Arts And Culture: Visiting Shakespeare’s Houses and Gardens

Visiting Shakespeare's houses & gardens are a key facet of any trip to England ... photo by CC user 12859033@N00 on Flickr

If you’re exploring the English Midlands, then visiting Shakespeare’s houses & gardens is a truly unique historical adventure that shows the life and journey of a historical figure, who has made a lasting impression on English literature.
 
William Shakespeare’s Birthplace
 
Make the wattle and daub house on Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon, where the great playwright was born in 1564, the first stop on your tour for a fascinating glimpse into Shakespeare’s childhood, young adult years and early married life. William’s father, John Shakespeare, was a successful glove maker and mayor and the size of his home reflected the family’s status in the busy market town. Inside the house is a glover’s workshop, where you can see how gloves were made in Elizabethan times. Admire the Treasures Exhibition with its display of objects, relating to the life and works of Shakespeare.
 
Mary Arden’s Farm
 
Mary Arden, mother of William and his seven siblings grew up on a farm. A new display with lots of hands-on activities showcases the daily routines of a Tudor farm. Watch the farmer’s wife prepare the family’s meals over an open fire, groom a horse or see the daily falconry show.
 
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
 
A footpath from the centre of Stratford leads to the childhood home of Anne, Shakespeare’s wife, who grew up in a thatched cottage in Shottery, surrounded by a traditional English country garden with fat bumblebees flitting among the flowers. Enjoy lunch in the Cottage Garden Cafe, before strolling the butterfly trail or meandering along the fragrant sweet pea trail.
 
Hall’s Croft
 
The home and herb garden of Shakespeare’s eldest daughter, Susanna and her physician husband, John Hall features an exhibit of archival information relating to Stratford and its people during WW1 and Shakespeare’s thoughts on war.
 
Harvard House
 
Remarkably preserved, this beautiful half-timbered townhouse in the centre of Stratford contains spectacular redevelopment plans for New Place, the house in which Shakespeare died. Admire Harvard House with its stained glass, painted panels and exterior oak carvings.
 
With lots of interactive activities for children and the welcoming Cottage Garden or Hall’s Croft cafes for a rest and a cup of tea for grownups, a visit to Shakespeare’s houses and gardens is an enjoyable excursion that is simply one for the books, especially if you’re a history lover who is fascinated in factual attractions.

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