Stratford-Upon-Avon Landmarks Tour, Stratford-upon-Avon (Self Guided)

Stratford-Upon-Avon has many interesting landmarks, many of which are from the Victorian era. A tour around Waterside and High Streets has some architecturally remarkable buildings, especially the bank buildings, the old ones, and those on Market Cross. Some attractive sites and landmarks are located by riverbanks and they are always full of outdoors enthusiasts.
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Stratford-Upon-Avon Landmarks Tour Map

Guide Name: Stratford-Upon-Avon Landmarks Tour
Guide Location: England » Stratford-upon-Avon (See other walking tours in Stratford-upon-Avon)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 km
Author: ChristineT
Swan Theater

1) Swan Theater (must see)

The Swan Theatre is a theatre belonging to the Royal Shakespeare Company. It is built on to the side of the larger Royal Shakespeare Theatre, occupying the Victorian Gothic structure that formerly housed the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre that preceded the RST but was destroyed by fire in 1926.

The space was to be dedicated to playing the works of William Shakespeare's contemporaries, the works of European writers and the occasional work of Shakespeare.

The Swan has subsequently been used for many other types of drama including the works of Chekhov, Ibsen and Tennessee Williams.

The Swan Theatre has recently been refurbished. The Transformation project included new facilities and public spaces for the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres - a Rooftop Restaurant with views over the River Avon, a Riverside Cafe and Terrace, the PACCAR Room exhibition space, a 36m high tower which provides circulation and outstanding views from its 32m high viewing platform, a new public outdoor space, Weston Square, to connect the theatre with the old medieval town to the west, and a riverside walk which stretches from the Bancroft Gardens, past the theatre, towards Holy Trinity Church.

The whole building is now accessible for the first time for all visitors, performers and staff.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cox's Yard

2) Cox's Yard

Cox's Yard is a famous entertainment complex, located riverside, at the foot of Clopton Bridge. The site used to be a timber warehouse owned by James Cox, who opened his business in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 1839, when there was a building boom. Featuring great food, live music and theater performances, the Cox's Yard is one of the most popular places for both locals and tourists. The site was preserved and has been successfully converted from a warehouse into a now-flourishing entertainment venue.
Shakespeare Memorial

3) Shakespeare Memorial (must see)

In 1877 a committee was created in Stratford-upon-Avon to erect a memorial to Shakespeare. This originally comprised a theatre building, to be sited on land donated by the bank of the Avon within sight of the church where Shakespeare was buried.

A statue was also created in 1888, the work of Lord Ronald Gower. This is situated in Stratford's Bancroft Gardens. The monument shows Shakespeare seated on a pedestal, surrounded, at ground level, by statues of Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Prince Hal, and Falstaff. These characters were intended to be emblematic of Shakespeare's creative versatility: representing Philosophy, Tragedy, History, and Comedy.

Another statue is present in a niche on the exterior of the town hall building.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Old Bank

4) Old Bank

The Old Bank is a remarkable example of the 19th century Victorian architecture in this predominately Tudor-style town. The sturdy corner building is made from red brick and bears Gothic features, along with flamboyant arches and friezes. The entrance is decorated with marble columns. Above the main porch you will find a beautiful mosaic, representing Shakespeare. The site is still a working bank.
Market Cross

5) Market Cross

The Market Cross is another Stratford-Upon-Avon landmark with a commercial background. It's now a nice little traffic roundabout, surrounded by more recent commercial buildings. In the Middle Ages it used to be the site of an open Market Hall and it was reputed to be the best place for local gossips. Market Cross joins five streets and is the site of several architecturally-interesting buildings, such as Barclays Bank (which has a clock tower on top), and the gabled Victorian Lloyd's of London Bank.
Shakespeare's Birthplace Giftshop

6) Shakespeare's Birthplace Giftshop

Shakespeare's Birthplace Gift Shop is the top spot for Stratford-Upon-Avon visitors. Located next door to the famous house, it has a variety of items for home decor, gift books, pewter items, apparel, toys, prints etc, and all related to Britain's most treasured bard. Shakespeare's characters are present in the items found here.
White Lion Inn / Witchcraft and Wizardology Museum

7) White Lion Inn / Witchcraft and Wizardology Museum

The White Lion Inn was a public house, an example of Elizabethan architecture that first appears in historical records in either 1541 or 1591. The building was mentioned by both Harriet Beecher Stowe and Rupert Graves.

