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5 Things to do whilst learning English in Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon, a medieval market town established in 1196, occupies a unique position in British cultural heritage as the birthplace and home of William Shakespeare, Britain’s greatest playwright. Key properties associated with Shakespeare’s life have been exceptionally well preserved so visitors can experience a real flavour of life as Shakespeare and his contemporaries would have lived it. Stratford’s beautiful setting on the River Avon in the area known as the Heart of England, its excellent shops, restaurants, tea rooms and pubs, and the fact that it is the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company, all make it a superb homestay location.

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Shakespeare’s Birthplace

No visit to Stratford-upon-Avon can be complete without a visit to Shakespeare’s Birthplace. Step into the house where William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and re-enter the Tudor world. Newly refurbished, the house now offers visitors a fascinating insight into life as it was when Shakespeare was a child.Visitors with a deeper knowledge of Shakespeare may find the presentation a bit patronizing, and the commercialization a bit off putting, but you will still come away with a sense of awe, wonderment and a taste of Stratford as it was in the time of Shakespeare.


The Royal Shakespeare Theatre Guided Tour

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is home to the Royal Shakespeare Company, one of the world’s best know theater companies. The Shakespeare Theater has recently undergone a £100m refit and is one of the star attractions in Stratford. If possible you should go along to one of the performances, but the theatre tours is also well worth a try. Guided Theatre ToursTheatre tours run throughout the year, but are dependent on production, rehearsal and technical schedules. Tours last approximately one hour and run daily at 9.15am, 11.15am, 1.15pm and 5.15pm, subject to availability, (10.15am, 12.15pm, 2.15pm and 4.15pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays).

Starting in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Cloakroom, you will learn about the history of the RSC and its theatres in Stratford, as well as exploring a production in more depth to learn about the theatre making process. Tickets cost £6.50 per person or £3 for under 18s and people with disabilities.

Tickets are available online or by telephone on 0844 800 1110. Advance booking is recommended.

Warwick Castle

OK, not strictly in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, but Warwick Castle is just 30 minutes bus ride away outside the town of Warwick. Built by William the Conqueror in 1068, Warwick Castle was originally a wooden motte-and-bailey fort, but was rebuilt in stone in 1260 and expanded over the following centuries. It was temporarily captured by Simon de Montfort in 1264 and saw action during the English Civil War, when Royalist forces unsucessfully lay siege to it. The castle was later used to hold prisoners taken by the Parliamentarians. It has been open to tourists since 1978.


Holy Trinity Church – visit Shakespeare’s grave

William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, was born in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 on St. George’s day (23rd April) and died on the same day in 1616. Or at least, so it is alleged. No records of births and deaths were made in those days. We do, however have records of his baptism on and of his burial. Both these events took place in Holy Trinity Church. It can be fairly safely assumed that he worshipped here as a boy and young man, and again after he retired to his home town.
The church is open to the public and you can see the grave of Shakespeare towards the rear of the church


A walk beside the River Avon

The River Avon meanders it’s way through Stratford-upon-Avon and a walk along the river bank is one of the (free) delights of the town, especially on a sunny day. You may find your self quoting some lines of Shakespeare, feeding the ducks and swans, or just watching some of the thousands of people who come to visit Stratford-upon-Avon and pay homage to Shakespeare.


If you are interested in studying in Stratford-upon-Avon on a homestay home tuition course, contact the Bucksmore Homelingua team.

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