Stratford upon Avon Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, England, UK)

Anne Hathaway's Cottage photographThe popular town of Stratford upon Avon is often referred to as Shakespeare Country, with a large number of its top tourist attractions being related to its most famous past resident, William Shakespeare. These particular attractions include the Royal Shakespeare Theatre itself, and also the childhood home of the bard's wife, Anne Hathaway's Cottage.

Apart from Stratford upon Avon's Shakespeare attractions, the town is also home to a racecourse, public gardens, various walking trails and boating trips on the River Avon, which winds its way through the town. Families holidaying in Stratford upon Avon will appreciate spending time at the town's very own Butterfly Farm, at the Falstaff Experience, or at the nearby Broadway Tower Country Park, which really is just a short drive away.

Close-up picture of Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Address: 192 Alcester Road, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 9HH, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 204 016
The historic home where the wife of William Shakespeare, Anne Hathaway grew up. One of the main attractions owned by the town's Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Anne Hathaway's Cottage draws tourists from far and wide, who come to appreciate the authentic period furnishings and antiquities, award-winning English garden and neighbouring independent tea room. Anne Hathaway's Cottage is a truly picture-postcard farmhouse, complete with a half-timbered facade and sweeping thatched roof.
Open hours: April, May, September and October, Monday to Saturday - 09:30 to 17:00, Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00; June to August, Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 09:30 to 17:00; November to March, daily - 10:00 to 16:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children and families, children five years old and under are free

View of boat trips on the River Avon

Avon Boating

Address: Avon Boating, Swan's Nest Boathouse, Swan's Nest Lane, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 7LS, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 267 073
Address: Bancroft Cruisers, Stratford Moat House, 1 Warwick Road, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6YR, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 269 669
Sightseeing in Stratford simply couldn't be more pleasant than taking a trip down the River Avon on a sunny afternoon. A variety of different vessels are available to choose from, including both punts and rowing boats, as well as Edwardian-style passenger boats offering 30-minute cruises. Prices are inexpensive and during the summer, a number of additional packages may be on offer, including extended cruises with buffets.
Open hours: daily - seasonal variations
Admission: charge, discounts for children

Bancroft Gardens photo, taken in the summer

Bancroft Gardens

Address: Bridgefoot, Stratford upon Avon, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 293 127
Providing much respite and peaceful surroundings, the Bancroft Gardens regularly attract local families, who bring their children here to feed the ducks and see the brightly coloured narrow boats in the canal basin. During the summer, a number of outdoor attractions are staged here, with street entertainers regularly basing themselves in the park. Both the Gower Memorial and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre are close by and just a short stroll away.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Broadway Tower Country Park

Address: High Street, Broadway, WR12 7DT, England, UK
Located on the very outskirts of Broadway and just a short drive from Stratford, the popular Broadway Tower Country Park is known for its stunning views across more than ten different counties. On a fine day, the panoramas stretch as far as the Welsh Black Mountains and beyond, while other attractions include exhibitions, an enclosure of red deer, a petting farm and extensive play areas for younger visitors, and pleasant picnic areas. Refreshments are available at the Rookery Barn Restaurant, an attractive building, which dates from the 16th century.
Open hours: April to October, daily - 10:30 to 17:00; November to March, Saturday and Sunday - 11:00 to 15:00
Admission: charge, discounts for families and children, annual 'passport' tickets are available

Photo showing the Butterfly Farm entrance

Butterfly Farm

Address: Stratford Moat House Wharf, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 7LS, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 299 288
The biggest butterfly attraction in the whole of Europe, the Stratford upon Avon Butterfly Farm is certainly worth looking out for and offers a pleasant alternative to the town's multitude of Shakespeare sights and houses. Many hundreds of large, colourful and exotic butterflies are housed within the tropical Butterfly Farm in a spacious landscaped enclosure, together with caterpillars and pupae, stick insects, large spiders and other similar creatures in 'Arachnoland'. The Papillon gift shop is on hand and sells a variety of butterfly-related souvenirs.
Open hours: daily, April to October - 10:00 to 18:00; November to March - 10:00 to dusk
Admission: charge, discounts for children and families, children three years old and under are free

