Hall's Croft ©Stratfordblog.com

5 family annual passes worth buying

There are a number of family annual passes worth buying in and around Stratford-upon-Avon: year-round tickets that provide hours of fun and offer great value.

Here are my favourite family annual passes worth buying – the ones I purchase most years for our family of five.

5 family annual passes worth buying in and around Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Full Story ticket

The playground at Mary Arden’s Farm ©Stratfordblog.com

I’ve written before about the best reasons to buy a Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Full Story ticket. It’s an annual pass offering 12 months of unlimited visits to the five Shakespeare Family Homes: Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shakespeare’s New Place, Hall’s Croft and Mary Arden’s Farm.

As well as saving money on individual tickets, you can take advantage of free events and activities throughout the year, including those aimed at the younger members of your family during school holidays and at weekends. Plus, there’s a fabulous playground at Mary Arden’s Farm, which you can pop to whenever you want when you buy a family annual pass (the farm is open Mar 16-Nov 5 2019). I like to call into New Place too for the peaceful gardens.

A Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Full Story ticket for the family costs £59.50 for two adults and up to four children. Under 3s go free. Visit the website.

Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall

Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall

An exclusive new pass for CV37 residents launches on April 1 at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall in Stratford-upon-Avon town centre. Simply purchase an entry ticket and get unlimited visits for the next 12 months at no extra cost. Annual pass holders can then bring friends and family who will receive 25 per cent off entry tickets.

Visitors can take part in Tudor-style lessons and learn more about the life of William Shakespeare the schoolboy.

Family passes from £21.60 (two adults, up to four children; under 5s go free) when booked online in advance.

Compton Verney

The sandpit at Compton Verney ©Stratfordblog.com
The sandpit at Compton Verney ©Stratfordblog.com

This is one annual pass I always like to have in my boredom-busting armoury. Just 20 minutes by road from central Stratford-upon-Avon (9 miles), Compton Verney is much more than an art gallery and park. Yes, the art within the Georgian mansion is terrific, and the grounds are simply glorious (thanks to the landscaping of Capability Brown), but as a family we love the brilliant adventure playground and the family-friendly activities during the year.

The wooden playground – a place we’ll often visit without going to the house – is sprawling and safe, mostly suited to ages 5 plus. Regular events include toddler playtime on Tuesdays and forest school for pre-schoolers. There are school holiday, weekend and bank holiday family events throughout the year.

Compton Verney re-opens for 2019 on Saturday March 16.

The cost of a family annual pass has gone up again, this year to £33, but it’s still great value if you visit a handful of times. Passes include two adults and up to four children; under 5s go free.

National Trust

Deer reside at Charlecote Park ©Stratfordblog.com

There are a number of National Trust properties within a 30-minute drive of Stratford-upon-Avon, including Charlecote Park, Coughton Court and Baddesley Clinton. Plus dozens more within very easy reach. And, if you’re on a break in the UK, you can use your annual membership with the National Trust to visit one of the hundreds of historic homes nationwide. The Trust also looks after car parking at mile upon mile of British coastline – where you can often park for free with your National Trust badge.

It’s not a cheap one at £126 for the year (two adults and up to 10 children or grandchildren; under 5s go free), but if you can make at least one monthly property visit you’ll get great value on your days out. Visit the website.

British Motor Museum

Family games at the British Motor Museum ©Stratfordblog.com
Family games at the British Motor Museum ©Stratfordblog.com

Less than half an hour by road from central Stratford-upon-Avon is the British Motor Museum and the world’s biggest collection of historic British cars. Motor-mad youngsters will love the classics on display, while the littlest members of your family can get around the museum in their own minis (you can steer with a handle if they’re a bit of a liability at the wheel!).

There’s an outdoor playground and a family-friendly café on site too, plus activities and trails for the children.

A family ticket costs £39 and, if you’re a UK taxpayer, you can Gift Aid it and get a 12-month pass at no extra cost. (Family ticket is for 2 adults and 3 children; under 5s go free).

Other family annual passes worth considering in and around Stratford-upon-Avon

Hatton Adventure World – £330 for a 12-month pass

Warwick Castle – from £39 per person for a peak-time annual pass

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Information correct at date of publication