The Witchcraft and Wizardology Museum is a privately amassed collection of ephemera and articles that reflect on the history of Witchcraft and Wizardology from pre-Christian times to the present day. Concentrating on providing a fair and balanced viewpoint that remains family orientated whilst retaining the darker and more sinister aspects of human sacrifice and the Knights Templars link to the craft.

Amassed over 40 years, this collection of articles, rituals and ephemera challenges the accepted stereotypes of witches whilst avoiding the standard "everything behind a glass case" approach. Encouraging a hands on approach to the more traditional aspects of witchcraft it provides a focal point for discussion and those seeking knowledge in a non threatening environment.

Regularly described as one of the most haunted buildings in the country by the owner and visited by paranormal investigators, parapsychology groups and ghost hunters, it continues to offer a glimpse into the world of the supernatural and the unknown.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Jester

8) The Jester (must see)

The Jester is one of the most recent and famous Stratford landmarks. At the junction of Henley and Windsor Streets, the bronze Jester welcomes the public with a pole, a mask of comedy, and an extended heel, while hiding a tragedy mask behind his back. The statue was a gift from Anthony Bird, a native of Warwickshire. The Jester appeared in many Shakespeare plays, so his appearance just several yards from the poet's birthplace is rather symbolic. The Jester's plinth bears many interesting and appropriately funny Shakespearian quotations.
White Swan Hotel

9) White Swan Hotel

The White Swan Hotel is ever faithful to the Stratford-upon-Avon picture perfect postcard, since it's establishment in the mid 16th century. Located at Rother Marketplace, the black and white Tudor-period inn used to be a bakery and undoubtedly is one of the few oldest preserved buildings in town. The hotel boasts that the former bakery had Shakespeare among its faithful bread buyers.

Walking Tours in Stratford-upon-Avon, England

Create Your Own Walk in Stratford-upon-Avon

Create Your Own Walk in Stratford-upon-Avon

Creating your own self-guided walk in Stratford-upon-Avon is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Stratford-Upon-Avon Tudor History Walk

Stratford-Upon-Avon Tudor History Walk

Stratford-Upon-Avon is an old medieval market town with a great history, and it was founded in the middle of the 12th century. As it is Shakespeare's hometown, you'll find it filled with period houses of the Tudor period. Many of them have been kept in their original state, since the 16th century, and their classic black and white appearance marks the Tudor architectural tradition.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 km
Stratford-Upon-Avon Shakespeare Tour

Stratford-Upon-Avon Shakespeare Tour

Stratford-Upon-Avon is William Shakespeare's hometown, and also the place where he passed away. Many period buildings and locations, related to his and his family's life, are preserved as Britain's national heritage. The most popular attractions are the Tudor period Shakespeare's Birthplace House and his beautiful burial place at the Holy Trinity Church.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
Stratford-Upon-Avon Waterside Walk

Stratford-Upon-Avon Waterside Walk

Stratford-Upon-Avon is located on both banks of the river Avon, mainly on its west side, and it is very picturesque, especially on sunny spring and summer days. The banks are full of ducks, boats and river trams. The stroll along the river is relaxing and the waterside trails always attract both tourists and locals.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Stratford-Upon-Avon Charlecote Walk

Stratford-Upon-Avon Charlecote Walk

The Charlecote walk offers you a great stroll through the English countryside. The impressive Victorian Charlecote Park, the surrounding grounds and the Hampton Lucy village, are wonderful to explore and here you will see Shakespeare's hometown, which is just four miles away.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

The place of Stratford-upon-Avon in the world's history is set in stone as the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Owing to this fact, thousands of tourists – lovers of the English literature – flock to this cute 16th-century West Midlands town each year out of respect and desire to get closer to the famous bard. In part, this is also due to a multitude of well-preserved Medieval and other...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Stratford-upon-Avon for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Stratford-upon-Avon has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Stratford-upon-Avon, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.