CK Travels

48 Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK (2023)

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The historical riverside town of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire may be best known as ‘Shakespeare’ country but there are so many more things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon (and yes, there are lots of activities related to The Bard).

From messing about on the River Avon through to traditional timber buildings, Stratford-upon-Avon is one of the prettiest towns in England blessed with lots of shops, restaurants and some ancient pubs and taverns.

As you’d expect, there are lots of Shakespeare-related things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon, from visiting Shakespeare’s historical homes or the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre through to some more modern day things like the Shakespeare distillery or the ShakesPaw Cat Cafe (no, really!)

From rooftop terraces to riverside cafes, Sunday roasts to Sheep Street, Tudor treats to charming cottages, here is our guide to the best things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, UK as of 2023:

Note: Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire is not to be confused with Stratford in east London – but if you do end up going there by mistake, cool beans and here is also our guide to the best things to do in Stratford, London 🙂

Table of Contents

How to get to Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-Upon-Avon is easy to reach by train from London and there are frequent daily trains from London Marylebone station (with a change at Leamington Spa station).

The journey takes just over 2 hours and can cost as little as £6.50 per person one way, if booked in advance.

You can also reach Stratford-upon-Avon easily from Birmingham Moor Street station in just under 1 hour.

Alternatively, try these day tours:

England in One Day Tour >

Shakespeare’s Stratford and the Cotswolds Tour from London >

Or stay over in Stratford and get a private transfer back to Heathrow airport

Getting Around Stratford-upon-Avon

The town of Stratford-upon-Avon is quite small so it is easy to walk around, without the need for a car.

If you do need to book a taxi then are many local taxi companies, plus Uber operates in the area.

However one of the most fun ways to discover Stratford-upon Avon is by jumping aboard the sightseeing hop-on, hop-off bus. You can book the bus on both Viator and Get Your Guide.

Accommodation in Stratford-upon-Avon

Here are some highly rated accommodation options if you are planning to stay overnight in Stratford-upon-Avon:

Mercure Stratford Upon Avon Shakespeare Hotel
4-star hotel located inside an authentic Tudor 17th-century inn. The Mercure is located in the heart of the town and a 10 minute walk from the train station. Check rates and availability for Mercure Stratford Upon Avon >

The Mercure Hotel

Hotel Indigo – Stratford Upon Avon, an IHG Hotel
Stylish and highly rated 4-star hotel housed in a 1500s half-timbered building and a Georgian townhouse in the centre of town. Facilities include a gym and a cocktail bar offering afternoon tea. Check rates and availability for Hotel Indigo >

The Townhouse
Boutique hotel set in a historic building from the 1600s, located just a short walk from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Facilities include a restaurant and 2 bars, plus breakfast is included. Check rates and availability for The Townhouse >

The Townhouse hotel Stratford Upon Avon
The Townhouse

Check out more Stratford-Upon-Avon hotels on >

Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon

1. William Shakespeare statues

We start our ‘things to in Stratford-upon-Avon’ guide with one of Stratford’s newest attractions, the William Shakespeare Statue – unveiled in 2020 in front of Shakespeare’s Birthplace.

William Shakespeare statue Stratford-Upon-Avon

This £100,000 bronze statue of William Shakespeare looks out over Henley Street and was sculpted by James Butler. Always a popular photo-spot, this is one of the best free attractions associated with Shakespeare.

If the Shakespeare Statue on Henley Street is too busy to get a picture with, there is a lesser known but equally impressive bronze statue of a young William Shakespeare in Bancroft Gardens close to the main entrance of the RSC Theatre.

William Shakespeare statue Bancroft Gardens Stratford-Upon-Avon
Bancroft Gardens

This Shakespeare statue was commissioned to mark the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death.

So if Shakespeare selfies are your thing (we won’t judge!), Stratford-upon-Avon is a happy, snappy place to enjoy!

Address: The Shakespeare Statue, 50 Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6QW

2. Henley Street

Perhaps most famous as the home of Shakespeare’s birthplace and family house, these days Henley Street is a popular pedestrianised Stratford-upon-Avon shopping area that is packed full of souvenir stores, cute cafes and chocolate shops galore.

Boston Tea Party Stratford-Upon-Avon

You’ll even found a year round Nutcracker Christmas store here (which always looks a bit odd in summer).

