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Stratford-upon-Avon destinations guide

Why go to Stratford-upon-Avon?  

The birthplace of Shakespeare will forever be linked to the Bard, with most attractions in this small Warwickshire town having a literary connection. Tour the museum and gardens at New Place, built on the site of his 17th century home; explore the Schoolroom and Guildhall where he studied; or take a trip to his mother’s childhood home, Mary Arden’s Farm, where animals still live in the historic barns. World-class performances take place in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, which overlooks the willow-fringed River Avon.  

  • hire a Venetian gondola with gondolier for a boat ride along the River Avon
  • bookworms should visit in late April for the annual Stratford Literary Festival
  • cycle the traffic-free Greenway to the village of Long Marston, stretching five miles along a disused railway path
  • hunt ghosts at 21 Henley Street, a 450-year-old building that’s now the Bombay Manor Museum
  • browse more than 500 clothes, food and toy stalls at Wellesbourne outdoor market, one of the largest in the UK, It’s open every Saturday and Sunday from 9am-4pm
  • see the world’s greatest collection of British cars at the British Motor Museum. Look out for Lady Penelope's FAB1.   

Places to eat, drink and shop


Where to eat

Loxley’s Restaurant & Wine Bar, 3 Sheep Street

Stag busts and chandeliers give an upmarket feel to this former clothes shop, set in the centre of town. Fish and meat grills are a speciality, although there are plenty of vegetarian options. A fresh pile of wood keeps the fireplace stoked in winter; in warmer months, dine outdoors in the rear courtyard.

Hot tip: The Sunday Roast Rib of Beef (£12.95) is served until 7pm  

Cost of food: Mains around £20

Cost of drink: Bottle of wine from £18


RSC cocktail bar

Where to drink

RSC Cocktail Bar, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside

Even if you’re not attending a performance, this riverside theatre is a pleasant spot to spend an evening. Sip inventive cocktails on the third floor of the Rooftop Restaurant while watching swans glide along the River Avon.  

Hot tip: Turn up at 8.30pm on Friday for a cocktail-making masterclass

Cost of drink: Cocktails around £8  

Cost of food: A pre-theatre menu in the restaurant (served at lunch and from 4.30pm-6.15pm) costs from £19.95 for two courses

George Pragnell Stratford upon Avon

Where to shop

George Pragnell, 5&6 Wood Street  

The Pragnell family has been selling fine jewellery for several generations. Find Swiss watch brands and contemporary designs alongside period and antique pieces. The interior of the 16th century shop is as eye-pleasing as the products for sale.  

Hot tip: Repair services include ring resizing, pearl restringing and claw retipping

Stratford-upon-Avon hotels review: top hotel picks