01 Jan Shakespeare’s Stratford upon Avon with kids
Stratford upon Avon is one of the places that many people have on their “to visit” lists. But in fact it is nothing special.
Shakespeare is the only reason why you would come to this little town in England’s heart. For us this was convenient half way stop on the way from Lancaster to Brighton with cheap Premiere Inn hotel, good pizzeria for dinner and 24 hours McDonald’s for early breakfast.
The gift shop selling all kinds of Shakespeare merchandise feels larger than the Shakespeare house itself.
Obviously if you are Shakespeare lover, this town is Mecca to you and you will not mind paying £60 for family ticket to Shakespeare birth place house and Anne Hathaway cottage. For us it was more an excursion to the way people lived in 16th century.
And this is the trip through Jakub’s eyes:
A journey through England
My brother, mum, dad, and I would go on a journey across southern England and back. It was at Christmas time.
Our first stop was Stratford-upon-Avon. This town is famous for its association with Shakespeare, who was born there. It is also a tourist attraction and has the river Avon.
We walked up and down the street, which was decorated with bright lights and a Christmas tree in the town square. At the end of the street was a house which had pictures of Shakespeare’s plays. We decided not to go inside because my brother and I would find it too boring. We had not eaten much that day, so we were hungry. We went to go and have tea. We went to an Italian restaurant which was full of people. We had pizza and it was delicious so I thought we should give them a tip. For dessert, I had a brownie with ice cream which was delicious. and my brother had ice cream with the cones sticking out from the top. I found that a bit odd because I think the cone is meant to go on under the ice-cream, not on top. After the tea, we went back to our hotel. My Brother started whacking me with a pillow for some reason, so I waited until he got too tired. Then I got tired too as well so we went to bed.
The next day, we went to see Shakespeare’s birthplace, which is a cottage near the main street. There was a guide inside the house, who told us different information about Shakespeare, his family, and the house. After we had looked inside the house, we went to the gift shop. My brother bought a feather with ink at the end so he could write with it, and I bought a plastic pen which was shaped like a feather.
Then we went to Anna Hathaway’s cottage. She was Shakespeare’s wife. We looked at the old fashioned beds, chairs, living rooms, kitchens, and desks.
The next day we had breakfast at McDonald’s. Later, we went to a restaurant that was on the motorway. We had pizza and hot chocolate.
Our next stop was Brighton. Brighton is famous for fishing and it is also a holiday destination which is very popular. In Brighton, we looked at the different shops and restaurants in the city centre. We even found a Czech restaurant! Back in our hotel, which was called the Artist’s hotel, had two bunk beds! It was kind of like sleeping in a boat because all the walls were made out of wood and the windows were boarded up! Then we played some cards until it was time to go to bed.
The next morning, we went to have breakfast in a cafe. We had croissants and hot chocolate. After looking at the shops again, we went to the pier where we looked at the sea and went through the stalls. later, we went to the beach, where we went to have a look at the fishing museum, in which the entrance admission is free! We also looked at some people who were playing volleyball. On the beach, was a person who blew bubbles and let the children pop them! But the weirdest thing of all was an Upside-down house! There was everything that a normal house would have. A kitchen, bathroom, stairs, bedroom and other furniture. However, this house was different. You can stand up and then turn the picture around to make it look like you’re standing on the roof!
Our next stop was Salisbury. Salisbury is known for the cathedral called Blessed Virgin Mary. We looked at a castle which was lit up with lights from the floor and ceiling. We walked through the passageways of the castle and saw things that were on display, such as a sword and a chainmail glove.
Unfortunately, we were only passing and could not spend too much time.
The next stop was Bristol. We saw tons and tons of graffiti on the walls of houses, like for example, two people fighting with swords and a man with a wolf head. I’m not sure how the people who did the graffiti got up there because they were very tall houses. We also saw tons of Christmas decorations, such as a light in the shape of a reindeer. We also saw some mermaids in trees. There was yet more graffiti on the wall of a castle. Wildlife was also there, including squirrels. Actually, there was only one squirrel hiding in the tree but still…
That night, we went home by car back to Lancaster.
I would recommend this journey to everyone including kids, the elderly, and grown-ups of all kinds because it is an easy journey that takes you into the past. Thank you for reading this text because people tend to normally watch the video version instead of the written one. I would also like to thank my dad, who took us on this journey all across England and back.
This text was written by Jakub Vopenka on the 7th of April 2020.