Henley Street is a high street of boutique and chain stores plus there is a small courtyard area called The Minories that has shops such as the House of Spells gift-shop and Shakespeare in Love wedding boutique (!).

Christmas shop Stratford-Upon-Avon

Henley Street also has several tea shops including the Boston Tea Party and Benson’s Tea Shop, both of which offer ample afternoon teas.

Address: Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6QW

Henley Street Stratford-Upon-Avon
The Garrick Inn pub Stratford-Upon-Avon

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3. Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Explore William Shakespeare’s childhood home in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Shakespeare was born in this very house in 1564, the third of eight children to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. William Shakespeare continued to live in this house for many years, having children with Anne Hathaway here.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon

It later became a coaching house (The Maidenhead) and was then bought by the Shakespeare Trust in the 1840s.

At Shakespeare’s Birthplace, you can learn more about his father and his trade as a glove-maker, see the Explore the Famous Beyond Words exhibition.

A visit to Shakespeare’s Birthplace costs £20 per person, or you can buy a combo ticket to visit all 3 Shakespeare family properties in Stratford-upon-Avon including Anne Hathaway’s cottage and Shakespeare’s New Place for £25 – prices correct as of August 2023.

Get your Shakespeare’s Story pass including Shakespeare’s Birthplace admission here >

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4. Walk along the River Avon

One of the best places to start your trip to Stratford-upon-Avon is the area around the River Avon.

As well as all manner of swans-a-swimming, you can get incredible views of the RSC Theatre and Trinity Church from the east side of the river.

One of the best free things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon, the River Avon trail is very flat and easily accessible.

If you have time, we’d suggest you do the loop that starts along Tramway Bridge and head south past the bandstand at the Rec, all the way down to Lucy’s Mill Bridge.

Then back up on the west side via Holy Trinity Church, the Dell and the waterside walkway by the Swan Theatre – this River Avon Trail loop is just over 1.5 miles long and takes around 40 minutes.

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5. Hire a boat or take a cruise

As well as the larger sightseeing boat trips in Stratford-upon-Avon, there are plenty of other opportunities for ‘messing about on the river’ (Avon).

One of the more pleasant ways to explore the river and see such iconic attractions as the Holy Trinity Church or the RSC Swan Theatre from the water is to hire a rowing boat.

Rowing boats Stratford-Upon-Avon

You can hire rowing boats all along the River Avon in Stratford from £14 per hour, max three people – prices correct as of August 2023.

In addition, if you want to save some energy, motor boats are also available to hire from the Avon Boating Company.

You’ll often find money off vouchers in the printed Stratford-upon-Avon tourist guides available all over town or from the Tourist Information office on Bridge Street.

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6. Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre and The Swan Theatre

No trip to Stratford-upon Avon is complete without a trip to the recently restored Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RSC), on the banks of the River Avon.

Even if you aren’t a diehard Shakespeare fan or don’t want to see a play, this is an extraordinary building to walk around and it also has one of the best gift shops in the whole of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre

There are many ways to enjoy the Royal Shakespeare Theatre – you can go behind the scenes on a guided tour and see the incredible auditorium, enjoy delicious refreshments in the RSC Riverside Cafe or a sumptuous riverside meal in the RSC Rooftop Restaurant.

The RSC also has a huge range of costumes and accessories to hire with something to suit all tastes and budgets.

RSC Shakespeare Stratford-Upon-Avon

As well as the main RSC Theatre, you’ll also find the Swan Theatre here, which allows for a more intimate performance and often stages the work of other playwrights.

If you do want to see a Shakespeare play at the RSC, try to book in advance especially when a famous actor is involved.

Over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to see stars such as Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen perform at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon (and those tickets need to be booked waaaaay in advance).

Address: Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 7LS

RSC Shakespeare gift shop Stratford-Upon-Avon

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7. RSC Tower

Did you know that the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre is also home to a viewing platform called the RSC Tower?

Around 30 metres above the ground, the RSC Tower is the best place for skyline views of Stratford-upon-Avon and the surrounding Warwickshire countryside.

RSC Shakespeare viewing tower Stratford-Upon-Avon

You can see as far afield as Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucester on clear sunny days and around 20 miles in every direction – this part of England is known for its spectacular views.

