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About Me:Hi I’m Nadege and I study French at the University of Leeds, and I have just completed my third year abroad in Montpellier studying literature and enjoying the sunshine! I love art; painting and being creative, as well as photography and baking. Travelling is my favourite hobby at the moment; experiencing the French language and culture. I hope you enjoy reading some of my articles!
If you want a peaceful yet cultural weekend away Stratford-upon-Avon is the place for you! Set in Warwickshire countryside amongst the banks of the river Avon, it is a beautiful town with many cultural activities available it being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Stratford-upon-Avon can be easily explored on foot, but if one does not fancy walking why not hire a rowing boat or take a ride on one of the many canal boats!
Since the 15th century, the older part of the town has changed very little, with there being three streets running parallel to the river Avon and three running at right angles to the river. It is in fact a clear example of a small medieval town. The architecture in Stratford-upon-Avon dates back to the late 16th century. However, due to many fires, a lot of rebuilding and renovation has taken place, with no buildings antedating the great fire in 1595. The three main fires were those of 1594, 1595 and 1614 which destroyed the town, but architects have done their best to maintain what was left of the buildings, with some retaining their beams and framing. Additionally, in the 18th and 19th century, many buildings had been restored with plaster and brick, yet this has since been stripped to show the old framing. Consequently, as you wonder the streets it feels almost as though you are walking back through time!
For those Shakespeare enthusiasts, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre allows the world of Shakespeare’s plays to be discovered, while also showing productions by many other authors. Additionally, you can visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, which is a restored house in Henley Street where Shakespeare had lived during his childhood. It is now a museum open to the public, so if you are a lover of literature this museum is a must! Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway also lived in Stratford-upon-Avon as a child, and her thatched cottage farmhouse which is set in picturesque grounds is open to the public for tours. Last but not least, Mary Arden’s farm is where Shakespeare’s mother lived and it is located a little outside Stratford, but worth a visit and it is suitable for all ages, children included!
I would recommend Stratford-upon-Avon on a sunny day, as you will be able to make the most of the boat trips, the cafés and the sights. The town is also very well known for its delicious tearooms and cakes! An afternoon tea is a must! I must add that there is a permanent Christmas shop on Henley Street, which always comes as a bit of a surprise, but hey - why not get into the Christmas spirit a bit early!
IMAGE 1 (personal image) Shakespeare's birthplace
IMAGE 2 (personal image) The river Avon