A small market town of only 30,000 residents in the county of Warwickshire, Stratford boasts many attractions and its position in the top 25 places to live. Here are 6 reasons why you should consider moving to this beautiful and historic town.
Known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, everywhere in Stratford-upon-Avon has a Shakespearean feel to it; from the fine Tudor buildings set against the River Avon to the rural Warwickshire countryside.
Stratford was first inhabited by the Anglo-Saxons in the 7th century. However, its history is now tied to Shakespeare and the Tudor era. Shakespeare was born in Hanley Street and is still celebrated 400 years after his death.
However, while tudor buildings look great from the outside, they often need some updating in terms of their flow and lighting. A bespoke way to explore new possibilities for your historical home is through Pride Road’s Concept Design Workshop.
The Warwickshire countryside is right on your doorstep if you’re moving to Stratford-upon-Avon. Many locals enjoy taking leisurely strolls around and I’m sure you will too.
There are plenty of country trails to enjoy, which comes in handy for dog owners. The expansive open spaces of Cotswolds and its quaint villages are also a short drive.
I love Stratford’s proximity to other beautiful areas of natural beauty. Stratford has so much to enjoy from the river to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s theatres, and it is a very accessible town if you want to visit other areas.
If you want to go at a leisurely pace you can hop on a boat on the River Avon or the Stratford-Upon-Avon canal. But for something that is a bit quicker, the M40 is conveniently close at hand and for public transport there are the two railway stations, on the edge and the heart of the town providing a half hour journey to the centre of Birmingham and a route to London via Leamington Spa.
Moreover, Birmingham international airport is only 18 miles away. The town is also home to the 5 mile Stratford Greenway Cycle Path for a more scenic route.
Shopping is surprisingly good considering Stratford’s small size. If you can avoid the tourist traps, The Maybird Shopping Centre ensures that most high-street brands can be found, including New Look, Argos and M&S. While there are also plenty of quirky antique shops, markets, and independent boutiques to explore across the town.
There is a quintessentially British feel around Stratford, which is reflected in the dining options. The Opposition serves modern dishes in a relaxed setting with exposed timber and brick. While Loxley’s Restaurant & Wine Bar is a cosy spot with an open fire, terrace seating and Sunday roasts. Both of these restaurants are amazing options for nights out.
6. Things To Do
Stratford-upon-Avon is a cultural beacon, whether you’re visiting one of the museums or spending time watching a live performance at one of the many theatres. The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is the most famous with its 1,000+ seat thrust stage theatre. If you want to learn more about Shakespeare and Tudors, visit Tudor World, the only museum in the whole of England dedicated to Tudor Times.
You could visit the Mechanical Art and Design Museum, where science and technology meets art and design as it includes interactive sculptures or ‘kinetic art.’
Or you could spend a day at the Butterfly Farm. This is the UK’s largest tropical butterfly attraction and is an ideal rainy-day activity. Wander through exotic plants and gurgling waterfalls while hundreds of free-flying butterflies flutter around you.
Or, visit one of the five properties in the town associated with Shakespeare. These include Shakespeare’s birthplace, Halls Croft, Nash’s House, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Mary Arden’s House. They all have cultural significance relating to Shakespeare and can be visited to learn more about his life.
I love art and antiques and enjoy viewing these at local National Trust properties such as Farnborough Hall, Baddesley Clinton, Charlecote Park and Upton House, which has some wonderful paintings in its art collection. I also enjoy walking in the grounds. I walk along the river into the town centre, which is ideal.