Soaking up Shakespeare

Earlier this year we were invited to attend a formal dinner in Stratford upon Avon and decided to make a long weekend of it. Of course, being Shakespeare’s birthplace, almost everything is geared to a celebration of the Bard of Avon.

We started by taking a leisurely walk around the lovely Warwickshire market town. Beautiful old buildings-many of which would have been familiar to Shakespeare himself since the town dates back more than eight hundred years-exist alongside modern structures which, on the whole, blend in well. As you can see, many of these old buildings have been utilised for present-day needs.Police station

Of course, the most  photographed building in Stratford has to be where Shakespeare was born in 1564.  Some people say the house itself was built in the fifteenth century, while others say it was built around the time of Shakespeare’s actual birth. Regardless of when it was built, it is still a pretty impressive structure. Shakespeare's BirthplaceApparently, the Bard lived here until he was a young man, and even spent the first years of his marriage to Anne Hathaway in this house.

A short walk along the high street is a rather fun bronze statue of The Jester. It was created by Anthony Bird and features a character from As You Like it. Around the stone plinth on which it stands are quotations from other Shakespeare plays, such as ‘Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun. It shines everywhere‘ from Twelfth Night.The Jester

After all that culture, we were ready for afternoon tea. Being in Stratford, we just had to choose a really special tea shoppe. Where else than Hathaways Tea Rooms? Housed in a building dating from around 1610, the property has a chequered past. It has been an eighteenth-century Inn, a booksellers, an apothecary, a boot and shoe store, until in 1931 it became Hathaways Tea Rooms.Hathaways Tea Rooms

Alas, we didn’t have time for a trip to the theatre to see a Shakespearean play, but that was sort of remedied for me when I got home and a friend managed to get tickets for a much sought-after live screening of Benedict Cumberbatch playing Hamlet at London’s Barbican theatre. So, October was Shakespeare month for me, and now I feel so bathed in culture, I’m sure it will keep me going for a good few months to come.


7 responses to “Soaking up Shakespeare

  1. Thank you Tricia, this brings back lots of fun memories for me. Stratford resonates history and yet is fresh every time I visit. Luck you Benedict Cumberbatch too! X

  2. I envy you, Kit and Jane what a wonderful place to live. So close to such historic places. And, I love old houses. And, I enjoy Shakespeare or used, to I haven’t read or re-read any of his stories for years.

  3. You’d love Stratford, Lavada, and it’s another place to put on the list for when you come and visit. I haven’t read Shakespeare for ages either, but enjoyed the watching the play.

  4. I’m not sure what I got more excited for you about. The immersion in Shakespeare country or Benedict Cumberbatch! Both are inspiring, eh? What a cool month for you.

  5. I visited Stratford many, many years ago on a school trip and fell in love with its charm, history and culture. Reading your post, Tricia, has reminded me it’s high time I went back again, as I know I will appreciate it even more than when I did as a young teenager.

  6. Love the pics! AND I got to see that live at the Barbican show as well when I was in Rhode Island. They showed it at the art theatre there, We got our tickets as soon as we heard about it. It was really good. I enjoyed it.Jillian

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