To get to the top of the RSC Tower, you get the lift to the top from the foyer by the RSC Gift Shop – you must be accompanied by a member of RSC staff (there is usually a member of RSC staff both by the lift on the ground floor plus at the top of the tower).

The RSC Tower is open daily from midday to 4pm except on poor weather days or on matinee days. Admission is free but donations are appreciated / expected.

Address: RSC Tower, Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 7LS

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8. Shakespeare’s New Place

Shakespeare’s final residence in Stratford-upon-Avon, he and his family lived here for almost 20 years until his death in 1616 . He was buried at the nearby Holy Trinity Church – more on this later.

Shakespeare’s home was demolished in the late 1750s and beautiful gardens (The Knot Garden and the Grand Garden) have now been planted where it used to stand so that you walk in the footsteps of Shakespeare.

A visit to Shakespeare’s New Place Birthplace costs £14.50 per adult as of summer 2023. The better value option is to buy a combo ticket for all three of Shakespeare’s family homes including his birthplace for £25 per person.

Get your Shakespeare’s Story pass including Shakespeare’s New Place admission here >

Address: Shakespeare’s New Place, 22 Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6EP

9. Holy Trinity Church & Shakespeare’s Grave

With a riverside setting and gorgeous green church yard, Holy Trinity Church is a Grade I listed building that can be found on the edge of Stratford-upon-Avon’s Old Town.

It is best known as the burial place of William Shakespeare who was buried here in 1616. Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway, daughter Suzanna and son-in-law John Hall and Thomas Nash are also buried in the chancel alongside him.

Entry to the Holy Trinity Church is free although donations are appreciated. Entry to the Holy Trinity Church Chancel where Shakespeare’s Grave is located is £4 per person, or £1 for children under 16 years of age – Shakespeare’s Grave prices correct as of summer 2023.

Address: Holy Trinity Church, 1 Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BG

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10. Guild Chapel

Built in 1269, the Guild Chapel is one of the most beautiful historic buildings in Stratford-upon-Avon and is free to visit or have a quiet moment of reflection at.

The Guild also built many of the nearby buildings including the building that is now known as Shakespeare’s Schoolhouse.

Guild Chapel Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare’s Father John Shakespeare was also a regular visitor and he once ‘defaced’ and covered up the Chapel’s wall paintings in the 1570s, by Royal order.

The chapel is open daily from 10am to 4pm and is located on the crossroads of Chapel Lane and Church Street opposite Shakespeare’s New Place and the Guild Chapel of the Holy Cross.

Volunteers also are on hand to help with any questions on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

11. Hall’s Croft – Temporarily Closed in 2023

One of the most historic and beautiful buildings in Stratford-upon-Avon’s Old Town, Hall’s Croft is thought to have been the residence of John Hall in the 16th / 17th century, a local physician who married William Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna.

Hall’s Croft Stratford-upon-Avon

They only had one child at Hall’s Croft, a girl called Elizabeth, and then subsequently moved to New Place down the road (another thing to do in Stratford Upon Avon).

Hall’s Croft over the years was home to several families and also a boy’s school before being purchased by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in the 1940s.

Please note that as of summer 2023, Hall’s Croft is temporarily closed to the public but you can still visit the exterior along Stratford’s Old Town street.

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12. Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall

Fancy taking part in a live Tudor lesson with Shakespeare’s Teacher? Or try writing with a quill and dress up in authentic Tudor clothes?

Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall Stratford-upon-Avon

Learn about Shakespeare’s Family and where they lived in Stratford-upon-Avon and hear (tall) tales about the historic Guildhall from the award winning guides at Shakespeare’s School, where William was likely inspired to become such an incredible playwright.

Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall is open daily between 11am to 5pm (don’t be late or you might get told off by a teacher!)

Beat the queue – get your Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall Entry Ticket and Tour with Viator or Get Your Guide.

Address: Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall, Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6HB

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13. Nash’s House

Across the road from Shakespeare’s Schoolroom on Chapel Street, you’ll find Nash’s House immediately next door to Shakespeare’s New Place.

Thomas Nash resided here, the first husband of William Shakespeare’s granddaughter Elizabeth Barnard.

Nash’s House was built in the early 1600s (now a Grade I listed building) and has been converted into a Shakespeare and local history museum retracing the steps of the earliest dwellers all the way to Shakespeare’s era.

