A Visit to Stratford upon Avon and Anne Hathaway Cottage, United Kingdom

stratford-upon-avon

I visited Stratford upon Avon and Anne Hathaway Cottage on the same day as Cotswold. Anne Hathaway Cottage and Stratford-upon-Avon were the last two stops before we headed back to London. My only experience of Shakespeare was to read Julius Caesar in class 12th as part of the English course. I found it a tough going, the language was strange, I barely understood it. But then that was ages ago.

Our guide filled us in on Anne Hathaway and the circumstances of Shakespeare’s marriage to her. Anne Hathaway was 8 years elder to Shakespeare and 3 months pregnant at the time of their marriage in 1582. Shakespeare was born is 1564 and was just 18 years of age. In many parts of India this would be a huge scandal even today on both the counts, the bride being 8 years older and then being pregnant too! And they managed it successfully in 1582! The mind simply boggles at the thought.

Ann Hathaway’s Cottage at Shottery

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Ann Hathaway Cottage

When I entered the Anne Hathaway Cottage the beautiful gardens caught my eye. The Cottage itself looks impressive. It has 12 rooms. We were greeted in the first room on the ground floor. A guide explained us the history of the Cottage.

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Is This the Second Best Bed?

She said that Shakespeare left the second best bed to Anne Hathaway, which mystifies many. However she explained that in those days having a bed was a big deal. The best bed at home was more of a showpiece and the second best bed would be used by a couple. In that sense it was a sign of affection, leaving the second best bed to the surviving spouse.

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The Official Guide at the Ann Hathaway Cottage!

They have tried to retain the atmosphere of the bygone era throughout. It was here that Shakespeare courted Anne Hathaway. The house is now maintained by the Shakespeare Trust. It doesn’t takes much time to go through the house. After completing the tour we headed back to the bus once again. Our next stop was Henley Street at Stratford upon Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace.

Stratford Upon Avon- Shakespeare’s Birthplace 

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The Shakespeare Centre!

The Shakespeare’s trust and the birthplace are next to each other. They show a movie before you proceed on the birthplace home. In various rooms there are people dressed as characters from the period, acting out Shakespeare’s works. In the courtyards too people stage Shakespeare’s plays.

shakespeare-birth-room
Where the Bard was Born!

It was amazing to enter the room where Shakespeare was born. After inspecting every room I found myself near the exit. Just before the exit there is a souvenir shop, as always. I had successfully resisted buying anything till now. After all the pound get multiplied by a hundred when I convert any price into rupees. But there was a mug with Shakespeare quotes all over it. I could not walk past it. It is probably the most expensive tea mug at our home and yet the quotes are such a pleasure to read.

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Two of My Favorite Countries in One Frame!

When I came out to the street was full of Thai monks. I got two of my most visited countries in one frame.I stopped at a coffee shop and had baileys with hot coffee. I liked the drink, there was a lot of it. I slept peacefully for most of the journey back to London. We reach London in good time. It was a long day that took me to Cotswold Region and then to Anne Hathaway Cottage and Stratford upon Avon. It was also one of the most beautiful days I have spent in England.

400th Anniversary of Death of Shakespeare 

This year marks 400th anniversary of death of the Bard. He is remembered not only in Britain but across the globe. Kronborg Castle, the home of Hamlet, North of Copenhagen, is marking celebrating by staging Shakespeare’s immortal play Hamlet in the castle’s grand halls.

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One the Way Back to London!

PS.This trip was also done with Golden Tours. They did their best to make it a memorable trip!

PPS. My tickets to Ann Hathaway Cottage and Shakespeare’s Birthplace were sponsored by Visit Britain in India.

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53 thoughts on “A Visit to Stratford upon Avon and Anne Hathaway Cottage, United Kingdom”

  1. Wow! Want to visit this place someday. We all have read so much about Shakespeare and his writing since childhood days that visit to this place is something that everyone longs for. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It was amazing to enter the room where Shakespeare was born. After inspecting every room I found myself near the exit. Just before the exit there is a souvenir shop, as always. I had successfully resisted buying anything till now. After all the pound get multiplied by a hundred when I convert any price into rupees. But there was a mug with Shakespeare quotes all over it. I could not walk past it. It is probably the most expensive tea mug at our home and yet the quotes are such a pleasure to read. You are lucky really . Are not you thinking about to gift it ? if yes , Think about me ! I would be happy to take it as gift . Hehe

    1. Indrani I perfectly understand what you are saying! I will comment the same way, if only I had been to as many places as you go!

    1. I am sure you will go there, and if you are planning a trip and need any input, you just have to let me know.

  3. Oh wow! Visiting Stratford upon Avon is like a dream come true for a student of literature and especially so for the bard’s fans:)
    Did you go to Westminster Abbey too where all the masters are sleeping?
    …gives me goosebumps;)
    Thanks a whole lot, Mridula, for this first hand account…

  4. In fact lots of my friends and relatives paid cursory visits to these places and told me things about them too, but your detailed reportage is the best ever piece I have so far come across…thanks a whole lot, Mridula:):)

  5. Am dying to read about the Poets Corner soon, Mridula, if you visited Westminster Abbey…
    Kindly favour us with a detailed post with pictures of epitaphs on tombstones…

  6. I wanted to do this the last time…but could not. Hopefully soon. It seems quite well preserved . Loved your account and pictures.

  7. I might be the only person who got goose bumps looking the picture of the room where he was born. Don’t know why but I got them. I wonder what will happen when I visit the place. 😮

  8. It is such a heartwarming post! I read many of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets as a boy and was duly intrigued and mystified. I had taken an oath to visit Stratford-upon-Avon, a dream that remains elusive till date. Of course, his works have assumed deeper meanings as I have grown older. Anne’s cottage is specially charming. Selfie-savvy monks were a surprise though.

  9. The post simply reminded me of my school days when I used to fight studying the Tempest or Merchant of Venice. It definitely brought a smile today… 🙂
    The cottages are really beautiful. Hope to visit the place some day.

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Mridula Dwivedi

I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quite my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!

If you wish to collaborate with me, please check out my media kit. You can write to me at mridulablog@gmail.com

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