Stratford Upon Avon? I’m a fan! The first thing we noticed upon entering Stratford Upon Avon was a cute little street market. We passed through on our way to our first stop, Anne Hathaway’s cottage.
After a brisk thirty minute walk through seemingly gale force winds, we found the stunning little cottage and it’s beautiful gardens. Although it was too muddy to visit the lavender maze or the woodland park, we did enjoy the garden art and touring the actual cottage.
Our next stop was the New Place, sight of Shakespeare’s granddaughter. Due to my ongoing struggles with telling time in this country, we rushed to get there before it closed. Afterwards we realized we had enough time to enjoy afternoon tea.
I would hate to bore you with what would undoubtably become an homage to afternoon tea, but I must say I have seldom had a nicer meal! Our pot of tea was perfectly brewed. The tea tray had fresh scones, still warm from the oven with a pot of clotted cream and some strawberry preserves. It also contained dainty little finger sandwiches with smoked salmon, cucumbers, and a lemon mayonnaise. Finally, the top tier contained a slice of sponge cake with the most delicious icing I have ever had. Really. Finally refreshed, we headed out to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace.
The first half of that exhibit contained a series of rooms they herd you into and then hold you in until their seemingly endless film ends and then they herd you into the next room. This is a sweet set up for studiers, but strollers and sprinters really start to fidget. Finally they let us go to the real house. We saw Shakespeare’s birth room and listened to a few reenactors discuss life back in the day.
One would think that would be enough for one vacation day. But wait, there’s more! Turns out today was the day they had the Stratford Upon Avon switched on ceremony. Those of you who have watched the Austin Powers movies are probably way off base here. The switched on ceremony was a city wide christmas lighting event, complete with an angel on stilts, fireworks, olde English dancers, and a countdown. The mayor and city council stood on a balcony at city hall and after a few speeches led the countdown to turning on the city lights. We rounded out the evening with a visit to a few shops and the street market we saw when we first arrived.
Tomorrow we are off to London. Wish you were here!