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Educational

Top Rated Attractions in Stratford-upon-Avon

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Butterfly Farm

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.

Library of Birmingham

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.

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses

These fine gardens, opened in 1832, were designed by John Claudius Loudon, a leading garden planner, and horticultural journalist. The gardens offer you the chance to see some of the most beautiful greenery in the world along with stunning glasshouses. Attractions besides plants include indoor aviaries, a restaurant with a fantastic view of the gardens, a children's adventure playground, a gift shop and plant center and a gallery displaying work by local artists.

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Originally the home of Shakespeare's parents-in-law, Anne Hathaway's Cottage is a charming, half-timbered, thatched-roof farmhouse. Inhabited by descendants of the Hathaway family until the 19th Century, the cottage still contains items of furniture that used to belong to them. Outside is a fantastic traditional English cottage garden complete with an orchard. Take a stroll through this idyllic setting, perhaps stopping to buy plants and herbs grown by the property's gardeners en route. The Tea Garden provides light refreshments and is open from March to October. Note too that Guide Friday Tours stop at the cottage.

Mary Arden's Farm

Step into the farm of history's most beloved playwright, William Shakespeare's mother and get ready to be transported back to the 16th Century. Mary Arden's Farm or Mary Arden's House is a popular tourist attraction is near Stratford-upon-Avon. This Tudor farm is now managed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. It has many rare breeds as well. It was also where young Will used to come and visit his grandparents. Lend your hand in basket-weaving, skep-making, bread-making, animal tending and threshing. During summer you can partake in Tudor games as well. Definitely an eye-opener in the Tudor lifestyle, you will enjoy the time spent here.

Hall's Croft

Hall's Croft was named after Dr. John Hall, husband of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna. It is a fine example of a gabled half-timbered house built in the 16th Century. Notice its three stories—the upper two of which are overhanging—which make it quite typical of its time. While you are here, take a look at Dr. Hall's consulting room together with the exhibition featuring medical treatments used in Shakespeare's time. Also on display are some superb 16th- and 17th-century paintings and furnishings, while the walled garden, with its fragrant herb garden, is a particular delight.

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