Sunday, 1 September 2019

A Visit to Stratford upon Avon

Well hello lovelies....I wonder if any of you are still out there? I hardly dare expect an audience after all these months!
I do hope somebody might read this, but in any eventuality I want to start blogging again and recording some of the special times and travels I hope to have...well just recording anything that takes my fancy really.

I also have a little photographic project that's been in the back of my mind for years now....and today I managed to make a start on it ....but more of that later.

Despite only living a hour up the road from the iconic home of William Shakespeare, until today I had never paid it a visit. Hubby worked near here when our boys were little and often said we should go, but it never happened....until now. 

As it turned out it was very easy to park and follow the signs to the tourist information centre, where we picked up a free map and headed off to explore.

Yay, colourful canal boats were a great start.

The river Avon looked so pretty in the morning sunshine and plenty of folks were about already....strolling beside it or sailing on it.

We crossed a footbridge to the opposite bank.

Which lead to a pleasant footpath with great views of the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre.  Ummmm, it's a big lump of a building from this angle.

 The theatre my not have grabbed me (yet) but the river was charming.

So much activity including pretty boats and graceful swans.

The greenery and the light were gorgeous, with canoes of all colours adding to the happy vibe.

They paddled at our walking speed so many photo opportunities were possible :0)

A little further along they vanished, only to reappear as they descended this weir. That looked a lot of fun.

It seemed such a user friendly river, not too wide or fast flowing.

 Here we crossed the footbridge in the previous picture.

And walked through gardens were  actors were setting up for a free performance of "The merry wives of Windsor."

We carried on and came to the chain ferry

 And a little while further we were back at the RSC, how different it looks from this angle..... lovely!

The town is very compact and easy to navigate, with many, many really beautiful OLD buildings. This one says Built 1485, wow.

Everywhere looked pretty in the sunshine.

I tried to get hubby and eldest (we were just a band of 3 for this trip) to go in here for a drink but they didn't seem keen.

There were stunning flowers on every street. Eldest said it must be nice to live in a tourist hot spot because the council make it look really nice. Having grown up in one I know there are disadvantages too :0)

Stratford certainly seemed well maintained with lots of pedestrian areas and a happy vibe.

With many sites related to the bard dotted around. This is the Shakespeare bookshop with his birthplace to the left.

 Immediately opposite was....A Peter Rabbit Shop. Work that one out? I couldn't :0)

 A mile or so out of town was another Shakespeare related spot I wanted to see, happily the map helped once more.

 We followed a footpath to the village (well more suburb really) of Shottery.

Here's a clue as to our destination.

 Oooooh look we found it. Anne Hathaway's cottage.

On this occasion we just looked over the gate and admired the exterior.

I was more than happy to be outdoors on such a glorious day. We found a little walk beside Shottery Brook which gave my favourite views of the cottage.

This is a tranquil walk was developed in 1977 and I think it gives a small glimpse of how rural this area would have been in Shakespeare's time.

Or even in more recent times, as this photo from 1895 that I managed to find shows. 

Today it was a dappled delight.

and I loved this  view  little further along.

Thatch was everywhere...even on new builds.

The thatcher was busy at work despite it being Sunday.

After twenty minutes more walking we were back in town, and with our car parking time running out it was time to leave, I snapped a few last pretty views as we went.

Down Bridge Street.

and across the water, looking back towards the RSC theatre.

Goodbye canal boats.

 and thank you for a super visit Stratford upon Avon.

Phew, this is turning into a long post, but it's not quiet finished yet....remember that photographic project I mentioned? Well it's based around the pictures in this book, which I picked up in a charity shop years ago.

 It's from the 70's and I just love all the images from all over the British Isles. Here's some blurb from inside.


And here is the Stratford upon Avon page....with a couple of sights you will be familiar with dear reader :0)

There's really not much writing in this book, just big photos and small snippets of information.

So here's Ted's image of the Royal Shakespeare theatre....

And here's mine. I tried to get the same angle, but he got more swans and  better reflections :0)
No matter, I really just wanted to see how this view had changed in the intervening 40 odd years. And if you look closely you can see it has, quiet a lot. Part of the building by the waters edge has gone, with extensions to the roof and the left hand side now present. It seems the riverbank in the foreground has been altered quiet a bit too, with a concrete bank and tarmac path where the grass once was.

Now onto the picture of Anne Hathaway's cottage in Ted's book....

I didn't manage to get exactly the same angle and this was actually a lucky shot, taken by holding my camera at arms length over the hedge :0)
Despite this I actually prefer my version in this case. I've got the chimney tops and the colour of the building is nicer now I think. In this case there isn't much change, thank goodness (though I think the thatch is looking shabbier than it was...and this is probably a replacement since the 70's I would guess?). Now I'm looking closely at this picture  I'm happy to find I got 2 figures in my Ted did :0)

I'm going to try and visit more places featured in this book, maybe I won't get the exact angles for my pictures, but that doesn't matter. I'm just using it as an excuse, and inspiration to get out and discover places new. I will of course take you lovelies along too :0)

This could be a long project, but there will be other posts too.

