Most famous as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon is a historic market town set along the banks of the meandering River Avon. Its picturesque streets are lined with thatched cottages and half-timbered Tudor houses. As you wander around them in the company of an expert local guide you'll be walking in the Bard's footsteps, visiting his birthplace, school and burial place on a tour that reveals the personal story behind the literary genius. Learn about his childhood years, education, marriage and professional life on a wide-ranging tour that brings you closer to the playwright and his family.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning for your private guided tour of Shakespeare's Stratford. This tour takes a leisurely pace and your guide discusses Shakespeare's life and work as you walk between locations, revealing many aspects of Elizabethan life that throw light on his works and his family situation.
Your first stop is Shakespeare’s birthplace, a restored timber-framed house where the Bard was born in 1564. Shakespeare spent his childhood here and the house has been carefully restored to give a faithful impression of how it would have appeared over 400 years ago. An engaging exhibition tells the story of Shakespeare's life, while costumed guides recite famous scenes from his works.
Close by is the prestigious local grammar school where, in the former guildhall, a large 15th-century black-and-white timbered building, Shakespeare was first educated. You can visit a classroom and sit in on a Tudor-era lesson given by enthusiastic actors. You can ask them to provide further details on the literary and lifestyle influences that shaped the young playwright.
Your final visit is the charming riverside Church of the Holy Trinity, Shakespeare’s final resting place. Although dating back to the 12th century, the church has many later additions including beautiful stained-glass windows, elaborate wall tombs and an 18th-century spire. For most visitors however, the font in which Shakespeare was baptized and the modest grave of the playwright and his wife, Anne Hathaway, are the biggest attractions.
As you walk between these sites your guide also tells you about other areas of historical significance in the town and explains about Stratford's distinct architecture. The entire tour takes approximately three hours, and afterwards your guide can walk you back to your hotel or suggest places to have some lunch.