Saturday, February 16, 2013

Stratford-upon-Avon -- England Trip, Part Three

The Season Three finale of Downton Abbey will air tomorrow night here in the U.S.  With that thought in mind, I thought I'd share some more of our trip to England; so today we'll visit Stratford-upon-Avon, in south Warwickshire, England. 

Since Valentine's Day was this week, as well, I think William Shakespeare's
birthplace ties in with a holiday that celebrates love and romance.  Even if you're not a fan of Shakespeare, I think it would be hard to read his Sonnet 18 and not be moved by the beauty of those words.  And then, there is "Romeo and Juliet," one of the most famous love stories ever written.

The market town of Stratford-upon-Avon lies along the banks of the River Avon.  I believe these are cherry trees blooming in this park alongside the river.  We got lucky that day, and it was beautiful and sunny all day.  The day before, in London, it was gray and rainy most of the day.

You can see one of the canal boats on the other side.  These canals run all through England and as far back as medieval times, they were used to transport goods across the country before the advent of modern roads and railways.

...A statue of the bard himself in the same park.  As you can see, there were lots of trees and flowers in bloom when we were there.

This is perhaps one of the most recognizable buildings in England -- Anne Hathaway's cottage.  Anne Hathaway was the wife of Shakespeare.  If the National Trust wouldn't mind, maybe I could just use this as a summer cottage?  :)  What do you think?

The gardens at Anne Hathaway's cottage.

Above is the Toll House, a ten-sided building attached to the 15th century Clopton Bridge.  The Toll House was built in 1814, and Thomas Keen collected tolls from travelers who wished to cross the bridge.

More views of Clopton Bridge.

This is Yours Truly standing at the entrance to Shakespeare's birthplace.  Notice the green sign that reads "Way In."  I first saw these signs when we arrived at Gatwick Airport, and it took me a few minutes to realize that "Way In" meant entrance.  So of course, "Way Out" means exit.  Two nations separated by a common language.  :)

The entrance to Shakespeare's birthplace seen from across the street.  I love the flower boxes.

  This is the back of Shakespeare's birthplace.  I couldn't get enough of all these gorgeous gardens.

Another view of the back of the home and garden.

Me again, standing at the entrance to Hall's Croft.  William Shakespeare's daughter, Susanna, lived here with her husband, Dr. John Croft.

The Red Lion Pub...we didn't go inside, but I think it looks like the quintessential English pub.

...the Shakespeare Hotel.

This walkway leads to Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare and his family members are buried.

I love the beautiful old Yew topiary and the old gravestones covered with lichens and moss.

Shakespeare is not actually buried in this graveyard, but inside the church.

The wooden "gate" below is actually a canal lock, and the big building in the distance is the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

All Shakespeare connections aside, Stratford-upon-Avon is just a beautiful town and well worth a visit.  I will add that we were there before the serious tourist season started, and I think that makes a big difference.  It was quiet and not overflowing with people.  Based on some things I've read and heard, you might not want to visit there in the middle of summer.

Isn't this a beautiful scene of the Avon River with the swans and the church steeple in the distance?  I love the Weeping Willow trees growing along the bank.  I did another oil painting edit with Pikmonkey.

I hope you enjoyed seeing Stratford-upon-Avon through the lens of my camera.  These pictures were taken by me 14 years ago with a point and shoot, 35mm camera (not digital).  I'm so glad for the capability to upload and store all these on computer now, just in case something should happen to my hard copies.

Thank you for reading my blog.  To those of you loyal folks who visit on a regular basis, I'm very grateful; and those of you who are visiting for the first time, I hope you'll come back.  If you've ever been to Stratford-upon-Avon, let me know.  I'd love to hear about your experiences!  If you'd like to see more of England, you can read about Part One and Part Two of our trip Here and Here.

I'm linking this post to:

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays
Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Mondays
Katherine's Corner for Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop



  1. Oh, wow Denise, you are such a great tour guide. You writing is so interesting. I felt as if I were there experiencing the area and since I probably won't get to go- thank you! I LOVE all the blooming trees and flowers. What a perfect time and few tourists. Glad you were able to preserve the pictures to share with us.

    Love your mosaic!

    I am wishing I could go back to England for an extended stay after reading your post. Do you have MORE?

  2. Oh thank you for this tour! Of all the towns in England I've been this is not one of them. We hope to travel there again and this is top of my list. Thank you for sharing your trip, I enjoyed it tremendously.

    The French Hutch

  3. So beautiful! Love seeing Anne Hathaway's house...very charming. You took very nice photos before digital...a test of a good photographer. It's also fun to see it all in spring or summer.