Address: Nash’s House & New Place, 22 Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6EP

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14. Sheep Street

For us, Sheep Street in Stratford-upon-Avon is one of the town’s prettiest thoroughfares and streets, lined with Tudor timbered buildings, many of which have now become bars and restaurants or independent shops (along with a glut of charity shops).

Sheep Street is also where you’ll find Tudor World, a themed attraction and living museum that shows how Sheep Street used to be.

Stratford Upon Avon’s Sheep Street highlights include the Four Teas 1940’s themed tea-room, Loxley’s bar and restaurant (book in advance) plus you find inexpensive chain restaurants like Wildwood, Cafe Rouge, Wetherspoons and Zizzi.

Barnaby’s Fish Restaurant on Sheep Street is also one of the best places to get fish and chips in Stratford-upon-Avon; sit in their restaurant or get some takeaway fish and chips to enjoy in nearby Bancroft Gardens or by the River Avon.

Address: Sheep Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6EF

15. Stratford-upon-Avon Old Town

The Old Town area of Stratford-upon-Avon is one of our favourite areas to explore, a leafy green village suburb chock of historical buildings like Croft’s Hall, Dower House and the Holy Trinity Church.

It is also a nice place to escape the hustle and bustle of Henley Street and some of the more popular attractions.

This is one of the more affluent residential areas of Stratford-upon-Avon with several cute cottages (which welcome incredible blooms of wisteria in the spring months).

16. Stratford-upon-Avon Walking Tours

Stratford-upon-Avon is quite small and easy to explore most of the downtown area by foot.

As such, as well as navigating the historic streets by yourself, there are numerous walking tours in Stratford Upon Avon.

Some of the best walking tours in Stratford-upon-Avon include:

There are also spooky Stratford-upon-Avon ghost tours included further down this ‘things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon’ guide; keep reading on for more…

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17. The Dower House and Avon Croft

Dower House is one of the oldest surviving homes in the whole of Stratford-upon-Avon.

The Dower House and Avon Croft Stratford-upon-Avon.

The earliest part of the house dates back to the 1450s and it is thought that the staircase in Dower House was transferred from New Place, Shakespeare’s last home in the 18th century.

The Dower House is Grade II listed and whilst not open to the public, it is possible to view it from the main high road in Stratford-upon-Avon’s old town.

The Dower House and Avon Croft Stratford-upon-Avon.

18. Stratford-upon-Avon chain ferry / foot ferry

One of the more interesting ways to get across the River Avon, the Stratford-upon-Avon chain ferry has been operating since the 1930s and is only £1 per adult or 50p per child as of summer 2023 (one way only).

Stratford-upon-Avon chain ferry / foot ferry

The Stratford-upon-Avon chain ferry goes back and forth across the River Avon dozens of times a day, between the RSC Other Place Theatre and to the meadows / Recreation Ground on the other side.

The Stratford-upon-Avon chain ferry runs seasonally, usually from March to October.

Address: Stratford-upon-Avon chain ferry, Waterside, Southern Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6LU

19. Bell Court

A new outdoor Stratford-upon-Avon shopping centre and complex just off the High Street, Bell Court is home to big brands like Nando’s Chicken Restaurant, Ask Italian and All Bar One. It also has a very highly rated burger bar called Libertine Burger.

Bell Court Stratford-upon-Avon.

As well as food and drink outlets, here you can watch movies at the Everyman Cinema, go clothes shopping at Seasalt or do foreign currency exchange at eurochange.

In summer 2023, Bell Court Stratford-upon-Avon will also be hosting a series of outdoor events such as Bell Court Live whereby local artists and singers will perform in the courtyard.

Address: Bell Court, Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6JP

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20. Magic Alley

Stratford-upon-Avon’s most magical shop and epic emporium, a walk up the dark staircase into Magic Alley is quite the experience.

Part gift shop, part kid’s attraction, entry to the Magic Alley gift shop is free and there is a small charge (usually £5) for shows like adventure games and immersive events.

Magic Alley Stratford-upon-Avon

Like a scene from a Harry Potter movie, Magic Alley is chock full of curious items from crystal balls to magic tricks, wands to Christmas nut-crackers. Definitely some of the more unique Stratford-upon-Avon souvenirs to take back home.

