During our three-week stay in William Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, we knew we wanted to learn more about the great writer. What better way to do that than by visiting the five Shakespeare homes, where Shakespeare himself or his family members lived! Managed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the five historic homes include:
- Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
- Shakespeare’s Birthplace
- Shakespeare’s New Place
- Hall’s Croft
- Mary Arden’s Farm
Though they each have their own vibe, each house is so English-ly quaint and very well-kept.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (Shakespeare’s wife, not the modern-day actress) was our first stop and it was just lovely! We just loved exploring the nine acres of beautiful gardens and woodland. They say that Shakespeare probably came around here a lot during his courtship of Anne.
We happened to visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace (the home where he was born and raised) during Shakespeare’s 453rd birthday weekend. There were lots of entertainers out on the street in front of the home and it was a fun time. It was pretty interesting to see where and how he grew up.
Shakespeare’s New Place
We visited Shakespeare’s New Place during his birthday weekend, as well, where we got to watch a small group of actors perform acts from various Shakespeare plays around the garden.
The home of Shakespeare’s daughter wasn’t particularly interesting to us, but we happened to visit while a cute little garden party was going on.
Mary Arden’s Farm
Just a short car ride outside of Stratford, Mary Arden’s Farm was our last-but-definitely-not-least stop. It was pretty cool to see what it was like to run a 16th-century Tudor farm. Also, we have taken an interest in gardening and plant-based nutrition these days, so we were happy to learn that it is now an organic farm and so we enthusiastically opted for a lunch of fresh Tudor pottage (vegetable soup) and Tudor knots at the cafe. Yum!
Overall, we quite enjoyed visiting the houses and feel like we got a really good glimpse into what life was like back in Shakespeare’s day. Imagine living in a world where you don’t have ready-made clothing in all sizes and styles, running water, heating and air conditioning, or instant access to literally any information you could ever want…
Really makes you grateful for all the conveniences we have today. 🙂
Many thanks to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for giving us complimentary admission in exchange for exposure to our online audience.
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