William Shakespeare is one of Britain’s most iconic writers, play-writes, poets and manipulators of the English language. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, and on a very wintery Friday whilst staying Birmingham I ventured down to Stratford to see what this quaint market-town.
William Shakespeare’s birthplace and childhood home is located in the centre of Stratford, among cobbled streets and mewses. This restored building is owned by the Shakespeare centre and is a haven for lovers of literature. Although I did not visit the centre inside, so I cannot give an opinion on the attraction, it is a steep price at £15.75. Just walking along the Henley Street outside almost takes you back hundreds of years.
There was a busy Christmas market when I visited Stratford, with some of the most amazing cakes, and a specialist Victorian Market. People mainly flock to this area for tourism and with the Christmas Markets it is no wonder, you really feel like you are taking a walk back in time.
Warwick has been established anglo-saxon settlement, and William the Conqueror built a castle here in 1068 to help ward of the rebelling North. Sadly most of the medieval town was destroyed in a great fire in 1694. St Mary’s Church which was first built in 1123 and the crypt is the only part of the church remaining. The current building was rebuilt in 1704 and based on the original gothic design, but it does look relatively new, which is a bit of a shame.
Both the towns with their quaint medieval charm and narrow cobbled streets offer a retreat to the hustle and bustle of Birmingham.