There is also a small cafe in Magic Alley offering drinks like butterbeer or Diet Coke floats.

Address: Magic Alley, 1st Floor, Bell Court, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6EX

Magic Alley Stratford-upon-Avon

21. Stratford Butterfly farm

Take a flight of fancy to the Stratford Butterfly Farm, the UK’S largest tropical butterfly paradise open daily from 10am to 5.30pm.

Stratford Butterfly Farm Stratford-Upon-Avon

A wonderful world of beautiful butterflies, fish ponds and waterfalls, Stratford Butterfly farm is just a short walk from the town centre and has several zones to explore including the rainforest flight area, the wildflower garden and a Discovery Zone.

Prices for the Stratford Butterfly farm are £8.95 per adult and £7.95 per child as of summer 2023.

Address: Stratford Butterfly Farm, Swan’s Nest Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 7LS

22. Shakee’s Ice cream barge

One of the n-’ice’-est things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon, there are a couple of Shakee Ice cream barges in Stratford-upon-Avon along the canal basin, close to Bancroft Gardens.

Dishing out soft serve ice-cream in Stratford-upon-Avon for over 30 years, fantastic flavours from Shakee’s Ice-cream barge are guaranteed and this is a sublime sweet treat on a summer’s day.

Shakee Ice cream barge Stratford-Upon-Avon

23. Stratford-upon-Avon Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Enjoy Stratford-upon-Avon from the comfort of a double decker open top bus, one of the best ways to do sightseeing in Stratford-upon Avon.

With panoramic views of the historic streets and the surrounding Warwickshire countryside, this is also the best way to visit Anne Hathaway’s cottage (it isn’t really possible to walk it from town).

Key stops on this Stratford-upon-Avon hop-on hop-off Bus Tour include the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the Holy Trinity Church and Shakespeare’s Former school.

The hop-on hop-off bus tour of Stratford-upon-Avon ticket is valid for 24 or 48 hours so you get on and off as many times as you like.

Book a Stratford-upon-Avon Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with Viator or with Get Your Guide.

24. Stratford-upon-Avon Afternoon tea

Walking around can take it toll, so if you want to treat yourself after a morning of walking, then try an afternoon tea in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

There are lots of afternoon tea places here but some of the highest rated afternoon teas in Stratford-upon-Avon include Hotel du Vin Stratford-upon-Avon, the Four Teas vintage tea room, Benson’s Tea Rooms and the Arden Hotel.

Push the boat out and enjoy a rooftop afternoon tea at the rooftop terrace on top of the RSC Theatre with incredible panoramic views of the River Avon.

Book a traditional afternoon tea experience and baking class >

25. Anne Hathaway’s House

Please note this is the only item on our ‘Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon’ guide that isn’t easily walkable from the town centre – a car, hop-on hop-off bus or Stratford-upon-Avon tour is required.

Anne Hathaway’s House is a charming 15th century cottage with an enchanting English garden. Located a little outside Stratford-upon-Avon, Anne Hathaway was Shakespeare’s wife and this is where she was born, grew up and stayed until her marriage to Shakespeare.

A visit to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage costs £14.50 per person, or you can buy a combo ticket to visit all 3 Shakespeare family properties in Stratford-upon-Avon including Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Shakespeare’s New Place for £25 – prices correct as of summer 2023.

Buy your Anne Hathaway’s Cottage Entry ticket in advance >

Get your Shakespeare’s Story pass including Anne Hathaway’s House admission here >

Address: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, 22 Cottage Lane, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9HH

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Stratford upon avon Pubs

26. Dirty Duck AKA The Black Swan

One of Stratford-upon-Avon’s best pubs, the Dirty Duck is a traditional tavern standing since the 1730s in the shadow of the RSC Swan Theatre.

This bar is blessed with a prime position overlooking the River Avon – the terrace outside is always heaving in the summer months.

Interestingly, it is the only pub in England that has a license under two names – both The Black Swan and The Dirty Duck.

It later became known as the Dirty Duck as this was the nickname given to the pub by the American GIs who were stationed in Stratford-upon-Avon during WWII.

Known as a famous theatre pub, many of the stars and actors who’ve performed at the RSC have visited the Dirty Duck and you’ll see signed their photographs on the walls including the late great Richard Burton and Dame Judi Dench.

