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Exploring England: A Day in Stratford-Upon-Avon

Anne Hathaway's CottageWhen visiting England, a day in Shakespeare country is a must.  We hopped aboard a double decker bus for an hour long journey to Stratford-Upon-Avon.  Upon our arrival we managed to cajole the kids into wandering a bit of the town.  Thank heavens a good friend lent us her stroller for our England-trip.  Our two year old spent the majority of our trip announcing he couldn’t possibly walk because his legs “felled off”.  We managed to see some of the charming streets by plunking the 4 year old in the stroller and hoofing the 2 year old on our shoulders.

We wound our way down to the river Avon and took a river cruise.  The cruise, by Avon Boating, was a wonderfully peaceful half hour round trip.  We had great fun discussing a future family trip: canal boats through England!

After our cruise, we summoned our strength and walked to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage.  Under normal circumstances this walk would be lovely.  It was about 30 minutes in length.  Our two challenges: incredible heat and 2 kids who did not want to walk (thank heavens for at least one stroller)!  The blisters and sweat were absolutely worth it!

Anne Hathaway's GardensAnne Hathaway’s Cottage is magical.  The grounds are spectacular; the house drips with history.  While not much is known about William Shakespeare’s time at the house in which his wife grew up, the tour guides are very good at sharing what little information is certain.  Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has done a very good job at providing activities for the kids.  At Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the kids were given activity sheets and encouraged to go on a scavenger hunt for Shakespearean clues on a beautifully winding path in the woods.

Whilst in Stratford, I would highly recommend purchasing the 5 house pass from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.  While we didn’t have time to see all the sites, the pass does provide you access to: Shakespeare’s Birthplace; Nash’s House (Shakespeare’s final home); Mary Arden’s Farm (the childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother); Hall’s Croft (the home of Shakespeare’s daughter) and, of course, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage.

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Due to COVID-19, travelling is not what it used to be. It is advisable to adhere to physical distancing requirements, ensure frequent hand washing, and wear a mask indoors when maintaining distances is not possible. See www.travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories for more details.