Jacquie x


  1. Beautiful!! Look forward to see more of your blog!

  2. Welcome back! I think we have to visit Avon!

  3. Hello! So lovely to see your post and what a great post it is! I have never been to this part of England although being an American, my British relatives and friends tease me saying I must be the only American who who hasn't seen it! I enjoyed your photos very much and your words to go with them.😊

  4. Welcome Back, dear Jacquie! I missed your adventurous posts! I also miss you visiting my blog and hope you return. I absolutely LOVED seeing every single photo you took. I can't imagine living that close and never visiting. You're so lucky to have such places at your fingertips.
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  5. Oooh loved this Jacquie and I will always hang around lol I loved my 2 trips to UK 2017 2018 and visiting Ireland next year. Great idea with that book ❤

  6. Glad to see you back blogging Jacquie, looks like you had an interesting walk around Stratford upon Avon, your photos are stunning, what camera do you use. Hope to use lots more of your trips from this great book in the future. Jan

  7. Good to see you posting again, Jacquie, and what a great post! Always wondered what it is like around Stratford-upon-Avon. Looking forward to your next trip xx

  8. lovely to see you here again...i thought you might have decided to just instagram pics...i hope a few more lovely blogs will start to return as well. I like instagram but I dont think it has the same appeal to me as blogging does. but i understand why people do quicker apps like instagram in these busy lives we all live. Always loved your adventures, crochet makes, home style and just all round lovely blog Jacquie ;)xx

  9. So lovely to hear from you again. Such really great photos. They look like the ones you see for jigsaw puzzles.

    You brought back memories of my one & only visit to Stratford. I remember walking along from the RSC building and spotting a plaque just down on the grass for Vivien Leigh. It simply said "In memory of Vivien Leigh, Actress 1913 - 1961, A lass unparalleled". It's at the base of a silver birch planted in memory of her.

    The words on the plaque come from Charmian at the end of Antony and Cleopatra when she describes her dead mistress:

    "Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies
    A lass unparallel’d. Downy windows, close;
    And golden Phoebus never be beheld
    Of eyes again so royal!"

    How very apt!

    Thank you.

  10. Welcome back! You were missed. I enjoy your walks and photos.

  11. A lovely photo-tour, Jacquie. It's years since I visited Stratford and, of course, it's on the list for the current project - we just haven't got there yet. It looks better than I remember - your shots are really excellent - good luck with that inspired photo project!! I'm surprised you haven't heard of Shakespeare's version of Peter Rabbit, though...

  12. Lovely to see you posting again as I have so enjoyed your walks, visits and photos over the last few years. Looking forward to your future trips! Vicki in the East Riding p.s. how is the 'temperature' crochet going, or is that a winter project?

  13. Welcome back and very beautiful pictures!

  14. lovely pics, lovely walk through....

  15. It is a great place Stratford. I went there for a blog meet once to visit the sew me something Shop and have afternoon tea in... Forties! Hope you are well. Jo xxx

  16. Thank you for taking us along on your wonderful day out!! As always, I love your photos. You have an eye for taking great photos. I'm so glad you're back and I know that I missed your posts and photos.

  17. It seems that there are quite a few of us that are happy to see that you have posted again. Your day out brings back some memories for us. We visited in 2011, but it was sadly a wet and windy day, so we just did the red bus trip. We did enjoy dinner in the really old pub and also saw our first canal boats here. Thanks for taking us along on your walk. I love your photographic challenge and look forward to seeing more of your comparison shots.

  18. So glad you are posting again. I have enjoyed your adventures and photos so much. This is great! and I am looking forward to your future explorations - it is so interesting to see how the present look compares to the past photos. Thanks so much for sharing!

  19. It's SO good to have you back. I'm very fond of Stratford upon-Avon, we honeymooned there and stayed again for our 20th wedding anniversary in 2008, when they were doing the renovations to the theatre. Mary Arden's Farm, the home of Shakespeare's mother, was also an excellent outing in 1988. I think recreating the photos from the book is a fab idea and I look forward to seeing your photos. x

  20. Hello!! What a beautiful surprise to see you again!! I think your photoproyect is amazing!! I am waiting for next places!!!;)

  21. It's lovely to see you blogging again :)

    Thanks for the tour of Stratford. I've never been but it looks like a nice place to visit.

  22. I'm just catching up on your posts, after a quite disruptive move. But before that I had really missed your lovely posts and pics. And I once had that very same picture book from the 1970's! There was a series of them about various countries and even our US States. You're so fortunate to have so many beautiful and accessible places to visit. And I so envy your English footpath system! Over here, public paths are few and far between. So I do most f my walking vicariously on your posts! (Belated) Welcome back, and keep up the good work.


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