It also has a starring role in the fictional detective novel The Dirty Duck by Martha Grimes.

As well as craft beer pints and traditional ales, The Dirty Duck serves up hearty British pub grub fare like fish and chips, steak and ale pie and sirloin steak.

Address: The Dirty Duck, Waterside, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, United Kingdom, CV37 6BA

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27. The Barge and Quarterdeck

Pizza, pints and prosecco! One of the most charming cafes / pubs in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Barge and Quarterdeck is a waterside bar based on a canal barge with a huge outdoor beer garden / terrace overlooking Bancroft Gardens and the Stratford Canal Basin.

The Barge and Quarterdeck Stratford-Upon-Avon

Better still, The Barge and Quarterdeck offer a wide range of wood-fired pizza, pints of beer, Pimm’s and Prosecco (try saying that after a few drinks).

Address: The Barge and Quarterdeck, Waterside, Bancroft Gardens, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6AT

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28. The One Elm

We popped into the The One Elm pub and restaurant after a recommendation from the receptionist at our Stratford-upon-Avon hotel.

The One Elm Pub Stratford-Upon-Avon

We’d asked where the best place to get a Sunday roast in Stratford-upon-Avon was and the local receptionist recommended The One Elm, close to Shakespeare’s Birthplace on Henley Street.

We tried a roast beef Sunday lunch each with a drink each and it came to around £50 including a tip – whilst not the cheapest place in Stratford-upon-Avon, the pub ambience was nice, service brisk and staff super friendly.

The One Elm Pub Stratford-Upon-Avon

29. The Boat House

You know the Boat House is a top riverside pub and restaurant in Stratford-upon-Avon as this is where all the Avon Boating teams congregate after a hard day’s work on the river.

The Boathouse is open all day for lunch, pre-theatre dining and dinner and is popular for its daily fresh fish specials.

Address: The Boat House, Swan’s Nest Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 7LS

The Boat House Pub Stratford-Upon-Avon

30. Cox’s Yard

One of the best riverside pubs and terraces in Stratford-upon-Avon has to be Cox’s Yard, overlooking the Tram Bridge and River Avon.

There are dozens of outdoor tables with views of the swans and rowing boats plus it does a nice line in pub grub with dishes such as mac and cheese, crispy calamari plus burgers / fish and chips.

Address: Cox’s Yard, Bridge Foot, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6YY

 Cox’s Yard Pub Stratford-Upon-Avon

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31. Stratford-upon-Avon Ghost Tours

As you’d expect from such a historic town, there are several spooktacular ghost walks and spirited evening walking tours including:

The Sinister Side of Shakespeare’s Stratford Walking Tour >

Tudor World ghost tours >

32. Everyman Cinema

Located in the new Bell Court entertainment and food court complex, you can catch a movie in Stratford-upon-Avon at the Everyman Cinema.

Stratford-upon-Avon’s Everyman Cinema has 4 screens showing a variety of movie genres and often holds events like movie Q&As and music performances. There is also a bar inside open to all that serves stellar cocktails.

Address: Everyman cinema Stratford-upon-Avon, Bell Court, Wood Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6JW

Everyman Cinema Stratford-upon-Avon

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33. Tudor World

Located along Sheep Street in a beautiful old timbered Tudor building, Tudor World in Stratford-upon-Avon is a living history museum that allows you to interact with ghost and ghouls plus even meet the great man himself, William Shakespeare (well, a podgy actor who looks a little bit like him).

Tudor World Stratford-Upon-Avon

Discover what life was really like in 16th century Stratford-upon-Avon and explore historical settings with spirited actors in period dress as your guides.

You can also explore Stratford-upon-Avon with Tudor World by joining William Shakespeare on a walking tour or take a ghoulish ghost tour of this haunted mansion.

Tudor World is open daily from 10.30am to 5.30pm.

Address: Tudor World, 40 Sheep Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6EE

Tudor World Stratford-Upon-Avon

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34. Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse

One of the UK’s best leading small jump race-courses, you ‘bet’ you can have a flutter on the horses if you are visiting Stratford-upon-Avon during the horse racing season.

