Anne Hathaway’s Cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon is the childhood home of William Shakespeare’s future wife. This pretty cottage, which was extended during Shakespeare’s life, is just 20-25 minutes on foot from Stratford-upon-Avon town centre, though it feels a world away. The village-like setting of Shottery, acres of woodland and orchards, and the 500-year-old cottage transport visitors to another place – a place of a young Shakespeare in love.
What can you expect when you visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon?
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
Cottage Lane, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9HH
What’s at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage?
Pick a dry day to visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage; the cottage itself is only a small part of the overall experience here, where woodland walks, picnics by the orchard and a sculpture trail can easily claim two of the most pleasant hours you’re going to enjoy that day.
From the entrance building you can take a left, winding your way down through the gardens, past the willow ‘Moon Seat’ – the obligatory photo point at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, into the bountiful cottage garden and to the door, for tours that begin every few minutes.
Alternatively, you can turn right, through the orchard and around the sculpture trail, or go straight ahead, seeking the shade of a woodland walk or family activities in the marquee.
Venture inside the house and hear stories about the Hathaway family, who continued to live at the property into the early 1900s, discovering the home’s humble beginnings as a farmhouse and its transformation during Shakespeare’s lifetime – possibly using money earned by Stratford-upon-Avon’s playwright son. Guides talk you through the first couple of rooms, in the oldest and newest parts of the cottage, but from there you can follow the path through the house.
Mind your head as you duck under hefty beams and up creaking staircases, exploring rooms preserved to reflect progressive generations of the Hathaway line. Pause at the Hathaway bed, likely to be one of the two the family owned when Anne was a child.
Back outside, the fragrant cottage garden forms a colourful foreground for more photographs of the cottage.
If you’re visiting with children at weekends or during school or bank holidays, hop over to the family activity marquee where fun crafts, some with a Shakespearean twist, keep little hands busy.
The Cottage Garden Café is across the road from Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and the perfect pit stop for a treat before heading back into Stratford-upon-Avon town centre. Alternatively, there’s a seasonal shed selling drinks and snacks inside the cottage grounds.
Don’t miss at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
The ‘Moon Seat’, installed by willow artist Tom Hare and inspired by lines in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, is an irresistible Instagrammable image. Close by, there’s a willow arbour. Take a seat inside and press the buttons to hear readings of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Location of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is in Cottage Lane, in Shottery. Once a nearby village, Shottery has been consumed by modern development on its outer edges, but it retains a village-like feel with a good pub, rows of cottages and grazing land for sheep. It’s hard to believe you’re just a mile from the centre of buzzing Stratford-upon-Avon.
You can walk to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage from Stratford town centre (it takes 20-25 minutes), drive and park (CV37 9HH) or hop aboard one of the City Sightseeing buses, which serve both the cottage and Mary Arden’s Farm, the Tudor farmhouse of Shakespeare’s mother, in nearby Wilmcote.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage opening times
9am-5pm late March to September 2; 9am-4.30pm September 3 to November 4; 10am-3.30pm winter
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage price
Adult entry costs £11.25, £7.20 for children (under 3s free).
It’s worth getting the Full Story ticket to visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (£20.25 for adults, £13.05 for children, and just under £60 for a family ticket – two adults and up to four children). It’s a 12-month pass for unlimited visits to all five Shakespeare Birthplace Trust properties, which includes Shakespeare’s Birthplace, New Place, Mary Arden’s Farm and Hall’s Croft. Discover the 5 reasons an annual pass is a worthwhile purchase.
Value for money? Yes, especially when you make return visits with the Full Story ticket. Book online for an extra 10 per cent off.
The Stratfordblog verdict
Visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage at any time, but you’ll relish it most when the sun is shining, the picnic blankets are unfurled, and the butterflies flit among the petals and branches. It’s easy to see why a teenage Shakespeare fell in love.
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Information correct at date of publication