Welcome to Stratford
Stratford is a success story: a wonderful country town that refuses to surrender to the depopulation plaguing rural centers worldwide. As the story goes, in 1952, upon hearing that the Canadian National Railways (the region's largest employer) was closing the doors of its Stratford facility, a young journalist by the name of Tom Patterson approached his council for a loan. His plan was to attract a troupe of actors... Read More
Top experiences in Stratford
Stonehenge, Bath and the Cotswolds from London
Depart from near Victoria Railway Station in central London and leave the hustle and bustle behind you as you travel out into the English countryside by luxury coach. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride as London’s urban scenery gives way to the open greenery of the countryside. First, head through the rolling Wiltshire plains to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stonehenge, widely considered one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world. The enormous stones are believed to have been brought from the Preseli Mountains in Wales — a distance of over 280 miles (450 kilometers) — sometime between 3,000 BC and 2,000 BC, though to this day nobody is sure of the exact reasons for their arrangement and placement. Marvel at the huge stone circle, discover the many mysteries surrounding it and decide for yourself why Stonehenge was built. Continue onward to the fine city of Bath, birthplace of authoress Jane Austin. Explore the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage-listed city — considered by many to be one of the prettiest cities in England — with your guide, and enjoy capturing its attractive Georgian architecture, crescents and terraces on camera. After your tour, enjoy a little free time to wander the cobbled streets and peruse the shops at your leisure. Head north from Bath through the heart of the Cotswolds, widely thought of as one of the most beautiful stretches of countryside in England. Take in breathtaking views of open fields criss-crossed by dry stone walls as you travel, and bustling market towns with magnificent churches. Enjoy the spectacular scenery from the comfort of your coach. Arrive in the charming town of Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare and home to the world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company. Stratford is a charming market town set in the heart of rural England, with a delightful river winding its way slowly through the town. Enjoy Champagne and scones in Shakespeare's garden (the reception will take place indoors in winter), stretch your legs and explore Stratford to soak up the town’s wonderfully welcoming atmosphere. As of April 1, Shakespeare's birthplace will be replaced with a visit to Shakespeare's Schoolroom, with Champagne and scones included. At the end of your time in Stratford-Upon-Avon, hop back in your coach for the return journey to London, where your tour will conclude. Please note: during busy periods the order of the itinerary may change.
Small-Group Day Trip to Oxford, the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon from London
Make your own way to the meeting point in central London, then board a comfortable mini-coach for a scenic 100-mile (161-kilometer) drive to your first destination, Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of England’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare. Your guide shares informative commentary as you stop at the places in Stratford-upon-Avon that are relevant to Shakespeare's life, including Shakespeare’s Birthplace— the 16th-century house where he was born and lived until he was a young man; Holy Trinity Church—where he was baptized and buried; and his school.After exploring the bard’s home town, stop briefly in Shottery for a photo op of the thatched-roof cottage of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s wife. Then continue south to reach the Cotswolds, a beautiful region that became prosperous in the Middle Ages due to the wool trade. Drive along one-track lanes that pass through gentle rolling hills, honey-colored villages, green pastures and ancient churches. With your guide, visit the medieval village of Burford, explore the Coln Valley, and see the villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter before stopping for lunch (own expense) in the market town of Stow-on-the-Wold.After lunch, leave the Cotswolds and go to the city of Oxford, home to prestigious Oxford University, which was founded in 1167. Follow your guide on a leisurely walk around the university grounds, passing by colleges such as Christ Church, All Souls and the Divinity School, and spots where famous writers, artists and inventors studied. Hear about locals like J.R.R.Tolkien, CS Lewis and Lewis Carroll, and see locations that were used in Harry Potter movie scenes. Have time to explore Oxford’s narrow streets and town center on your own, before returning to London in the evening.
Oxford, Stratford Upon Avon and Cotswolds Tour from London
Hop aboard your vehicle in central London in the morning, then take a seat for your onward journey into the Cotswolds. Along the way, listen as your guide shares stories from this unique corner of the English countryside. Stop in the pretty Cotswold village of Bourton-On-The-Water — known locally as the Venice of the Cotswolds — and enjoy an hour’s free time to explore at your leisure. Afterward, continue onward to Stratford-Upon-Avon, a beautiful town famed as the birthplace of William Shakespeare. During your stop in Stratford-Upon-Avon, discover the many buildings associated with Shakespeare during some free time. Then, enjoy a snack in one of the many great local eateries (own expense).Head on to historic Oxford, widely considered among England’s most attractive cities. On arrival, enjoy a guided walking tour followed by free time to explore sites such as the Ashmolean Museum, the Bridge of Sighs, Christchurch College, and Radcliffe Camera at your leisure. When your time in Oxford comes to an end, return in comfort to central London to conclude your tour.
