“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players” – William Shakespeare, ‘As You Like It’
So, after a week of radio silence on my blog (and lacking motivation whilst simultaneously having university work to do), I spent my very sunny Saturday in the birth place of William Shakespeare himself: Stratford-upon-Avon.
We booked these tickets months ago for a day out, planned to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. However, earlier this week, a friend advised us not to go if the weather was bad as there isn’t much to do outside; after seeing it for myself, I agree with this, so be aware! Luckily for us, everywhere in the Midlands was apparently struck with lovely blue skies and sunny weather and so it was was the perfect time to go.
Travel 4/5: We booked train tickets online with National Rail, at a cost of only around £16 for the two of us (using 16-25 railcards – these are so worth it!). I don’t think this is a bad cost for a 1hr 57min train journey both ways. We had an easy direct train on the way, from Worcester Foregate Street, and a simple change at Birmingham Moor Street coming back. These were off peak anytime tickets, meaning we could pick and choose when we went and came home. Typically, we got the train at 8:55am – early bird and all that.
Food 4/5: We chose to get fish and chips for lunch from Barnaby’s Fish, which is right by the RSC Swan Theatre and waterside of the River Avon – we enjoyed our chips and curry sauce whilst sat on a bench, soaking up the sun. A lot of people around us had a similar idea! I also spotted a lot of quaint cafés whilst we were wandering around, many with outdoor seating too, which is perfect for such a bright day. As well as this, we treated ourselves to some fudge from Roly’s Fudge Pantry. We chose 3 flavours: sea salt, Baileys and hot cross buns.
Not long before we got the train back, we fancied a drink, so popped into Caffe Nero for 2 iced lattes, which we enjoyed ‘to-go’ whilst watching a very talented busker perform with his guitar. There were several dining recommendations in the guidebook, with a mix of traditional pubs and chains such as Prezzo, Zizzi and Bella Italia (Italian cuisine is clearly popular!).
Things to do 3/5: Now, I can’t speak for everyone on this count. We didn’t visit the Shakespeare museums (other than to take touristy pictures outside) and had only really planned the day to have a walk around and a look in some of the cute shops on offer anyway. The day suited me perfectly, just wandering aimlessly for a few hours to relax, being camera happy and enjoying whatever there was on offer without expectations. The lovely Jemima (drinkingbooks.wordpress.com) had also recommended a couple of shops to me before I went, such as Vinegar Hill – it’s full of quirky trinkets and things so, naturally, I loved it!
There are definitely places of note to visit, such as the RSC to watch a performance, but it strikes me that there isn’t much to do outside of shopping and Shakespeare, so if you’re interested in neither of those, steer clear! I do think one thing, which is a shame, is the number of businesses and shops that have shut down and are ‘For Let’. It doesn’t give off a great vibe and there is a lot of wasted space. Ultimately, I enjoyed the day and being able to do everything we wanted, but I think I’d run out of ideas if I was there for more than a few hours.
Where shall I go for my next day trip?