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Stratford's Civic Hall plays a vital part in the town's community life. It plays host to both amateur and high profile productions, which encompass seemingly everything from comedy to drama, from classical music to poetry. It holds regular dance events including tea and ballroom dances plus teen discos. In addition to the air-conditioned main hall, the Civic Hall also has a lounge bar. This is a great meeting place in which to escape the hustle and bustle of Stratford. It offers a selection of drinks and food including morning coffee and light lunches. Check out the website for details and timings of upcoming events.
For those who like their leisure activities passive, this is an ideal spot to relax. Feeding the ducks at the water's edge is about as energetic as it gets! However, there are lots of things to see including the colorful narrow-boats moored in the canal-basin and the impromptu street-entertainers. And that is not all. On one side of the gardens is the splendid Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and on another is the truly inspirational Gower Memorial. The Gardens are also just a short walk from the town center, making them particularly popular with visitors recovering from whistle-stop tours of Stratford's heritage sites.
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 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.
Stratford Picture House is a stylish modern cinema with open spaces and natural wood floors, a much lighter feel from some of the more dark and dingy theaters. The bar hosts regular "Art in the Bar" exhibitions of local artists that are always worth a look. Note that admission prices vary.