Mary Arden’s Farm, near Stratford-upon-Avon, is the childhood home of William Shakespeare’s mother. A working Tudor farm, Mary Arden’s Farm is a family attraction, with farm animals, birds of prey displays, special events, daily indoor and outdoor activities, and children’s playgrounds.
What can you expect when you visit Mary Arden’s Farm near Stratford-upon-Avon?
Mary Arden’s Farm
Station Road, Wilmcote, near Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9UN
What’s at Mary Arden’s Farm?
Visit Mary Arden’s Farm for a great family day out, discovering the rural life of William Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden.
Mary Arden’s House is tucked away in a corner of the sprawling site, where costumed Tudors recreate the everyday workings of this 500-year-old farm. Palmer’s Farmhouse, just steps from the house Mary shared with her parents and seven older sisters, is bigger – making the ideal focal point for kitchen demonstrations, talks and the daily Tudor dinner, where you can learn about what would have been on the table and what kind of manners were expected (hint: remove your hats gents).
Elsewhere, the farm’s courtyard moves to the rhythm of clonking hammers, honking geese, the brays of donkeys and neighs of Ellie the horse.
Fill your day exploring the orchards, fields and pastures, popping back to the falconer’s field and the buildings for activities such as goose herding, sheep shearing, archery and birds of prey displays.
There are sheep, goats, cattle, pigs and birds to see, a chunky adventure playground to explore for under 12s, and a wildflower meadow trail to follow to feel the quiet contentment of Mary Arden’s pastoral upbringing.
Don’t miss at Mary Arden’s Farm
The Tudor dinner – a simple lunch served up and eaten in Palmer’s Farmhouse by the master, his family and the farm workers – is a fascinating look at dishes and manners of the era. It’s held at 1pm every day. A mighty bell rings out to let master know lunch is ready (and so you can rush to the farmhouse and get your camera out).
When you get hungry, there’s a café on site or a pub, called The Mary Arden, just across the road. There are also picnic benches and quiet patches of grass throughout the farm property, so pack a picnic, bring a blanket, and have a bucolic bite to eat in the gorgeous Warwickshire countryside.
Location of Mary Arden’s Farm
Mary Arden’s Farm is in the village of Wilmcote, a four-mile/10-15-minute drive from central Stratford-upon-Avon.
Get there by car or use the City Sightseeing buses to arrive by road.
Alternatively, take the train from Stratford-upon-Avon railway station to Wilmcote (£2 for a return fare; journey time under 10 minutes); it’s a three-minute walk to Mary Arden’s Farm from Wilmcote railway station.
The 229 bus runs between Bridge Street in Stratford-upon-Avon and drops off at the Post Office in Wilmcote, just across the road from Mary Arden’s Farm, with a journey time of 10-15 minutes. However, services are infrequent (only five a day).
A taxi to Mary Arden’s Farm costs around £10 from central Stratford-upon-Avon.
Fancy a walk? Did you know that the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal travels past Wilmcote? So you can start in central Stratford and walk along the towpath, past flights of locks and narrow boats, taking one of two exits into the village (one right onto Station Road). It’s a steady, mostly flat and pleasant walk of around 85 minutes between central Stratford and Mary Arden’s Farm.
Mary Arden’s Farm opening times
10am-5pm (10am-4.30pm September 3 to November 4). Mary Arden’s Farm closes between early November and mid-March.
Mary Arden’s Farm price
Adult tickets to Mary Arden’s Farm cost £13.50, children’s tickets cost £9 (under 3s free).
Consider the Full Story ticket to all five Shakespeare Birthplace Trust properties for 12 months. This costs £20.25 for adults and £13.05 for children, enabling you to enjoy unlimited visits to the five properties: Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shakespeare’s New Place, Hall’s Croft, and Mary Arden’s Farm.
Value for money? Ticket prices are comparable to those of other farm experiences nearby, but if you buy the Full Story ticket and make repeated visits to all five Shakespeare Family Homes, you get excellent value for your money. Find out the other reasons the annual pass is a great investment.
Book online and get an extra 10 per cent off.
The Stratfordblog verdict
I’m lucky enough to live a mere five-minute drive from this buzzing Tudor farm, which is brought to life with such delight and enthusiasm.
Although it doesn’t feel as much about Shakespeare as the other birthplace trust properties, for obvious reasons, it’s still a smashing (and stealthy) way to introduce children to the world of Stratford-upon-Avon’s most famous son.
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Information correct at date of publication