If you are visiting Stratford-upon-Avon between March and October, you’ll find around 15 to 20 race days taking place at the race-course with some of the UK’s top riders and horses.

On sunny racing days, you can enjoy picnics on the center enclosure plus there are numerous bars and restaurants on site.

Away from the racing calendar, Stratford-upon-Avon racecourse is often home to fun-fairs or touring attractions.

Address: Stratford-Upon-Avon Race course, Luddington Road, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9SE

35. Stratford Big Wheel

Similar to the London Eye on South Bank or the big wheel in Brighton, Stratford-upon-Avon now has its own big wheel, with views over the River Avon and The Recreation Ground.

Take a spin on the 40 metre high Stratford Big Wheel for £8 per adult or £25 per family – Stratford Big Wheel prices correct as of summer 2023. Please note this a seasonal attraction so it may be closed in the winter months.

Address: Stratford Big Wheel, The Recreation Ground, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 7LS

36. Shakespeare Distillery Gin School and Visitor Centre

Established in 2015 (and no, not by Shakespeare himself), the Shakespeare Distillery prides itself on small batch, high quality gin inspired by the Tudor period.

With a small distillery on the outskirts of town, you can actually visit their shop and taste the top gins at the Shakespeare Distillery shop on the High Street.

Shakespeare Distillery Gin School and Visitor Centre Stratford-Upon-Avon

Above the shop, ‘Judith’s School of Spirits’ offers rum schools, cocktail masterclasses and gin tasting experiences.

Two of their best-selling flavours of gin are Elderflower and Quince gin plus their signature Stratford Dry gin – also look out for the quirky bust of Shakespeare in their shop window.

Other attractions on offer at the Shakespeare Distillery in Stratford-upon-Avon include a gin tasting cruise – yes, please!

Book your Shakespeare Gin Distillery Tour & Taste >

Address: Shakespeare Distillery Gin School and Visitor Centre, 1 High Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare Distillery Gin School and Visitor Centre Stratford-Upon-Avon

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37. Ya-Bard Craft Beer

We’ll start with an appropriate Shakespeare joke – Shakespeare walks into a pub. The landlord says – “Not you again! Get Out! You’re ‘bard’!

Ya-Bard Craft Beer bar Stratford-Upon-Avon

Ya-Bard Craft Beer company is a small craft beer bottle shop and taproom open every day except Monday (alas we tried to visit on a Monday so we don’t have pics of the interior – next time!).

Ya Bard generally has a large rotating stock of beers, with around 5 craft beers and ales on tap – you can also get the draft craft canned to enjoy at home.

Address: Ya-Bard Craft Beer, 13 Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6LU

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38. Royal Shakespeare Company The Other Place Theatre

Built in 2006, the RSC Other Place is a smaller 200 seater RSC Theatre just down the road from the Royal Shakespeare and Swan theatres.

Royal Shakespeare Company The Other Place Theatre

Unlike the larger theatre, the RSC Other Place showcases new plays from aspiring playwrights and is also popular for fun family activities and events in Stratford-upon-Avon like music festivals or school holiday sessions.

If you are walking past the RSC Other Place, check out their What’s On poster in the courtyard. In addition, you can also grab food and drink or take away snacks from Susie’s Cafe Bar inside the main foyer (please note Susie’s Bar is temporarily closed as of summer 2023).

Address: RSC The Other Place, 22 Southern Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6BH

39. Shakespaw Cat Cafe

Measure for Measure, this is the only Shakespeare themed cat cafe that we are aware of – and alas whilst the cats don’t wear Shakespearian ruffs, the Shakespaw Cat Cafe is still worth a visit, especially if your feline like a fun thing to do in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Shakespaw Cat Cafe Stratford-upon-Avon.

Billed as the Midland’s first cat cafe, all of the cats at the Shakespaw Cat Cafe are named after Shakespeare characters, from Hamlet the Himalayan Persian cat to Bottom the exotic Persian Cat.

Admission to the Shakespaw Cat Cafe in Stratford-upon-Avon is £6 for a 90 minute visit or you can include a tea or coffee and cake for £13.

Shakespaw Cat Cafe also offer a cat-tastic afternoon tea that includes admission and sweet treats like clotted cream scones and slices of cake – upgrade to prosecco for £30. Cat cafe prices correct as of summer 2023.

