of travel, but I want to take you outside of the nations capital.
One of my favourite places for a day out is Stratford-Upon Avon, living in Birmingham (UK) fantastic transport links are available (esepcially with the opening of Birmingham Grand central), as well as the two other major train stations in the city center. To get to Stratford-Upon Avon from Birmingham a line runs from Birmingham Snow Hill station to Stratford-Upon Avon, and takes roughly 45 minutes and is relatively inexpensive for rail costs (esepcically if you own a railcard and book in advance).
The train station is roughly a 5-10 minute walk from the center of Stratfor-Upon Avon. The center has cobbled streets, quaint shops and a lively atmosphere, and is somewhere you’ll fall in love with instantly. (I did).
There are five main houses in Stratford-Upon Avon, related to all things Shakespeare. These are: Shakespeare’s birthplace, Ann Hathaway’s Cottage. Mary Arden’s farm, Hall’s croft and Nash’s House. My favourite of these is Shakespeare’s birthplace, when you first enter a short video will be played giving some background information on Shakespeare and his works. Once past this small cinema screen, you’re let out into the courtyard and are free to wonder the house and outbuildings at a leisurely pace. There are period actors on hand to make the experience well worth it. Feel free to wonder and why not stop off at the cafe for some tea and scones. Stratfird-Upon Avon can be rather expensive to first time tourists, I really would recommend having a good hunt online, tickets for these attractions can be brought in advance and are a fraction of the price.
Another feature of Stratford-Upon Avon is the Royal Shakespeare company (RSC), whether it’s a play your watching, or grabbing a bite at the rooftop restaurant, it will provide for a truly magical experience. The RSC do some fantastic performances with some well known actors, such as David Tennant, who played Hamlet and Richard the third very recently.As well as fun for all the family with a Christmas performance of Wendy and Peter Pan. Next to the RSC is the river Avon, in the summer row boats line the river (you can rent out these to have a row up and down the river). But, Stratford is extremely picturesque in the winter too, with snow and ice covering the river and the grounds.
I could go on forever about Stratford, and this won’t be my last post about the place I can assure you of that. But, I do want to point you towards one more place, a quaint little shop – the Magic Alley. A Harry Potter inspired shop, that offers themed merchandise, snacks and a party experience you’re not likely to forget.
Stratford is a quintessential British town that is a must visit, not just for the history but for the atmosphere too.