Kay had a few days off before she changed rotations and wanted to utilise the time wisely, so we hit on the idea of Stratford upon Avon. I've heard of Shakespeare (who hasn't?) and all his plays, but I did not really know anything about the man. In the space of a few days, I got to know him and his family really well.
Kay had booked us into a lovely self-contained airbnb which was a short walk to the town centre, so we were able to sight-see during the day, walk back to the flat and refresh ourselves, before walking back to the town centre again to choose a restaurant for dinner.
We saw most of the Shakespeare homes.
First his birthplace
|Front of birth house on Henley Street|
|Rear of birth house|
|Young Will had to share this bed with two of his brothers!|
Then on to Anne Hathaway's Cottage - the home of his wife before they married. I think this place was my favourite of them all.
We also visited Hall Croft, the home of his daughter Susanna. She married a physician and Kay found it very interesting to learn about Tudor medicine. (Thank goodness we did not live in those days, is all I can say.)
We also popped into Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried. I stupidly thought he was buried in Westminster Abbey, but maybe the caption on his grave put people off moving him.
Wandering around the town there were so many beautiful old buildings - I cannot possibly put them all here, but here are a few....
We did not see a play while we were there. My hearing is not what it used to be and I did not fancy sitting through several hours of Julius Caesar, which was on during our stay, without being able to hear what was going on.
Shakespeare was 18 when he married Anne Hathaway. She was 26 and apparently "3-months with child", so they married hastily in November 1582. She probably conceived in August or September - the height of harvest-making on her farm. Say no more. Their first-born was Susanna (who married Dr Hall, the physician I mentioned above). Shakespeare and Anne later had twins Judith and Hamnet, but Hamnet died at the age of 11, so the Shakespeare line died out with the two girls. Shakespeare was quite a wealthy man and owned several properties in Stratford as well as in London. It was amazing to think he left school at 15, died at the age of 52 and yet wrote so prolifically in that short time.
You can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed my short-break and came back thoroughly refreshed.