Ancient historic home and farm of Mary Arden, mother of William Shakespeare, built around the 15th century in the village of Wilmcote - UK

Laura Facchini/Getty

Mary Arden's Farm


Shakespeare genealogists can trace the family tree to the childhood home of the Bard's mother at Wilmcote, 3 miles west of Stratford. Aimed squarely at families, the working farm traces country life over the centuries, with nature trails, falconry displays and a collection of rare-breed farm animals. You can get here on the City Sightseeing bus, or cycle via Anne Hathaway's Cottage, following the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal towpath. Note that, unlike the other Shakespeare properties, it's closed from November to March.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Stratford-upon-Avon attractions

1. Anne Hathaway's Cottage

2.47 MILES

Before tying the knot with Shakespeare, Anne Hathaway lived in Shottery, 1 mile west of the centre of Stratford, in this delightful thatched farmhouse. As…

2. American Fountain

2.94 MILES

Gifted by American publisher George W Childs in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, and designed by Birmingham architect Jethro Cossins, this…

3. Shakespeare's Birthplace

2.95 MILES

Start your Shakespeare quest at the house where the renowned playwright was born in 1564 and spent his childhood days. John Shakespeare owned the house…

4. MAD Museum

3.03 MILES

Fun, hands-on exhibits at Stratford's Mechanical Art & Design Museum (aka MAD) make physics accessible for kids, who can build their own gravity-propelled…

5. Shakespeare's New Place


When Shakespeare retired, he swapped the bright lights of London for a comfortable town house at New Place, where he died of unknown causes in April 1616…

6. Guild Chapel


The Guild Chapel was founded in 1269 and is painted with motivational frescoes showing the fate of the damned in the 15th and early 16th centuries…

7. Shakespeare's School Room


Shakespeare's alma mater, King Edward VI School (still a prestigious grammar school today), incorporates a vast black-and-white timbered building, dating…

8. Hall's Croft

3.17 MILES

The handsome Jacobean town house belonging to Shakespeare's daughter Susanna and her husband, respected doctor John Hall, stands south of Stratford's…