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Since my earliest memories as a poet and writer I have always been intrigued by the writing of William Shakespeare but also by his place in literary history. I have also been extremely inspired by the Bard’s prolific ability to produce a vast amount of notable plays.

All my life I have been hearing about Stratford-Upon-Avon and must confess to being nervous about the idea of visiting – after all, what if it was an anti-climax and didn’t live up to my expectations? And yet, I have felt drawn to visit, since arriving in the UK… it was something I had to do.

So after a little bit of planning, we decided to take a day-trip and spend it exploring Stratford-Upon-Avon and believe me when I say it did not disappoint – in fact, it was even better that I had imagined it would be. There was so much to see, so we decided to settling for visiting 3 of the 5 places of historic interest: Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Hall’s Croft and Nash’s House/New Place. We could visit the other locations on another day which our tickets allowed us to do as they remain valid for a year from the date of purchase which is a nice touch. We also took a leisurely walk around the village of Stratford-Upon-Avon and it really is a beautiful town – you get a hint of how Shakespeare could have been inspired!

Shakespeare’s birthplace is itself enchanting with magnificent grounds and we even had readings and re-enactments out in the gardens. A lot of fun and all the staff went out of their way to make sure everyone felt welcomed and took the time to talk about the history of the place and answer questions – you got the feeling everyone there was very passionate about what they did and that all added to the experience.

Shakespeare’s birthplace really spoke to the writer and poet in me and I really hope other writers get the the chance to visit this historic site and get some inspiration!

Post by Patrick James

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