Stratford upon Avon Blog

Stratford upon Avon Blog

Welcome to the Stratford upon Avon Blog. Here you can find out about things happening in Stratford upon Avon, from the latest news to upcoming events. Why not subscribe to the RSS feed to receive the latest updates on Stratford upon Avon!

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Summer in Stratford upon Avon

Looking outside the window, I see grey skies and pouring rain – a sure sign that the school summer holidays have begun! Just what we need in these days of rising unemployment and financial doom and gloom, more commonly referred to as ‘the credit crunch’ – when more and more families are choosing to holiday at home rather than risk the falling value of the pound and the growing chance of catching swine flu from a fellow airline passenger.

And so we see the return of that staple of the ‘holiday on the cheap’ which remains a big part of my summer holiday memories from yesteryear – the day out!

The good news is, that come rain or shine, everyone who visits Stratford will find a host of things to do and see, even if they are only coming for the day. Those on a tight budget can enjoy a great day simply walking along the river Avon (with an ice-cream if the funds will stretch) soaking up the history and beautiful scenery which the locals all seems to take for granted.

Boat trips on the River Avon, Stratford upon Avon

Boats trips are available; you can take a river cruise or hire a small craft and navigate yourself along the river. Look out for the Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare himself is buried, and you won’t fail to spot the site of the new theatre, currently being rebuilt on the site of the old one and due for completion in 2010.

Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon

The RSC is still in full swing, their operations are centre around the Courtyard Theatre while the building work is still in progress, and their standard is as high as ever, so theatre-lovers must take in one of the many performances.

Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon

Whilst on the subject of the Bard, there are, of course, all the Shakespeare properties to visit, three of them in the town itself within easy walking distance, and Mary Aden’s house in Wilmcote and Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Shottery are just a short bus-ride or drive away. If the weather improves, you might fancy taking the open-top tour bus which visits all the properties regularly through the day.

Mary Ardens House, Stratford upon Avon

Anne Hathaways Cottage, Stratford upon Avon

For young visitors Stratford offers the Butterfly Farm, located close to the river, and the Brass Rubbings Centre. Stratford is, of course, home to Ragdoll Productions, makers of the Teletubbies and Rosie and Jim, so make sure you visit them while you are here. And for children of all ages a great time awaits at the Falstaff’s Experience, Creaky Cauldron and Harvard House.

Butterfly Farm, Stratford upon Avon

Brass Rubbing Centre, Stratford upon Avon

Falstaff Experience, Stratford upon Avon

Creaky Cauldron, Stratford upon Avon

Harvard House, Stratford upon Avon

You might choose to browse the many shops in the town centre, or stop for a drink and bite to eat at one of the numerous pubs, tea-rooms and restaurants which can be found all over the town.

With so much to see and do in the town, many visitors want to stay for a few days to make the most of their trip. There are many places to stay, from campsites, caravan parks, B&Bs, guest houses and lovely hotels. And of course, Stratford is close to many other areas of interest, with the Cotswolds on our doorstep, Warwick Castle just a stone’s throw away and the city of Birmingham less than twenty miles away with all that you would expect from the country’s second city, including one of my personal favourite’s Cadbury World!

So what are you waiting for? Don’t worry about the weather, we’ve got lots of shops selling brollies if you forget to bring one, but likely as not, as soon as you get here the sun will come out. Have a lovely day!

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Stratford upon Avon Festivals

Stratford upon Avon may be a town steeped in history, but it is a world-class provider of both contemporary and traditional entertainment that it second to none. In recent weeks the town has hosted a number of festivals that have swelled visitor numbers and left the satisfied crowds wanting more.

While Stratford has much to offer the millions of visitors that pass through each year, one feature that is always a constant source of pleasure is the River Avon, gently meandering through the town and carrying rowing boats, river cruisers and canoes along the way.

River Avon, Stratford upon Avon

Earlier this month the river was the setting for Stratford’s first River Festival for thirty-five years, which was one of the most successful events to be held on the Recreation Ground for some time. The event drew an additional twelve thousand visitors to the town over its three days, and a flotilla of more than 70 boats. On land there were a number of stalls both inside and outside the main marquee, featuring arts and crafts as well as ecological and environmental traders. The crowds were entertained by bands, boat races, concerts and kite flying, and when everyone had worked up a hearty appetite, there were plentiful food choices to suit all tastes.

The following weekend brought a different kind of festival, this time Midsummer Music, a pre-cursor to the Stratford-upon-Avon Music Festival 2009 which will take place from 3rd-10th October. The festival featured three concerts from outstanding musicians. British pianist Freddy Kempf, Solstice Quartet (winners of the Royal Overseas League 2009) and Duo Dorado delighted audiences with classical performances of Bach, Rachmaninov, chopin, Beethoven and Schumann in various venues across the town.

Of course now that summer is upon, it won’t be long before the good people of Stratford hear the familiar sound of motorbike engines revving as the Bulldog Bash gets under way again at Long Marston Airfield. The biker’s festival is sited a few miles outside of the town, but the revellers can always be seen snaking through the traffic on their way to, from and during the event in various parts of Stratford, most notably along Waterside by the river. That said, organisers this year are asking those attending not to gather on Waterside. This is in response to a request from the council who have advised that bikers flouting parking restrictions will be issued with fixed penalty tickets.

The Bulldog Bash takes place from the 6th-9th August.

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