Oxford, Stratford and the Cotswold Villages Day Trip from London
After our central London pickups we make our way to the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford- Upon- Avon. Here you are given access to his home (entry included) and are taken back in time to discover how he lived his childhood as well as the early years of his married life with Anne Hathaway. Millions of Shakespeare enthusiasts flock here annually to relive his life and appreciate his work. You will also be given some free time to explore Stratford where you may enjoy discovering more about Shakespeare’s life by visiting Ann Hathaway’s cottage and gardens (entrance not included) or perhaps you may enjoy shopping in Stratford with its many choices ranging from gift shops to antique shops, boutiques to bookshops and plenty more.We then take a scenic drive through the beautiful Cotswolds villages, an area in Southern England renowned for its beauty and unspoilt honey stone-built houses, historical towns and stately homes and gardens. The coach will stop at certain point so that you can take some wonderful pictures of the scenery and surroundings. Our last stop of the day is to the city of Oxford, otherwise known as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’, where you will enjoy a walking tour with your guide who will point out many points of interest such as The Sheldonian Theatre, Balliol College and the museum of History of Science. You will again be given some free time to take a look around the city. You may wish to visit some of the points pointed out to you on your walking tour or perhaps visit the oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford (please note: some of the colleges may be shut during certain times of the year and admission fees may apply) or maybe climb the Carfax tower for magnificent views of the city. After a full day we will begin our journey back to central London arriving at approximately 7pm (your tour manager will give you an exact time and location to meet back at the coach).
Christmas Lunch in the Cotswolds
Next, head off to Oxford for a festive walk through this ancient University town. You’ll pass by ivy covered colleges and picturesque honey-colored buildings, as well as Christ Church where Lewis Caroll wrote his enchanting tales of Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter was filmed. Your guide will explain to you the traditions of college life as you take in such famous buildings as the mighty Romanesque Radcliffe Camera and The Ashmolean, the oldest museum in the UK.After Oxford, you’ll journey into the limestone hills of the Cotswolds, a region of storybook villages made famous by the wool merchants in the 14th century. These merchants helped build some of the magnificent manor houses and perpendicular Churches prevalent in the area. There will be time to stop for photos outside Blenheim Palace where Sir Winston Churchill was born before heading to a traditional English pub in the picturesque Cotswolds for your Christmas lunch.Now its time to sit back and enjoy delicious English-style roast turkey with all the trimmings followed by traditional Christmas pudding served in a charming Elizabethan pub. Nearby, the Christmas festivities of the local village begin to take place; if you’ve brought presents, this is a wonderful setting in which to open them. The Inn boasts a superb collection of real ales and fine wines for those in the mood - why not celebrate the holiday with a brandy or two in front of the log fire? In the afternoon you will journey to Stratford-upon-Avon, passing by Anne Hathaway’s cottage before arriving in this picturesque market town. Stratford-upon-Avon is most famous for William Shakespeare, Britain’s most famous writer who was both born and buried here. You can stop for photos or take a short walk at both his birthplace and the delightful Holy Trinity Church where the great man finally came to rest before returning to London.
Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon Tour from London
Make your own way to the tour starting point in Victoria, central London, to meet your guide and group. Hop aboard a climate-controlled vehicle and journey from the city into the English countryside.Begin with a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, roughly two hours away. Explore the medieval market town and the half-timbered house where the legendary bard was born. Learn about Shakespeare's family from a fascinating collection of artifacts and experience how his extraordinary work is still relevant today.Continue to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens. See this historical English home — a thatched farmhouse containing original Tudor furniture — where Shakespeare courted his former bride. Meander the cottage’s gardens and grounds overflowing with fragrant blooms and traditional shrubs.Sit down to a box lunch aboard your vehicle and gaze out at the rolling hills and storybook villages as you ride through the Cotswolds, a designated "Area of Natural Beauty."Stop for photo opportunities in three of the region's prettiest villages, including Bibury, Burford, and Bourton-on-the-Water, often described as the “Little Venice.” After a day of sightseeing, arrive back in London at roughly 6:30pm. Your tour then concludes with a drop-off at the original start point.