Proudly proclaiming the fact that it is "Europe's largest", the Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm affords a peaceful retreat away from all things Shakespearean. Hundreds of butterflies can be viewed at close quarters, many of the species sporting spectacular colors. For those interested in less attractive, more frightening creatures, other insect displays are available, including stick insects, leaf-eating ants and the world's largest spider.
As the only surviving example of the once prevalent Back to Backs of Birmingham, these historic buildings are a rare treasure. During the 19th Century, a number of buildings were built back to back around a common courtyard to meet the demands of the rapidly growing population of the city as a result of industrialization. These houses were inhabited by the working class who managed to survive in these cramped quarters. Each of the four Back to Backs around the courtyard has been restored and refurnished as a representation of four different time periods, giving visitors an extremely rare opportunity to take a peek into the lives of the ordinary working men and women of the 1840s, 1870s, 1930s and 1970s. Only a few slots are available each day and prior reservations are a must if you wish to visit these homes.
Birmingham's main library was opened in 2013 and is one of the most recognizable and visited buildings in England's second city. The Birmingham's library is the largest public library in the UK and is as remarkable as looking on the inside as it is on the outside. As soon as you walk in you feel like you're in some sort of literary spaceship. And the collections are just as out of this world, including the Boulton and Watt Archives, the Parker collection of children's books and several notable photography collections and archives. In addition, the library houses the Shakespeare Memorial Room, designed in 1882 and moved from the old central library to this one.
A little way out from the city center but easy to get to, the Barber Institute is adjacent to the University of Birmingham. This is one of the world's finest small art galleries with an outstanding collection of old and modern paintings, drawings and sculpture. This gallery is not normally as busy as some larger galleries, so your tour will be un-crowded and pleasant. Artists' works include Bellini, Canaletto, Monet, Renoir, Rossetti and Van Gogh. The Institute is also a regular venue for concerts, lectures and other events.
Estos jardines finos abrieron sus puertas en 1832 y fueron diseñados por John Claudius Loudon, un importante paisajista y periodista hortícola. Los jardines brindan la oportunidad de ver una de las zonas verdes más bellas del mundo, junto con unos impresionantes invernaderos. Algunas atracciones además de plantas son un aviario cubierto, un restaurante con una vista fantástica de los jardines, un parque de juegos para niños, una tienda de regalos y plantas, y una galería que muestra obras de artistas locales.
If you are footsore and weary from shopping or sightseeing, why not see Stratford-upon-Avon from a different perspective? Hop aboard one of the modern passenger boats operated by Bancroft Cruisers from the wharf at the Stratford Moat House and take a 35 minute sightseeing cruise down river. Note that there are spaces on the larger boats for up to three wheelchairs. Bancroft Cruisers are also available for charter bookings, complete with on board bar facilities.
This award-winning museum in a Tudor period mansion has interactive exhibits, Shakespeare tours, night-time ghost tours, and organized school visits that bring 16th-century Elizabethan England to life. Visitors can take a seat at a period dining table, rest on a monarch’s bed and throne, and listen for spirits by candlelight.
King Edward VI Grammar School set in the heart of Stratford's Old Town is a low, black and white timbered building that dates back to the century before Shakespeare's birth. King Edward VI dispossessed the Guild of the Holy Cross, which founded the school. He subsequently granted it to the borough of Stratford and today it continues to challenge the hearts and minds of Stratford's young people. The buildings are open on Saturdays and Sundays in August and by special request.
City Sightseeing is a company that is dedicated to help tourists explore cities. This touring company runs buses along specified routes covering different tourist locations. The bus has a guide who gives the tourists information on the place of visit and assists them in the English language. The company also has pre-recorded commentaries in languages like German, Japanese, Italian, Spanish and Russian. Check website for details.
The Attic Theatre, located just above the Lazy Cow Pub, is the top fringe theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The theater is now home to the Tread the Boards Theatre Company, but the site was home to Stratford's very first theater in the 15th Century, and some original pieces of the theater still remain. For entertaining theater in an intimate and fun setting, check out a show at the Attic Theatre.