When the weather is hot, hot, hot, you need the top 5 places to cool down in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Whether it’s an air-conditioned space or a place to grab a frozen treat, get out of the heat and enjoy these cool spots in Shakespeare’s hometown.
Top 5 places to cool down in Stratford-upon-Avon
Go to the theatre
If you are on a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, chances are you’ve already booked tickets at one of the RSC’s riverside theatres: the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the main theatre, and the more intimate Swan Theatre.
When the mercury soars these are great places to be, as both RSC theatres feature air conditioning.
If you’re a Stratford-upon-Avon local and the forecast is for hot weather, take advantage of the CV37 standby scheme for tickets. The best available seats can be bought for £10 on the day of the performance for residents of CV37 (proof of address required; book by phone or in person on the day).
If you’re visiting Stratford-upon-Avon and haven’t yet sorted your tickets, check out offers such as first-time Fridays and rush tickets. More information available on the RSC’s ticket discounts page.
In 2018, RSC shows include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Get a cold drink (in an air-conditioned venue) or a cool treat
There are plenty of lovely dining terraces (see Stratfordblog’s top 5), pub gardens and outdoor areas at Stratford-upon-Avon’s bars in which to take a seat in the shade and chill out with a cold drink (Pimm’s and lemonade anyone?). There are also many air-conditioned cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants.
Despite a history dating back to the 1400s, The Garrick Inn, on High Street, features full air conditioning – making it one of the oldest and coolest pubs in Stratford-upon-Avon. If you’re there on a Friday, you can buy a bottle of prosecco for £9.99.
Among the air-conditioned restaurants of Stratford-upon-Avon, Loxleys in Sheep Street is a great option during hot summer evenings. Cool fizz is on the menu at Loxleys too. And, if you dine on a Thursday (at least three courses for two), you’ll get a free bottle of prosecco. See the Loxleys website for the terms of the offer.
Need to keep the kids cool? An ice cream will always do the trick. We are spoiled for choice when it comes to ice cream in Stratford-upon-Avon, with vans, cafes and even barges dishing out the creamy, cool stuff. For a sit down in a pretty venue, with a little play area for the children and a hidden courtyard, it has to be Hooray’s British Gelato Kitchen, in High Street. Gelatos, sorbets, sundaes, shakes, waffles, crepes and even granitas at the cocktail bar upstairs make keeping cool extra delicious.
See a film at the cinema
Retreat from the heat to the shade of a cinema.
We have two excellent cinemas in Stratford-upon-Avon and both feature air-conditioned screens.
The Stratford-upon-Avon Picturehouse in Windsor Street has two screens. Alongside the latest blockbusters, the Picturehouse shows vintage cinema, discounted kids films and free student screenings. The summer sale is on, with £9 tickets for adults/£6.50 kids (until August 31).
Everyman Stratford-upon-Avon opened in Bell Court in 2017. The cinema experience has been taken up a level at this plush four-screen venue, with sofa seating, waiter service and a cool bar with a balcony, on which to chill out before cooling down while watching one of the latest blockbuster films.
Get on the River Avon
It always feels cooler over water (and generally it is), so hop aboard a boat in Stratford-upon-Avon and feel the cool breeze of the River Avon.
You’ll want a tour boat or to hire your own motorboat (no point working up a sweat on a hot day by rowing).
Take a 45-minute leisure cruise with Bancroft Cruisers, which depart from the mooring behind the Crowne Plaza hotel on Bridgefoot. For times and prices, see the top 5 summer experiences in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Avon Boating also run a 40-minute leisure cruise, departing from the riverbank in Bancroft Gardens. You can also hire a motorboat or, if you’re feeling extravagant, a pleasure punt and waterman to do the hard work. See more on the top 5 summer experiences guide.
Take lunch or dinner on restaurant boat the Countess of Evesham. In summer, cruises take to the Avon seven days a week.
A number of Stratford-upon-Avon shops feature icicle-cold air conditioning, so hit the town centre’s shops when the temperature soars and dip in and out of the cool stores. Marks & Spencer and WHSmith are two town-centre stores with air conditioning.
Don’t forget to check out some of Stratford-upon-Avon’s amazing independent shops too, as well as the high-street favourites. They might not have air conditioning, but they sell some pretty cool stuff.
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Information correct at date of publication