There are numerous historic market towns in England but there is one in the county of Warwickshire which welcomes more visitors than any other and that is Stratford upon Avon. They come for the historic buildings, streets and sights but mainly for the connection to the country's most celebrated playwright and poet, William Shakespeare. There are many notable places in town to visit for those on the trail of the bard and the Stratford upon Avon hotels are well established in offering first class accommodation for some of the 3 million plus visitors who come to the town every year.
In close proximity to the Cotswolds, the town's history is in wool trading and John Shakespeare was one of many local traders. He had a house on Henley Street, the place where his son, William was born and the first point of call for many visitors. The mediaeval property is typical of many in the town which date from Tudor and Elizabethan times and display the characteristic half-timbered facades which lend the town much of its historic appeal. Many Stratford upon Avon hotels date from the same period, and offer classic accommodation in wonderful environments. Staying in such a hotel is a must for those who want to experience some of the authentic style and ambience of the period.
Sheep Street leads from Henley Street down to the riverside, and contains the Falstaff Experience, an award winning interactive exhibition housed in one of the town's most historic properties. Ghost tours and lively walking tours of the town are popular ways to get some further insights into the character and history of the place and expect to see some impromptu Shakespeare productions coming to life on the streets. The final resting place of the bard is in the Holy Trinity Church which provides the last of the tourist sights associated directly with the man although there are further buildings and sights which have connections with the Shakespeare family.
No visit to Stratford would be complete without experiencing a professional Shakespeare production and, as the home to the Royal Shakespeare Company; a trip to the theatre is high on the agenda for most people. The largest event space is the Royal Shakespeare Theatre which occupies a terrific spot on the banks of the river and has a cafe and restaurant which have great river views. There is also a store which sells a range of RSC and Shakespeare related items. A further theatre venue is the Swan Theatre which has been designed in an authentic and charming Elizabethan theatre style. Stratford upon Avon hotels will have all the necessary information for theatre bookings and other events in town.
Were it not for Shakespeare, Stratford would still be a beautiful place to visit and the town has many great historic buildings and sights, and excellent shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. There is also the Stratford Picture House which shows recent film releases as well as old classics and has a stunning rooftop terrace bar. There are many activities associated with the River Avon too such as river cruises and boat hire and the town has many great walking routes and cycle paths. Stratford upon Avon hotels provide convenient access to the most popular areas and activities the town has.
There are modern Stratford upon Avon hotels too and even the traditional ones will have all the modern facilities and amenities such as internet access and satellite televisions. A stay in town needn't cost the earth and there are some excellent small family run establishments which offer the perfect backdrop to any stay in town.