Come with me in this post as I travel to the birthplace of Shakespeare, a revered university, and the cutest English countryside villages, and be sure to check out my previous post here when I visited Stonehenge, Bath, & Windsor Castle. So many towns are just a small train or car ride away from London, and it’s relaxing to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of the city and wind-down in the countryside of England.
Stratford, Oxford University, and Cotswolds Day Tour
Here we were off for another full day of site-seeing outside London with The English Bus tour company! Our first stop on this day tour was Stratford-upon-Avon, the birth place of Shakespeare. At the center of town is Shakespeare’s childhood home in the typical Tudor style. We didn’t tour inside, but here is a quick shot of the outside of his home.
We went on a walking tour of Stratford with our guide, where we saw more of the old-school Tudor style homes and walked by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on the banks of the Avon, where they specialized in the performance of (duh!) Shakespeare’s plays! One of my favorite pictures was this one of the boats docked by the river. If you know any Shakespeare plays, you should recognize the names!
And right up the road from the river was the beautiful Holy Trinity Church, which dates back to the 12th century. It has a cool old graveyard you can see as you walk up to the church, and it houses the tomb of Shakespeare…like for real his dead body is in there…
FUN FACT: His body, but not his head is in the tomb…they did a scan a while back and found out that his head wasn’t attached…so no one knows where it is. Creepy.
After that we walked around the town and ate some lunch at Hobsons Patisseries which is a great place to stop if you love cheesecake! Then we were off for a drive through the gorgeous Cotswolds country cottages!
The Cotswolds is an area of England that has beautiful, green rolling hills and cute little cottages; it’s not really a set location, but more an area of the countryside. It’s very quintessential England…quaint little houses with vines growing up the sides..just like you’d imagine! Below is a picture of Arlington Row in Bibury village, and the little weavers’ cottages date back from 1380s! You feel like you’re walking around in a movie set…
Our last stop of the tour was Oxford University! We had a walking tour with our guide and got to see some really incredible architecture there. One of my favorite buildings we saw was the Radcliffe Camera…it was starting to rain, so the picture doesn’t do it justice.
This was definitely a busy full day, but we loved every minute of the rich history and beautiful architecture! I loved Stratford-upon-Avon and would go back in a heartbeat. I can not rave enough about The English Bus tour company, and I’m so glad I did my research and found them. However, again, if you love to travel independently, fell free to jump on a train or rent a car and travel to them yourself! All 3 cities are located to the northwest of London, so are easy to combine. Check out my next post here where we traveled to the gorgeous Burghley House and Cambridge University and took a Harry Potter Studio Tour!