We Love Stratford-upon-Avon!

There are thousands of reasons to love Stratford, not least of course because it is the birthplace of the world’s greatest and most famous poet and playwright, William Shakespeare. 

The Bard, as he is affectionately known, wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets during his 52 years, of which the vast majority have the theme of love running through them. 

Standing proudly on the banks of the River Avon, Stratford has embraced its famous son with statues, the preservation of his house New Place, his tomb in Holy Trinity Church and of course the iconic Royal Shakespeare Theatre, home to the Royal Shakespeare Company and which receives more than 2.5million visitors a year. 

But we don’t just adore Stratford for its literary and theatrical connections. There is far more to say and love about this medieval market town in the heart of Warwickshire. 

It was granted town status in 1196, the same year as it was granted a charter from Richard I to hold a weekly market. From then on Stratford was able to grow and develop its trade and commerce. This included being part of the major sheep-producing area of Warwickshire and the Cotswolds up until the latter part of the 19th century. It also meant Stratford became a centre for tanning during the 15th to 17th centuries as well as an important area for glove making, an industry that Shakespeare’s father John was employed in. 

Industry and business have thrived in Stratford ever since – including being the location of Sheldon Bosley Knight’s head office. The town is also blessed with great schools, a fantastic range of shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs, many of which are independent and housed within some beautiful Tudor buildings. There are also three theatres, a cinema, nightclubs and bars, the Butterfly Farm, the Big Wheel and of course the fantastic MAD Museum on Henley Street which is loved by people of all ages. 

The river, which runs through the town, is populated with swans, geese and ducks as well as river boats and barges, many of which are hired out in the summer months. 

We also love that Stratford can be enjoyed all year round thanks to a multitude of festivals and events. Amongst the most popular are the Stratford Literary Festival, the Festival of Motoring, the Stratford Food Festival and the Stratford Mop Fair. 

So as Shakespeare himself said: “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”