Visit Stratford-upon-Avon: Places to stay, things to do

Katie Reynolds heads to Stratford, a tourist's mecca that also has lot to do to escape the crowds

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Image: © Copyright Colin Craig and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
 
Why go there
Best known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford sits in rural Warwickshire overlooking the picturesque River Avon. The impossibly pretty market town is rich in architectural interest, with timber-framed Tudor buildings lining the quaint streets.
The Bard certainly left his mark – the town is bursting with tourist attractions and his houses are now museums for all things Shakespeare. Stratford-upon-Avon itself is a delight to explore, with constant surprises and pretty scenery around every corner. The Tudor World museum provides fun insight to Tudor history, combining theatre, exhibits and ghost hunts for interested guests – which earned it Best Attraction in Warwickshire last year.
The Holy Trinity Church, as the resting place of Shakespeare and his wife Anne Hathaway, is well worth a visit and celebrates its 800th birthday this year.
If the tourists prove exhausting, the neighbouring countryside and River Avon provide a calming escape, with pretty rural scenery and easy walking terrain in close proximity. The Stratford Greenway Country Park offers cycle-able and wheelchair-friendly pathways, with plenty of picnic benches and bike hire available.
 
Where to stay
The monochrome, timber-framed Falcon Hotel has a pretty courtyard garden and beamed ceilings in the four-poster suites. It is well located and boasts a striking Oak Bar with visible timbers. Double rooms from £72.
 
Where to eat
Marlowes Elizabethan restaurant offers al fresco and indoor dining under the beautiful Tudor-beamed ceilings. The restaurant boasts historic panelled walls, is centrally located and offers an intricately designed menu.
 
Tell us a local secret 

The famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre burned down in 1926, and a competition was launched to find a design for the new building. Elisabeth Scott created the winning design, which was completed in 1932 and later became birthplace of the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company, formed in 1961.

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