Today – 23 April 2014 – marks the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth. The English poet, playwright and actor was born in 1564 and died in 1616.
This weekend we took a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace, to take a look at the history and enjoy a day by the river.
We took ourselves on a photo tour of the houses and places which were part of William Shakespeare’s life and death. You can buy various passes to view the houses inside but as it was a beautiful, sunny day, we decided to stay out in the sunshine.
The house where William Shakespeare was born stands in the centre of town on Henley Street. With a pass you can take a tour inside where there are lots of stories and events marking the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s life.
You’ll need to drive to stop off at Mary Arden’s Farm as it’s just outside the town centre. This is the Tudor family farm where William’s mother grew up. William was the third child of John Shakespeare, a leather merchant and Mary Arden, a landed heiress.
We also drove out to see Anne Hathaway’s Cottage as it’s just outside the town, less than five minutes by car. Anne Hathaway was the older woman in Shakespeare’s life. They married in 1582 when William was 18 and Anne was 26. The home and gardens tell a Tudor love story. William and Anne had three children together, Susanna, Hamnet and Judith.
Hall’s Croft is the home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her husband Dr John Hall and can be found in the Old Town, a five-minute walk from his birthplace.
Just a short walk down the road from Hall’s Croft and you will come to Holy Trinity Church where William Shakespeare was both baptised and buried. There is an entry cost of £2 per adult if you don’t have a tour pass but you can get very close to the stone and the church is beautiful inside.
From the church you can walk through the park and back to the town centre along the river Avon for stunning views across the water. It’s a lovely spot to hire a rowing boat or take a picnic.
- For tour and visitor pass information visit www.shakespeareliveshere.co.uk