Lovely Lyn and our charming host Norma
Lyn and the Stratford-upon-Avon tour bus
Anne Hathaway's cottage sign
Anne Hathaway's Cottage
Handler with Barn Owl at Mary Arden's farm
Flying Barn Owl at Mary Arden's farm
Eurasian Eagle-Owl at Mary Arden's farm
Shakespeare's Birthplace sign
Garden behind Shakespeare's house
Mick standing in front of Shakespeare's house
"To be, or not to be, that is the question, whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune......"
Another fine, sunny & lovely day in England saw us travelling south to Stratford-upon-Avon, which is about 1hr from Stourbridge, to visit the birth place of William Shakespeare and and to see Anne Hathaway's cottage. We parked the car in one of many carparks which cost 1 pound and hour and then walked to the town centre. There we found a hive of activity including markets sellers and various performers who were entertaining onlookers.
We decided to catch the open top tourist buses, which depart every 20 mins from the city and visit a number of the attractions. The cost varied depending on which attractions you wish to visit. We chose Anne Hathaway's cottage, Mary Arden's Tudor house and working farm and the house of William Shakespeare's birth. The bus trip and the visits cost 20 pounds each.
Anne Hathaway's cottage was very original and set in beautiful grounds which were meticulously maintained. The thatched roof had been replaced some years ago and should last for many years to come according to the tour guide. As with all the attractions we have visited you always end up exiting via a gift shop. We had tea and carrot cake in the gardens across the road from Anne Hathaway's cottage whilst we waited for the bus.
Next stop was Mary Arden's Tudor house. This consisted of her Tudor home and working farm manned by workers in period costumes. Here we were surprised to come across a falconry display, with several types of owls. We watched them flying a barn owl which was very tame and flew silently between the two handlers, who moved around the spectators so that the bird would fly low over their heads as they sat on the lawn. We watched 2 displays, the other being the Eurasian Eagle-Owl which was a huge bird with very large talons. The whole display was very enjoyable and the birds obviously enjoyed it too.
We then caught the bus again where we headed for the birth place of William Shakespeare which is right in the heart of the city. Before touring the inside we watched a very good audio visual display on the life and times of William Shakespeare. We were amazed at the number of terms in common use which originated from Shakespeare works.
The gardens surrounding the house were filled with gorgeous perfumed roses and it was the perfect day to walk amongst them.
The city centre area is closed to traffic, so it makes it easy to stroll around looking at the many shops selling all manner of merchandise.
After 6 hrs sightseeing we headed home for a well deserved cup of tea.