Stratford-upon-Avon is both birthplace (1564) and burial place (1616) of William Shakespeare; it's where grew up, went to school, met his wife Anne Hathaway and then returned to having achieved unparalleled fame and fortune as a playwright in London. Shakespeare was the son of a prosperous local wool merchant and glover.
See some of the houses associated with Shakespeare and his family, including his Birthplace, Hall’s Croft, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and perhaps Mary Arden’s House in Wilmcote. Also, the Old Grammar School, where Shakespeare was educated, the Site of New Place, where he lived on his return to Stratford; and the Holy Trinity Church where he was baptised and buried. If you finish with a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, your immersion into the life of the Bard will be complete.
WARWICK CASTLE AND KENILWORTH
The town of Warwick is dominated by its mighty medieval castle, begun in Saxon times by Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great. Its most powerful resident was Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (the Kingmaker), who played a key role in the Wars of the Roses of the 15th century. Adjacent is the elegant spa town of Leamington Spa, while to the north lies Kenilworth and its castle, long since ruined but still one of the finest fortresses in England, whose list of past occupants reads like a roll call of some of medieval England’s most colourful characters.
Apart from the Warwickshire villages with their typical timber-framed houses, there are some wonderful manor houses in the vicinity including the moated Baddesley Clinton Hall, famous for its priest hole used during the reign of Elizabeth I, and Packwood House with its lawn of yew trees. The Elizabethan Charlecote House is where Shakespeare was caught poaching deer as a boy; the grounds were later remodelled by star landscape architect, Lancelot Capability Brown.