If you love the Bard, then a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon is a must! These Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare sites are must-sees for any literature lover.
Stratford-upon-Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespeare. And as a writer, I absolutely had to take a literary pilgrimage to this quaint little town!
Every little bit of Shakespeare connection is out on display. They know what you’re here for — it’s Shakespeare history! So let’s take a step back in time and check out these top Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare sites.
Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare Sites
1. Shakespeare’s Birthplace
But thou art fair, and at thy birth, dear boy,— King John III.i.
Nature and Fortune join’d to make thee great…
The most important thing to do in Stratford-upon-Avon is see Shakespeare’s birthplace.
This house on Henley Street is where historians believe that William Shakespeare was born in 1564. Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a small museum in the simple 16th century home.
Your guides will show you the interior of the home, show you the room where it is believed Shakespeare was born, play you some songs, and if you ask, they may be able to recite for you their favorite Shakespearean monologue.
In the gift shop, you can find all kinds of Shakespeare goodies, like a teddy bear called Shakesbear, who is my all-time favorite writing buddy.
I bear a charmed life…— Macbeth V.viii.
2. Shakespeare’s New Place and Nash’s House
When I was at home I was in a better place…— As You Like It II.iv.
On Chapel Street are Nash’s House and New Place. Nash’s House was the home of Shakespeare’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, who lived here with her husband Thomas Nash. Right next door was the site of Shakespeare’s New Place, his final home.
When Shakespeare died in 1616, New Place went to Elizabeth, and when she died it went back to the original owners of the land and eventually into the hands of Reverend Francis Gastrell in 1756.
Gastrell didn’t like all the visitors to the home, so he cut down a mulberry bush supposedly planted by Shakespeare. This angered the townsfolk who raised Gastrell’s taxes, so Gastrell demolished the house.
A garden now sits at the site of New Place filled with abstract sculptures of characters from Shakespeare’s plays and other commissioned artworks. Nash’s House has been converted into a museum featuring rare artifacts relating to Shakespeare’s life at New Place.
3. Hall’s Croft
By medicine life may be prolong’d, yet death— Cymbeline V.v.
Will seize the Doctor too.
Hall’s Croft was the home of Shakespeare’s eldest daughter, Susanna, and her physician husband John Hall.
The home displays the wealth of the Hall family, a collection of apothecary equipment, interesting tidbits on Tudor medicine, and a walled garden filled with roses and herbs.
4. Holy Trinity Church and Shakespeare’s Grave
Thou know’st ’tis common; all that lives must die,— Hamlet I.ii.
Passing through nature to eternity.
Shakespeare is buried inside Holy Trinity Church.
I feel it’s important to note that he’s not buried in the cemetery; I’ve known people to wander the cemetery looking for his grave, but it’s not there. His grave is inside the church.
Also buried here are Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway, his oldest daughter Susanna and her husband John Hall, and Thomas Nash.
5. The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
All the world’s a stage,— As You Like It II.vii.
And all the men and women merely players;
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company and it is one of the best places to see a Shakespearean play.
The theatre is a “one-room” theatre with the audience surrounding the stage on three sides and the stage projecting out into the audience.
This creates a traditional Shakespearean performance where there is little divide between the audience and the actors.
6. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
When Love speaks, the voice of all the gods— Love’s Labour’s Lost IV.iii.
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway.
The original 3-room farmhouse was built in 1463 and is where Anne was born and raised, and it’s where Shakespeare would have visited her during the early part of their courtship. Over the years, much has been added to the home so that it now has 12 rooms.
At the cottage, you can see original furniture, hear the stories of the Hathaway family who lived here for 13 generations, explore a sculpture trail inspired by Shakespeare’s plays, and wander through the beautiful cottage gardens and orchards.
7. Mary Arden’s Farm
Thou art thy mother’s glass, and she in thee— Sonnet 3
Calls back the lovely April of her prime…
Mary Arden’s Farm is the childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden.
Mary’s father built the home around 1514, but it has been significantly altered over time. The neighboring Palmer’s Farmhouse still retains much of its original 16th century structure and is likely what the Arden Farm would have looked like originally.
At both of these homes, you can see how the house was built, explore the farm yard, watch Tudor farmhands at work, and walk nature trails.
Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare Map
Ready to visit these Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare sites? Use the map below to plan out your trip!
I hope you have an amazing time exploring Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon!
Top Stratford-upon-Avon Tours
- Shakespeare Distillery Tour
- Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall Entry Ticket and Tour
- Guided Tour of Stratford upon Avon
Where to Stay in Stratford-upon-Avon
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More England Resources
- 18 Best Things to Do in Grantham, England
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- 10 Incredible Day Trips from London, England
- Why You Should Take a Day Trip to Burghley House
Ready to visit Stratford-upon-Avon, England? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in Stratford-upon-Avon using Booking.com.
- Start Packing: Check out my packing list resources so you’re prepared for your trip.
Exit, pursued by a bear.— The Winter’s Tale III.iii.
What is your favorite Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare site? Let me know in the comments!