A Day Trip to Stratford-upon-Avon
A must visit nearby town!
Have you heard of William Shakespeare before? If you used to play in your school theatre, or if you like poetry, you probably know who he was. He was a poet, a playwright, and an actor himself. You must have known Romeo and Juliet, haven’t you? He wrote that!
Well, to be honest, I knew almost nothing about him. I wasn’t a theater member and I read neither poems nor classical books. But, I got to learn some information about him thanks to my trip to where he was born, raised, and started his careers on plays: Stratford-Upon-Avon. A friend invited me to a trip there because she is a fan oh William Shakespeare. I initially agreed to it just for the fun of going to another town, but I left Stratford with a lot of new knowledge about the writer and his living story, as well as lots of memories of the beautiful small town I managed to explore during my day trip there.
Stratford-upon-Avon is located within West Midlands area and it is a relatively close-by town to Coventry. It is a very historical place. Even people from towns outside West Midlands area had come to witness the proof of the history of the life of William Shakespeare there. From Coventry, you can reach the town by both bus and train. The choice is yours. But, in this post, I will share an itinerary and some cool tips based on my recent travel experience to the town.
My journey started at 11 from one of the bus stops at Warwick University Interchange. I took 11 bus which goes from Coventry Pool Meadow bus station to Leamington Spa’s Crown Hotel bus station which is located within three-minute walk distance to Leamington Spa Railway Station. From Warwick University interchange to Leamington Spa Railway Station, the bus trip took roughly 25 minutes. In the morning, we purchased the round-trip train tickets which cost us 5.10 pounds. I have a railcard, so that price already included 30% discount to the ticket (pro tip: get one if you haven’t had it and if you travel by trains a lot. It’s worth it). It costs more than 8 pounds (with a railcard) if you depart from Coventry Railway Station, so if you have a bus subscription that allow you to travel to Leamington Spa, it can be a cheaper option to depart from Leamington Spa Railway Station. However, it will be an opposite if you live in Coventry city centre. You might not want to spend 50 minutes on a bus just to catch a train afterwards when you have a more convenient option to depart from Coventry, even if that means you have to pay more for the tickets.
The train past Warwick Station, Hatton Station, Bearley Station, Wilmcote station before finally reached Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway station. The whole train journey only lasted for 30 minutes. It is very short! Once we arrived at the destination station, we were quite surprised by how small the station is. There was no employee seen working at the station (at least, we saw no one there). The same happened when we were about to leave the town and felt unsure about which side to wait the train at. We couldn’t ask anyone at the station. So, make sure you check carefully the platform, the destination, the other station you will past, before deciding to take a seat in a train (pro tip: every train has a map of the journey attached on the top sides of the interior. You can check if a train is going to your destination by looking at this. Make sure to get out of a train as soon as you realise it is not going to take you to your destination!)
We then headed towards the town centre where we unexpectedly found an open market with a lot of tenants selling various stuffs, from food, clothes, crafts, to accessories. We learned that the open market is often held there.
Our next destination was the most famous place in the town. Possibly the main reason people come to this town. The main attraction: Shakespeare’s Schoolroom! But, on the way there, we found some nice spots to take pictures. One of them is this isle with some tea rooms around it.
After admiring the town through our way to the schoolroom, we finally reached there and had a lovely tour around the schoolroom. You can watch the story in a small dark room and experience sitting at the desk where William Shakespeare studied during his younger life. You can also try writing with a quill pen and wear the uniform which the boys in that era used to wear to the school. There is also a schoolmaster who will tell you a story about the school back in the time William Shakespeare was a student there. Before you leave, you can buy a souvenir at the entrance of the place.
After spending a long time in the schoolroom, we moved to our next place to visit, that is Stratford-upon-Avon Canal where you can see some boats, ducks, swans, and a Ferris wheel near the parks around the canal. I recommend spending more time there because it is just too pretty to skip in your trip! You can also take a boat ride along the river. Many corners of the place are perfect for your photo background. If you are lucky, you can also find someone performing a musical instrument there. There was a woman performing songs from famous plays with her violin. That was really an amazing performance before our eyes! On your way there, you will pass the famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre where you can watch amazing plays inside. I think I will definitely watch one when I come back to the town next time.
Finally, we returned to the train station to go back to Coventry. We saw some statues on our way back, so we made sure to take more group photos there!
We decided to have a quick dinner at one of the fish and chips shop in the town. It was nice and they open until 9!
Stratford-upon-Avon is indeed a very pleasant town to spend a day. Make sure you visit this town at least once in your time in the UK.
That was all about our day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, the hometown of William Shakespeare. Bye! 🙂