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.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust owns and operates the five Shakespeare Houses in and around Stratford. Three of these, Shakespeare's Birthplace, Hall's Croft and Nash's House & New Place, are in Stratford itself. The other two, Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Mary Arden's House, are set in the outlying villages of Shottery and Wilmcote respectively. Each of these beautifully preserved Shakespeare Houses gives you the chance to fully imagine the world inhabited by the most famous playwright and poet in history.
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.
Warwick es conocido como el castillo medieval más importante de Inglaterra. Se encuentra a 30 minutos en coche de Birmingham, y consta de más de 1000 años de historia inglesa. Aquí hay murallas, torres, e aun una cámara de prisión y tortura: todo absolutamente auténtico y en excelentes condiciones. Las exhibiciones incluyen una de armamento medieval y una de obras de cera de alrededor de 1898. Los terrenos, entre ellos los jardines Peacock y Rose, son especialmente populares. Aquí se realizan numerosos eventos por año, como por ejemplo el festival Medieval, Flight of the Eagle y Meet the Castle Craftsmen. Los horarios y precios de las entradas varían, por lo que se recomienda visitar el sitio web para más detalles. Llamar al +44 871 265 2000 para más información.
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.
El Mundo de Cadbury tiene todo para los niños y adultos quienes son amantes del chocolate. Quienes visiten el lugar podrán disfrutar de las distintas atracciones, recorridas por la fábrica, demostraciones de fabricación de chocolate y, lo más importante, rebajas en la tienda del lugar. También podrán aprender más sobre la historia del chocolate y de la familia Cadbury gracias a las exposiciones interactivas. Una recomendación: el recorrido Cadbury es muy popular, por lo que sería bueno hacer su reserva con anticipación. Los horarios de la fábrica varían, así que visiten el sitio web o llamen al +44 844 880 7667 antes de la visita.
It is well worth spending time studying the frontage of Harvard House, for it is Stratford's most ornate structure and a splendid example of an Elizabethan town house. Look in particular for the initials of the owners who had it re-built following the severe damage sustained in the Great Fire of 1594. It was their grandson John who, having emigrated to the United States, founded the university which bears his name. In 1909, the house was purchased by a Chicago millionaire who paid for it to be restored before presenting it to Harvard University. Today the house is managed on behalf of Harvard by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Inside the house, in addition to fine pieces of 17th century furniture, is part of the Neish pewter collection. This collection of great national importance boasts items spanning over two thousand years.
Nash's House, once owned by Thomas Nash, the first husband of Shakespeare's granddaughter Elizabeth, contains fine examples of 17th-century tapestries and oak furniture. The garden of this beautiful half-timbered house, with its Elizabethan-style knot garden, was planted on the site previously occupied by New Place. Shakespeare bought New Place in 1597 for £60 as a retirement retreat, and it was here that he spent his last years. Reputed to be one of the finest houses in Stratford, New Place was unfortunately demolished on the instructions of an eccentric owner in the 18th century; all that remain are two wells and parts of the foundations.
Experience the Falstaff Experience for an informative and theatrical living history lesson. You will be met and entertained by staff in period costume and you can have your photograph taken alongside characters in the mock-up cottages and shops. Items of interest here include the punishment stocks, the music room and a Gothic collection of all things ghastly and glorious!
The Chapel, established by the Guild of the Holy Cross in the 13th Century and subsequently re-built in the 15th, looks more like a church than a chapel from the outside. This, together with The Guild Chapel's proximity to the town center, sometimes makes visitors think that they are approaching the Holy Trinity Church. The Guild Chapel, however, deserves a visit in its own right as it houses some stunning frescoes. The frescoes were painted over during the reformation in the 16th century but fortunately were revealed during restoration work some 300 years later. Of these, the fresco representing the day of judgment, above the chancel arch, is one of the largest of its type anywhere in the country. Services are held at The Guild Chapel every Wednesday morning and on the first Saturday of each month. There are no Sunday services. The Guild Chapel also serves as the school chapel to the adjacent King Edward VI Grammar School.
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.