Cox's Yard image

Cox's Yard

Address: 19 Warwick Road, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6YY, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 404 600
Formerly a medieval timber yard, Cox's Yard has been transformed in recent years and now functions as a leading entertainment venue and complex. Onsite, visitors will find tea rooms, a traditional English public house, comedy gigs, live music events and the 'Stratford Tales' attraction, where audio-visual presentations and hands-on activities clearly offer a taster of the town's rich and vibrant past.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 23:00
Admission: charge for some onsite attractions and events

Falstaff Experience

Address: Old Red Lion Court, Sheep Street, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6EE, England, UK
Tel: +44 0870 350 2770
The Falstaff Experience is often referred to as the Museum of the Dark History of Stratford and serves as the town's biggest museum, with strong, historic connections to Shakespeare. As you enter the grounds of this grand 16th-century Shrieve's House complex you will be greeted by staff dressed in period costumes. Expect to find punishment stocks, waxworks, a cobblestone courtyard, reconstructions of old cottages, a small theatre, paintings, gift shop and even overnight 'paranormal vigils'.
Open hours: daily - 10:30 to 17:30
Admission: charge

Guide Friday Tours

Guide Friday Tours

Address: 42 Rother Street, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6LU, England, UK
If you are short of time or simply want to get your bearings, then a ride onboard the Guide Friday Tours double decker bus will be sure to please. Passengers will be able to ride around the town in comfort, passing the main Shakespearean tourist attractions whilst listening to informative commentary. Guide Friday Tours feature a 'hop-on / hop -off' facility, allowing passengers to step off at any of the chosen sites, and then catch the next bus, which is never far behind.
Open hours: daily - departing at regular intervals (15 to 30 minutes)
Admission: charge

Royal Shakespeare Theatre photo

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Address: 1 Bridge Street, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6BB, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 403 444
One of the town's biggest tourists attractions, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre is the number one reason why so many visitors come to Stratford upon Avon each year. Rebuilt in the early 1930s after fire damaged the previous late-19th century theatre, the current Royal Shakespeare Theatre offers audiences a chance to enjoy authentic Shakespeare performances by the Royal Shakespeare Society (RSC) in one of the country's most prominent theatrical venues. A recent project has seen major changes to the auditorium, resulting in the audience being brought closer to the actual stage. The temporary Courtyard Theatre was created at this time, with David Tennant performing Hamlet here.
Open hours: hours vary according to performance
Admission: charge

Shakespeare County Raceway

Address: Alcester Road, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 9DP, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 720 180
For something quite different, pay a visit to the Shakespeare County Raceway and enjoy the variety of motorsports on offer here. Always popular at the Shakespeare County Raceway is the drag racing and exciting motorbike races, while other seasonal events are often staged here, including the annual Bulldog Bash Bike Festival, Hot Rod Drags and a number of Public Track Days.
Open hours: April to November - hours vary
Admission: charge

Image of the medieval Carnegie Library

Walking Trails

Address: Shakespeare Heritage Trail, 8 Wood Street, Henley Street, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6QW, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 204 016
Address: Stratford Town Walk, The End, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 8JB, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 292 478
Address: Stratford Town Ghost Walk, The End, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 8JB, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 292 478
Walking tours of the town are not to be missed, with self-guided routes allowing visitors to sightsee at their own pace and time. The Shakespeare Heritage Trail departs from the Shakespeare Centre on Henley Street and takes in many historical attractions along the way, including a number relating to the bard himself. Those feeling brave enough may like to consider joining the evening award-winning Stratford Town Ghost Walk at the Swan Fountain, where you will learn about local hauntings and ghost tales.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge, discounts for seniors and children

Stratford upon Avon Canal

Address: Chapel Street, Stratford Basin, Stratford upon Avon, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 260 616
When it was completed over 200 years ago, the Stratford upon Avon Canal truly was something of a feat of engineering and has grown to become an integral asset of the town's rich heritage. Many tourists visiting the town will enjoy a walk along the canal pathway, where much wildlife has colonised over the years. The Stratford upon Avon Canal emerges from the Bancroft Gardens and stretches for just over 40 km / 25 miles, before finally reaching the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Stratford upon Avon Racecourse

Address: Luddington Road, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 9SE, England, UK
Tel: +44 01789 267 949
The Stratford Racecourse is surprisingly historic and actually dates back almost two and a half centuries, with steeplechase racing often taking place here in the latter part of the 18th century. Horse races are always a major event in town, with around 15 taking place each year and reliably drawing large crowds of excited spectators, who often bring extravagant picnics.
Open hours: March to December - seasonal variations
Admission: charge