A quick report on my home town of Stratford upon Avon in the hope that it may be of some help to the many thousands of tourists that visit! Stratford is indeed an Historic Town and of course the birthplace of Shakespeare.
River Avon Clopton Bridge
Stratford is situated in the very centre of England and is indeed a fascinating town. It is extremely easy to travel to by Air , Rail or Road and is certainly worth a visit. The town centre is largely very old - pre 16th Century and fortunately now our local planners have stopped any further desecration of the fine buildings in the centre. There is , as always , the uglier side - modern shopping centres , industrial estates and mass housing on the fringe of the town. It is very easy and quick to get around the centre and to gaze at the chocolate box Shakesperian and other houses ( there is the normal open top tourist bus service). Having done the centre and seen the sights there is little else other than a trip to the theatre to do! Not really knocking dear old Stratford - but if I was a Visitor I would not want to spend more than 2 days here!
Shakespeare Hotel High street
The River Avon IS very special - particularly in summer - hire a rowing boat and gently go up and down the river - you will then see the town at its best! The shakespeare properties - but expect crowds - and they are a bit sanitised!
What's really great:
The Deco RST Memorial Theatre
The countryside OUTSIDE Stratford - the North Cotswolds are more Real - forget Broadway ( waste of time tourist trap) - head for Shipston on Stour ( a REAL working town full of great characters) - Chipping Campden which is VERY pretty and still REAL! In fact I would stay in Chipping Campen or shipston and travel to Stratford for the day.
Cotswold House Hotel Chipping Campden
Stratford accommodation is GENERALLY not good - Usual range of Hotels - of the luxury ones the Alveston Manor and the Welcombe are the best. Loads of VERY mediocre ones and plenty of guesthouse/ b&Bs on the Shipston Road and Evesham road.
FAR better to stay south of Town - White Bear in Shipston is ENORMOUS fun and full of eccentric Locals ! Also several good hotels in Chipping Campden - Seymour House - Kings Head.
There are virtually no clubs for night life in Stratford . Bar M and Chicago Rock are young peoples haunts but are brash and VERY noisy .
Again not great in town centre!
Try - White Hart Newbold on Stour - EXCELLENT - and for food!
Churchill at paxford
Most pubs in Chipping campden and shipston
Best in Town may be Oddies - nice atmosphere .
The eating street is Sheep Street - several OK ones but DO remember that Stratford is notorious for getting No repeat customers - typical tourist traps! Margaux in Union street IS good however as is The One Elm - but is normally busy and noisy.
Great report brimming with local knowledge and insider tips. I wish you had illustrated it with pictures too! 9 pictures added to a report means you get a higher rating.....in fact the maximum rating I give without pictures is 3 ***.
I hear that Stratford is about to be revamped - "in keeping" of course with other international tourist destinations complete with a millenium style bridge over the Avon!!