Weekend Trip from London to Stratford-upon-Avon
O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art though Romeo? If you are a fan of Shakespeare, there is nothing more romantic than a visit to Stratford upon-Avon. After a busy week in work, a weekend filled with literature and culture may just be the medicine you need. Unfortunately, Stratford is very busy all year round, with the summer months being the most popular. With this is in mind, it is recommended that you plan your trip before you leave, so you know exactly where to go and you are not taken in by popular tourist traps. Guided tours and museum entrance can be pricey, so try to arrange your own schedule, if you are not looking to spend too much money. There is a ‘ hop on, hop off ‘ open top bus service, that will take you to the major tourist destinations, such as Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Shakespeare’s birthplace. With tickets starting from £12.50 for adults and £6.50 for children, it is a worthwhile investment, if you want to see as much of the area as possible. You can also take canal and river tours, for a more laid back way to get around.
If you want to catch a play at The Royal Shakespeare Company and Theater, make sure you book in advance. You may be lucky to purchase a ticket on the day but it is best not to risk being disappointed. Food is another tricky area, with many restaurants hiking up prices due to tourist demand, meaning you do not always get good quality food for the price you pay. There are a few good independents to visit, with No 37 Cafe a great lunch spot and Lambs a good choice for pre-theater meals. There is also a good selection of Thai and Indian restaurants on offer, with Avon Spice topping the list.
Despite high prices and overcrowding at times, Stratford upon-Avon is a wonderful place to visit, with the positives far outweighing the negatives. The town is particularly good to visit during Shakespeare’s birthday festivities, with special events and shows out on at various venues. The town is also host to the annual Stratford Literary Festival in April/May. If you want to explore further afield, Royal Leamington Spa and Warwick are just a short drive away.
How to Reach Stratford
A drive from London to Stratford should take around 2 hours. If you prefer a stress free journey, put your feet up and take the train from Euston or Marylebone. You can take a National Express coach from Victoria but this will take just over 3 hours.
Where to Stay in Stratford
The Arden is a large boutique style hotel, set in the heart of Stratford, making it a great base to explore the area. For something a little grander, The Ettington Park Hotel is an excellent choice for a special weekend. Accommodation in Stratford can be priced highly, so do your homework before you book and be careful not to pay a lot of money for modest looking place. The Twelfth Night B+B is a popular choice, for a value for money stay.