Take a trip up the RSC Tower for one of the best views of Stratford-upon-Avon. From a height of 36 metres, enjoy far-reaching views of the town’s historic buildings, the River Avon, and the hills beyond.
What else can you expect of a trip up the RSC Tower in Stratford-upon-Avon?
Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BB
Visit the RSC Tower
The 36-metre RSC Tower stands tall above the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on Waterside. Its design was inspired by the water tower of the original Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, which burned to the ground in 1926… because the water tower was empty.
You’ll ascend the tower in the lift, escorted by one of the theatre company’s knowledgeable staff. If you haven’t been up there before, prepare to gasp as the doors slide open and your first glimpse of the Avon from on high is revealed. Bancroft Gardens, the Rec, the Tramway Bridge, and – for six months of the year – the Stratford Big Wheel occupy the view to the northeast.
Older parts of the theatre building, such as the 1932 Royal Shakespeare Theatre, are evident, as are later additions, such as the Rooftop Restaurant (where you can have afternoon tea) and the cocktail bar decking.
Use the leaflet, the information on the walls, or ask a member of the team to point out the remaining sections of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, built in 1879, which sit to the south of the RSC Tower.
Other places to spot include Holy Trinity Church, containing the grave of William Shakespeare, King Edward VI School, where Shakespeare was a pupil, and the gardens of New Place – the site of the family home bought by the playwright.
You can also make out the villages of Shottery, home to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, and Wilmcote, the location of Mary Arden’s Farm. On a clear day, you’ll get views of not only Warwickshire, but Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire.
On the way down the stairs (you can return in the lift if you require an accessible visit), there are images of past performances, more captivating views, and, on each galleried landing, an exhibit of costumes or other pieces from the RSC collection.
Location of the RSC Tower
You can’t miss it. Seriously. It’s on the banks of the Avon, soaring above the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on Waterside, dominating almost every non-foodie Instagram shot of Stratford-upon-Avon.
RSC Tower opening times
10am-5pm March to October; 10am-4.30pm October to March (winter Saturdays 10am-12.15pm).
The tower closes during events and performances in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
RSC Tower price
£2.50 for adults, £1.25 for children, £1 concessions/members/tour ticketholders. During Warwickshire school holidays (Mon-Fri only), two children under 16 can go for free with every paying adult.
Value for money? You might feel a little underwhelmed if you only visit the tower, impressive though the views are. Instead, team a visit to the RSC Tower with a tour (from £7 per person) and add an RSC Tower ticket for a quid.
The Stratfordblog verdict
Whether you’ve lived in town for years and need a fresh perspective, or you’re here to visit Stratford-upon-Avon, you should see the views from the top of the RSC Tower at least once.
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Information correct at date of publication