  4. Thanks for another lovely tour Denise! Your photo of Anne Hathaway's cottage is post card perfect and so charming and I love your oil painting effect/photo editing :) Thanks for sharing this leg of your trip, it may be the only time I get to visit!

  5. Thank you so much for the tour, you look great and happy in the great photos before digital, lol! I love England, wish I was there too, visiting again those wonderful and unique places and maybe having some High Tea, lol.. Ann Hathaway's house is lovely, so wish I was "in the way in" too! Thanks tons for your visit. Have a lovely week.

  6. I have been to Stratford on a sunny day, but the last time I was there it was a typical misty November day. Thank you for reminding me how lovely that wonderful town can be. My husband just remarked to me the other day that he was ready to return to England - I can't wait to show him your photos. Maybe, he will plan a trip sooner, rather than later!!

  7. When we were at Shakespeare's birthplace 2 years ago in June there were actors performing in the back gardens and we sat on the benches and enjoyed for a while. Really enjoyed seeing Holy Trinity Church also....very beautiful! I can't wait to go back.

  8. Lovely pictures of Stratford-upon-Avon...........Although living in England, I still haven't visited! You obviously had a wonderful trip.....


  9. Oh Denise, You do know how to get to your blogger friends' hearts, especially the ones who have traveled to Stratford on Avon. As an English major and teacher, the high light of my life was to see where William Shakespeare lived. I loved Anne Hathaway's house. We toured in 2001 then returned in 2006 when we revisited her house. Sadly the house had been broke into and robbed of most of the original Hathaway family artifacts that were original to the house. I love the cottage garden there. You have rekindled some beautiful memories.

    I think I will enjoy Elements when I get the time to watch some tutorials on Youtube, but I do love Picasa for my banner header. Your new one is great. Thanks for stopping by. I think you caught me while I was still editing the post for I was surprised to a comment as soon as I published. I think I published before I was finished with my proofreading. As always, thank you for kind comments.

  10. What a lovely tour, looks like a beautiful place to visit. You would make a great tour guide. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week ahead.

  11. Wow! What a lovely event ~ beautiful photography and fun time for you ~ Will be there in the Spring ~ ^_^

  12. Thank you for taking me along on your tour, Denise! I would love to go to England one day. I'm with you, I can never get enough of the beautiful gardens. Isn't Anne Hathaway's home gorgeous. In my dreams, I live in a thatched cottage. I liked seeing you in the pics, too!! xo

  13. I have never been here so it was a delight to go on this photo tour!

  14. YOU have the dream vacation and I am happy that you shared !:)

  15. Thank heavens for bloggers that travel or some of us would never see these wonderful sights. The gardens are beautiful.

  16. So happy you had some sunshine!!! Beautiful tour, thanks for sharing!

  17. What a beautiful place! My in-laws took a tour like this back in the late 1980's and again in early 1990's. They loved it and your images are so vibrant. I must try and share these with my 89 year old father-in-law, he would love them too~

  18. Your mosaic looks like a lovely postcard

  19. Love the gorgeous...Saw the episode today (DVR'd it)....hate sad endings!!!

  20. What a gorgeous trip! And just how long will we have to wait until the next season of Downtown Abbey????

    Lovely to have you at Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  21. Your photos are so lovely! We visited England before my son was born, and he will be 26 this year. So I think it's about time we went back!!! We stayed in Kent, and visited Rye, which was a wonderful, along with London. Sadly, it was early March, and all the famous gardens were not open for the season yet... Must go back! Thanks for sharing t MM. :) xoxo

  22. I've enjoyed looking at your photos. I could move to England and never tire of looking at all the old buildings.

  23. What a beautiful group of pictures. This looks like a very fabulous trip, and I'm coming back to look at parts I and II.

    I'm visiting today from Thursday's Favorite Things.

  24. a wonderful tour , makes me miss my family a bit too...Happy weekend wishes and thank you for sharing at the hop :-)

  25. Gorgeous photos! Found your post on Thursday Favorite Things! I would love to have you share this on The Creative HomeAcre Hop today :)

  26. Though Stratford on Avon is only around 55 miles from my home I have only ever whistle-stopped there on the way to other places. I KNOW it's beautiful but I have to say that most shops are over priced making the most of all the tourists :o(
    Your photos are lovely, and I can tell from your words how much you loved the visit. Maybe you can come over again Denise, but take a longer vacation to see more?
    Rose H

  27. Now I've really got to go back to see Anne Hathaway's cottage - your photos are breathtaking!

  28. Caught up with some of your England visit. Have only ever driven through Stratford-on-Avon but keep saying must spend a couple of days there.



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