If you’ve ever wanted to time travel, Stratford-upon-Avon may be the right spot for you. While the little town is filled with modern conveniences, much of the century old history is still preserved within the town where Shakespeare was born, lived and died. From the buildings, to the food, to the Shakespearean quotes and statues, Stratford-upon-Avon is truly one of a kind.
I’d be lying if I said this city existed prior to me buying a plane ticket there. But I have a lovely friend who is studying Shakespeare there, and visiting friends who are living abroad, while traveling, is an absolute must. I have a strict rule that every time I travel I have to go somewhere new, and even though I had been to Ireland, Scotland and England before this trip, I tried to visit places that were new in each one.
Our trip over to Stratford was right after our time in Dublin, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t crying my way through the airport on my way there. But, such is life. Leaving Ireland is never easy.
The plane ride over was the tiniest plane I’ve ever been on, but luckily I got my row to myself. We initially touched down in Birmingham, England which (I’m so sorry to anyone from Birmingham who might be reading this) honestly has the most bizarre British accent I’ve ever heard. Once we commuted a bit, we hopped on the train and were off! I honestly love taking trains across the English country side. It’s just miles and miles of green hills and sheep. If you ever just want to relax for 9 hours, take a train from Scotland to London.
When we arrived at Stratford we met up with our friend, Heidi and spent the evening getting a bit of a tour, watching a movie and ordering Indian food.
We were I was pretty tired, so there may or may not have been some unplanned naps on the couch, as well.
The next morning we started out things right with a trip to Benson’s for a true English breakfast and then a stroll around the town for me and Victoriana, after Heidi went to work. During this time we actually (consciously) got to see the town. I’m not gonna lie, one of my favorite parts was the Beatrix Potter themed shop, Timeless Tales where I bought a Peter Rabbit book and a silver spoon for my mom (who collects them, not just for funzies).
We also ventured over to Church of the Holy Trinity, which is where Shakespeare is buried. The overall beauty of the churches in Europe get me every time. Even in the smallest towns, the loveliest structures stand. I don’t think I ever would have guessed how storybook like a town could be, but I guess that’s the nature Stratford. We walked along the river and saw swans everywhere we looked (and they are scary – don’t get any magical ideas). The brick houses had ivy climbing the walls and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stood off looming gloriously in the background. It was magic, and I couldn’t help but imagine it in spring when all of the trees have their leaves and the weather is warmer. I think it would be the perfect spot for a writer’s retreat, and I definitely have it on my list of places I would love to go back to, to stay for a while.