Address: Shakespaw Cat Cafe, 6 Union Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6QT

Shakespaw Cat Cafe Stratford-upon-Avon.

40. The Gower Memorial in Bancroft Gardens

A little more historic than the 2022 Shakespeare Statue on Henley Street, The Gower Memorial was unveiled in 1888 after Lord Ronald Gower spent over 10 years of his time sculpting it.

The Gower Memorial in Bancroft Gardens Stratford-upon-Avon

The Gower Memorial in Stratford-upon-Avon depicts a variety of Shakespearian characters including Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Falstaff and Prince Hal.

The monument was moved to its current location in Bancroft Gardens in 1933 with views of the canal and in direct sight of the RSC Swan Theatre.

Address: The Gower Memorial, Bancroft Gardens Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6AT

41. Mad Museum and Mad Phone Box

One of the best things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon with kids, the Mad Museum is a marvellous moving mechanical exhibit museum chock full of interactive attractions that will inspire your inner engineer.

Mad Museum and Mad Phone Box Stratford-Upon-Avon

Get up close to kinetic art, browse the zany gift shop – just don’t get too close to the dancing lasers!

Also look out for the rather cool mini museum inside a traditional red phone box advertising the museum on Henley Street – definitely the most interactive billboard that we’ve seen for a while!

Mad Museum in Stratford-upon-Avon is open daily from 10am to 5pm (until 5.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays).

Address: Mad Museum, 4-5, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6PT

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42. The Recreation Ground / The Rec

One of the best outdoor spaces in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Recreation Ground is popular with locals as a nice place to stroll along the river Avon, enjoy a picnic or even play chess on the concrete chess boards.

Known locally as The Rec, this awesome alfresco area hosts summer concerts and festivals (we listened to a brass band in the band-stand on our last visit) plus has several things to do and enjoy such as a paddling pool, bowling club, crazy golf course and a couple of cafes and bars.

Watch out for some of the sunbathing swans as they can get a little hostile if you get too close.

Address: The Recreation Ground, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 7LS

43. Attic Theatre

Stratford-upon-Avon isn’t just about the RSC theatre – the nearby Attic is Stratford-upon-Avon’s award winning fringe theatre located in Cox’s Yard and packing in audiences since 2009.

Attic Theatre Stratford-upon-Avon

With just over 90 seats in the Attic theatre auditorium, productions here are an intimate affair and every theater goer is guaranteed an excellent view of the stage.

2023 plays at the Attic Theatre include several alternative Shakespeare productions plus Dracula, Sherlock Holmes and even a Christmas pantomime.

Address: The Attic Theatre, Cox’s Yard, Bridge Foot, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6YY

44. Stratford-upon-Avon Tourist Information Centre

Not so much a Stratford-upon-Avon thing to do, more so a way to help you find more things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon!

Located on Bridge Street and close to the canal basin area, Stratford-upon-Avon Tourist Information Centre is your one stop shop for tourist leaflets and access to very helpful and friendly staff.

The Stratford-upon-Avon Tourist Information Centre is open daily from 9am to 5pm and 10am to 4pm.

Note – when we tried to visit on afternoon in July 2023, they were closed for lunch (around 1pm ish) which isn’t advertised on the website so best to go early morning or late afternoon.

Address: Stratford-upon-Avon Tourist Information Centre, Bridge Foot, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6GW

Other things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

45. Stratford-upon-Avon Paddleboarding

Go paddleboarding on the River Avon with Sup paddleboarding >

46. Stratford-upon-Avon Festivals

There are several annual festivals that take place in Stratford-upon-Avon including

  • The Stratford Literary Festival (every May)
  • Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations (every April)
  • Stratford-upon-Avon Food Festival (every September)
  • Stratford-upon-Avon Victorian Christmas Markets (every December)

47. Private Shakespeare Escape Room

Try the world’s only Shakespeare themed escape room (well for now) – the Shakespeare Escape room experience is themed like his Tudor home, with clues and puzzles hidden in unlikely places.

Book your Private Shakespeare Escape Room >

48. Get Cooking!

Try a Shakespearean cooking and baking experience is a must! All the recipes are from/inspired by Shakespeare’s plays and Elizabethan cooking.

Book your Shakespearean Cooking Experience in Stratford-upon-Avon >

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