This is my personal best of Stratford-upon-Avon: the places that make me happy, the routes I walk, the cafes I visit, my favourite views.
I started Stratfordblog to tell you about the best places in Stratford-upon-Avon: the best restaurants, the best cafes, the best attractions and so on. But these are just a few of my favourite things about living in this lovely Warwickshire town. I’d love to hear yours, so leave a comment below and tell me what floats your boat down the Avon.
My personal best of Stratford-upon-Avon
My happy-place amble
There are so many streets to turn down where you can snatch a quiet moment with history, but my favourite stroll is a loop that takes in both banks of the Avon, Holy Trinity Church, the peace of Old Town and views of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre that you can’t help but capture.
From Waterside/the canal basin, head south, past the theatre and either track the river through the gardens or follow Southern Lane. Turn left into Trinity Close and pass through the grounds of Holy Trinity Church – the final resting place of William Shakespeare. Continue on Mill Lane, while dreaming about living in one of the palatial walled homes, and go through the alley. Lucy’s Mill Bridge is currently not accessible for wheelchairs or pushchairs, so I lug the pushchair up the steps and pant, or I rejoice in my childfree hour to saunter across the bridge (there are plans to make it accessible, which will be appreciated by many).
Follow the river again, keeping an eye out for herons around Lucy’s Mill weir, and stay close to the Avon as you nod to dog-walkers in the Recreation Ground. At the busier end of the Rec, which floods with picnic blankets and families playing football in summer, the swans, boats and theatres swim into view.
Cross the Avon on either bridge and you’re back to where you started, with a springier bounce in your step.
My coffee-and-cake go-to
There are loads, seriously, loads of cafes in Stratford-upon-Avon. I’ll be honest, I haven’t visited them all. There aren’t enough weeks in the year.
My current favourite is Susie’s Café Bar for comfy seats, shabby-chic décor and spaces wide enough to accommodate a pushchair without me having to bother anyone. Boston Tea Party is my next top choice. Locals also rave about Bensons, Huffkins and Box Brownie.
My favourite view
Anywhere on the water presents an uplifting view of Stratford-upon-Avon, but my personal sweet spot is at one of the high tables in the gallery between the bar and the tower on the third floor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. If there’s a cocktail included in this view, all the sweeter.
My favourite season to be in Stratford-upon-Avon
For me, it’s autumn. The summer throngs have dispersed, the weather can still be pleasantly warm and the trees burst into a fiery display of gold, orange and red.
Where to avoid the crowds
Follow the Avon south out of town and take one of the bankside walks (they’re a little rough in patches) or turn right after Lucy’s Mill Bridge towards Stratford Greenway. Following the route of a disused railway, the Greenway is accessible for all and becomes quieter the further you get from the car park off Seven Meadows Road.
Don’t leave without… a selfie with a statue
The jester in Henley Street, a young William Shakespeare on the bench in Bancroft Gardens, the tubby-bellied Falstaff near the canal boats: if you have a camera, an imagination, bendy joints and/or selfie stick, you can take a Stratford statue selfie. It really needs its own hashtag.
What do you think? Leave a reply below to tell me your personal best of Stratford-upon-Avon.
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Information correct at date of publication