A weekend in Stratford upon Avon – Part One
Our first wedding anniversary was an occasion deserving of a memorable trip. It was exactly one year on from our mid September wedding, a day filled with overwhelming excitement, happiness and love. And as we drove into Stratford Upon Avon we knew that this historic town promised more of these same feelings as we celebrated our special weekend together.
It was Friday evening, and after a journey straight from work the grand exterior of Alveston Manor, our hotel for the weekend, was a most welcome sight. Inside, the hotel had an air of tradition and splendour in keeping with the town of Stratford Upon Avon. The friendly staff made us immediately feel at home and our plush room was a comforting retreat.
After freshening up, a sumptuous meal awaited us in Alveston Manor’s own restaurant. Starters of langoustine bisque were followed by a luxurious crab risotto and a perfectly cooked sirloin steak. An exquisite meal.
We awoke to brilliant sunshine on our first morning in Stratford Upon Avon, and after a brief discussion settled on ‘Shakespeare’s Birthplace’ as our first destination for the day. A short stroll from our hotel, over the bridge spanning the river Avon, and we were in the bustling heart of the town. Stratford Upon Avon has a varied mix of shops, from high street chains to locally run speciality shops, all spread along several streets. Seasonal flowers and greenery decorate the buildings and central beds, making a stroll around the shopping area most pleasant. It was along one of these streets that we found the ‘Shakespeare’s Birthplace’ attraction, a historic gem nestled amongst the modern day shops.
‘Shakespeare’s Birthplace’ is a house where it is thought William Shakespeare was born and spent his early years. As we walked around the attraction, stories of William Shakespeare’s life and times were told to us through videos, exhibits and real life characters in full historic dress. The highlight of the tour was a bedroom with a small crib sitting on the floor next to the adult bed… this was the room where William Shakespeare, the great poet and playwright, was thought to have been born.
After a lunch enjoyed in the sunshine, we took a stroll along the river Avon to Holy Trinity Church, William Shakespeare’s final resting place. We looked around the churchyard headstones spanning centuries, before entering the church itself. The grave marked as belonging to William Shakespeare was at the church’s alter, beside a register showing a record of Shakespeare’s baptism in the same church.
A session in Alveston Manor’s luxurious health club, complete with gym, sauna and swimming pool, prepared our appetite for dinner. We decided on the Thai Boathouse, just over the road from Alveston Manor and overlooking the river Avon. We enjoyed a wonderful meal together, discussing the day’s sights and experiences, before retiring back to our hotel room for an early night. Another day of our anniversary weekend in Stratford Upon Avon awaited us in the morning.
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