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Explore Stratford

Content contributed by our student Welcome Helpers

Stratford-upon-Avon is a popular UK tourist destination and is just 15 miles away from campus. It is synonymous with (arguably) the most famous English writer, William Shakespeare; however, the town is so much more than just ‘Shakespeare’s birthplace’. Stratford is a market town on the banks of the River Avon with more than 800 years of history, containing not only many buildings that would have been familiar to Shakespeare and used as inspirations for locations in his stories, but also a thriving community offering a wide variety of leisure, theatre and shopping experiences.

How to reach Stratford-Upon-Avon

By Car: Stratford-upon-Avon is 15 miles from campus. The town is a 20-25 minute journey up the A46 from the University and is well sign-posted along the main roads. Once you get to Stratford, there’s lots of parking spaces in and around the town.

By Rail: Direct trains from Leamington Spa to Stratford-upon-Avon every hour. The journey takes 25-20 minutes.

By Bus: The Stagecoach X16 travels between campus and Stratford-upon-Avon. Check the Stagecoach website for more information about service times.

Points of Interest

Birthplace MuseumLink opens in a new window

One of Stratford’s most famous attractions is the Birthplace Museum on Henley Street, one of the town’s oldest streets and one of its main shopping streets. William Shakespeare was born here in 1564, and he spent his childhood years in the house. It is now a museum open to the public. Shakespeare lived here with his wife Anne Hathaway for the first five years of their marriage before he left for London.

Nash's HouseLink opens in a new window

This house on Chapel Street belonged to Thomas Nash, the first husband of Shakespeare's granddaughter, Elizabeth Hall. Shakespeare also spent the last years of his life here, until his death in 1616. The house was demolished in 1759, and a registered garden has been designed on the site, holding the foundations of Shakespeare’s New PlaceLink opens in a new window.

Anne Hathaway's CottageLink opens in a new window

Just outside Stratford is Anne Hathaway's Cottage, the family home of Shakespeare’s wife. The house today contains many household items and furnishings from the time. The extensive gardens include sculptures inspired by Shakespeare's plays and trees mentioned in his work.

Another must-see attraction in Stratford is the Holy Trinity Church on the corner of Trinity Street and Old Town Street, which contains the graves of both Shakespeare and his wife Anne.

Mary Arden’s FarmLink opens in a new window

is also worth a visit. The childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother lies 3 miles northwest of Stratford and offers an authentic experience of a working Tudor farm. You can meet the Tudors who run the farm, watch craft and falconry demonstrations and explore the farmyard!

Food and Drink

Stratford-upon-Avon also offers a wide range of places to eat to suit any kind of palate, from independent tea and coffee shops, to big name chains, to five-star restaurants! The One ElmLink opens in a new window, The EncoreLink opens in a new window, The Bear and The Shakespeare InnLink opens in a new window serve some of the best pub-food and Sunday roasts in Stratford, and BensonsLink opens in a new window, HR Coffee BarLink opens in a new window and Box Brownie are must-visit local cafés for great coffee! A personal recommendation is Hooray’s British Gelato KitchenLink opens in a new window, which is on High Street and serves a selection of delicious ice cream and sweet treats (with vegan options available)!


  • The MAD Museum - which is a short walk from Shakespeare’s Birthplace and is the UK’s only permanent venue for Mechanical Art and Design (‘MAD’). This quirky attraction displays interactive pieces of kinetic art and automata and lasts between an hour and two hours.
  • The Royal Shakespeare TheatreLink opens in a new window - What better place to go to watch Shakespeare’s plays than the Royal Shakespeare Theatre? This is the largest of the three theatres in Stratford, the others being the intimate Swan, a replica Elizabethan-style stage with just 426 seats and The Other Place, the smallest of the three stages with just 200 seats.

Other Activities


Stratford-upon-Avon continues to live up to it’s name as a medieval ‘market town’, offering a wide array of shops, from big name stores to unique, individual shops. Some of the main shopping streets are Henley Street, Bridge Street and High Street – you’ll find the majority of the high street stores and big name brands here! Stratford’s Farmer’s Market on Rother Street is held twice a month and sells local produce from the surrounding area… why not visit and buy some ingredients for when you start cooking at uni?! For when your student loan drops and you fancy a spend, Meer Street has a variety of designer stores and restaurants.

Boat trips

Another fun experience if the weather is good is to take a cruise on the River Avon or hire a rowing boat, punt or a canoe at the Boathouse.


The University of Warwick is situated within the city of Coventry. A vibrant, multicultural and diverse place which was the UK's City of Culture in 2021. Only a bus ride away, it is worth exploring the city centre and all it has to offer.

Leamington Spa

Royal Leamington Spa is a picturesque regency town located in the heart of Warwickshire and is less than 10 miles from campus. Named after the River Leam, which flows through the town, Leamington Spa’s growth was largely due to the natural spa springs that were discovered and commercialised in the 19th century.