Local attractions

Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire - Places to Visit

Situated on the banks of the beautiful River Avon in the heart of rural Warwickshire, Stratford-upon-Avon is a beautiful medieval market town steeped in history and culture – an ideal holiday destination at any time of year. Heritage Mews self catering holiday cottage is within ten minutes’ walk of the town centre with its rich variety of historic buildings and unique attractions.

Download the Official Historic Walking Guide with two walks – a riverside walk and a town centre walk.

Stratford-upon-Avon’s historic buildings:

Places of interest / Things to do in Stratford:

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre: Waterside: a 10 minute stroll from Heritage Mews. Home to the Royal Shakespeare Company – built in 1932 and transformed in 2010, retaining many original art deco features. Theatre Tours, Theatre Tower with fantastic view of the river and town, free exhibitions, The Rooftop restaurant (open) and Riverside Café (open). Theatre news performance information here.

City Sightseeing ‘Hop-on Hop-off’ bus tour: an open-top bus tour of the town centre sights and nearby villages, visiting Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. 24 hour or 48 hour ticket for unlimited bus tours, hopping on and off whenever you wish. (Open May – October).

Stratford-upon-Avon Town Walk: An award-winning, lively and entertaining daily guided town walk – a great way to explore Stratford-upon-Avon, its history and relationship with Shakespeare. Town Walks resume 1 August 2021; pre-boooking required.

Avon Boating: 30-minute sight-seeing river cruises aboard an original Edwardian passenger launch. Rowing and motor boat hire also available.

Riverside walk into town starting from nearby Holy Trinity Church to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Bancroft Garden and canal basin. You can cross the River on an old pedestrian chain ferry (a 1937-built hand wound chain ferry, the last of its kind in Britain) or walk across the Tramway Bridge (now a foot bridge, it was built in 1832 to carry the horse tramway from Stratford Wharf to Moreton-in-Marsh). From here is a good view of the magnificent 15th century Clopton Bridge with its 14 pointed arches. The canal basin, with its barge moorings and working lock into the River Avon, is surrounded by gardens. The 19th century Gower Memorial in the Bancroft Gardens is a stone and bronze sculpture of William Shakespeare surrounded by statues of characters from his plays, representing Philosophy, Tragedy, History, and Comedy.

Stratford-upon-Avon Big Wheel: a big ferris wheel by the River Avon with great views of town and river.
Tudor World: a museum depicting Tudor life (not for purists!), set in a 16th century building on Stratford’s only surviving cobbled street. Now open.

Butterfly Farm: see hundreds of exotic butterflies from all over the world flying in a landscaped area with waterfalls, ponds and a wide variety of tropical plants. The UK’s largest tropical butterfly paradise. Open every day.

Stratford-upon-Avon markets: three weekly town centre markets, popular with locals and visitors alike. A traditional Charter Market every Friday with over 40 traders selling food, clothing and gifts. Every Saturday, an Urban Mix market with local makers, farmers produce, street food, artisan food, vintage finds, collectibles, handcrafted jewellery and quirky gifts. On Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays, the Waterside Upmarket has a special atmosphere with street entertainment, street food, local artists and a variety of interesting crafts and gifts. Don’t miss Stratford’s wonderful Christmas Lights and festive Christmas Markets from the end of November. For details see Christmas Breaks.

Stratford Minigolf, on the banks of the river by the Recreation Ground: fun for all ages – not to be confused with crazy golf, this is a test of skill with tricky hazards, bumps and ramps! Tea and coffee available. Open (closed in winter).

The MAD Museum: Mechanical Art and Design. A quirky attraction displaying interactive mechanical art, in particular; kinetic art and automata, like the machines in Wallace and Gromit! Great interactive fun for all ages. Open every day.

Stratford-upon-Avon Greenway: Dedicated 5 mile traffic-free cycling/walking trail along Honeybourne disused railway line starting a few minutes’ walk from Heritage Mews, passing Milcote (cafe, picnic area) to Long Marston village. Cycle hire available.

Shakespeare Distillery: an artisan spirit producer making a range of premium, handcrafted gins and rums, including the award-winning Stratford Dry and newly launched Jester Rum. Enjoy a fun and informative distillery tour followed by tutored gin tasting.

Places of interest near Stratford-upon-Avon:

Gardens near Stratford -Upon-Avon

In addition to the many National Trust properties with gardens…

Bourton House Garden,Bourton-on-the-Hill: an award-winning three acre garden with wide herbaceous borders, imaginative topiary, a knot garden, water features and creatively planted pots. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm. Booking not required.

Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Mickleton (near Hidcote): spectacular setting on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment. Beautiful herbaceous borders, roses, terraces and water garden. Open April to September.

Batsford Arboretum & Falconry Centre, near Moreton in the Marsh: the country’s largest private collection of trees and shrubs, with year round interest from the first snowdrops of spring, through to outstanding autumn colour. Garden centre. Falconry Centre with daily free-flying demonstrations. Open.

Cotswold Lavender, near Broadway: Open June-August.

Cotswold villages to explore