AD – Press Trip. All opinions are our own.
Have you visited Shakespeare’s houses in Stratford-Upon-Avon?
Why not take a summer day trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon and discover more about the life and times of William Shakespeare by visiting his family homes?
William Shakespeare, is widely known as one of the world’s the greatest writers. Most of us read William Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets at school. And today we still use some of phrases found in his writing, such as ‘cruel to be kind‘, ‘Jealousy is the green-eyed monster‘, and ‘What’s done is done‘.
On the 14th of June 2021, Shakespeare’s birthplace, Shakespeare’s New place, and Anne Hathaway’s cottage re-opened to the public from 10am – 3.30pm on Saturday to Wednesday (closed Thursdays and Fridays).
During your visit, you will discover that all of Shakespeare’s houses were either owned by Shakespeare or a member of his family. You can visit three of the houses when you purchase a Shakespeare’s story ticket. You must pre-book a 1 hour time slot, please see the official website for updates.
Shakespeare’s family homes have Visit England’s ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation, which means they are following Covid-19 guidance by implementing measures to increase visitor safety, such as pre-booking, wearing face masks inside buildings, reduced capacity, a one-way route around the site and hand sanitiser stations.
Whilst exploring Shakespeare’s houses and gardens, you will learn more about Tudor life and gain an interesting insight into the Bard of Avon’s life and work.
Now is actually a good time to visit due to the reduced number of visitors. The staff have more time to share some fascinating stories. Your visit will feel less rushed, and it’s less crowded which means it’s easier to take photos.
You can now access online video guides by scanning the QR codes dotted around the houses with your mobile phone for a self-guided experience.
The gift shops have lots of books, t-shirts, and creative merchandise with many of your favourite Shakespearean quotes and insults.
Shakespeare’s birthplace is the restored 16th century home where William was born and grew up with his family.
Inside you will find lots of period furnishings, a glass window with the signatures left by famous visitors to the house over the centuries, and Shakespeares fathers’ glove making workshop.
We are such stuffWilliam Shakespeare
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep
The Tempest, Act IV, Scene 1
SHAKESPEARE’S NEW PLACE
Shakespeares New Place would have been the largest house in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and it was Shakespeares final place of residence. It’s where the bard of Avon wrote most of his plays until he died in 1616.
Unfortunately the house was demolished in 1759, but you can view the plans of this impressive five-gabled gatehouse with it’s long gallery on the upper floor that would have faced onto chapel street.
Shakespeares birthplace trust have created a tranquil garden and installed various artworks to commemorate the importance of this site.
ANNE HATHAWAY’S COTTAGE
Anne Hathaway’s cottage is about a 45 min walk or ten-minute drive from the centre of Stratford-Upon-Avon. It’s also accessible by public transport or the the Hop-on hop-off tour bus route. Due to it’s location, you should consider visiting this site first or make sure you allow time plenty of time to arrive. Doors close at 3pm for the last pre-booked time slots.
This beautiful five hundred-year-old cottage is where Anne Hathaway grew up, and Shakespeare courted her before she became his wife.
In the cottage gardens, you will find the popular moon seat which you may have seen on Instagram. The moon seat is a giant willow sculpture inspired by The Merchant of Venice. It was designed by Tom Hare, and it provides the perfect framing and viewpoint for admiring the beauty of Hathaway’s cottage & gardens.
The Moon Seat © Brett Kowalski
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
Due to the reduced capacity, we were able to spend a good amount of time getting some nice photos of the moon seat without annoying any other visitors.
Shakespeare’s birthplace trust
Many thanks to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for organising our visit for this review. The trust was founded in 1847. They are an independent charity who do a fantastic job of preserving Shakespeare’s houses and promoting the enjoyment and understanding of the bards works.
You can support this local independent charity by visiting Shakespeare’s houses, becoming a patron or volunteer, following and promoting them on social media, or making a donation.
If you have time, you can also enjoy exploring Stratford-Upon-Avon which is a beautiful medieval market town located on the river avon in Warwickshire.