William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was probably England's most famous poet and playwright, his name is intrinsically linked to the history of England. He is considered by some to be the world's pre-eminent dramatist.
Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon , set in the beautiful countryside of Warwickshire . It is one of the most important tourist destinations in England thanks to Shakespeare. Today it offers a unique opportunity to explore the world of Shakespeare, visiting one of the five houses linked to William and his family or watching his plays at a local theatre . There are many hotels and guest houses to choose from in this unspoilt historic town.
Locally you can also visit Warwick , only 20 minutes from Stratford-upon-Avon. Historic Warwick, as it is known offers a wide variety of attractions. At the centre of it all is Warwick Castle , billed as 'Britain's Greatest Medieval Experience'. You can visit the lavish state rooms, the towers, the ramparts and even the dark dungeons! Warwick also offers restaurants and wonderful shopping opportunities, particularly for antiques.
Nearby there is also the delightful town of Kenilworth , with the magnificent red sandstone ruins of Kenilworth Castle . The town makes an ideal base for visitors to Warwick University, Stoneleigh Park and Stoneleigh Abbey.
Royal Leamington Spa offers magnificent Victorian and Georgian Architecture, as well as beautiful parks and gardens, all finished off with tree lined avenues and squares. Visit the Royal Pump Rooms which house the elegant Assembly Rooms, a traditional café and the town's art gallery and museum.
In the southern part of Shakespeare Country, the countryside merges into the Cotswold Hills . A classic English landscape with quaint villages and bustling market towns, such as Chipping Campden , Broadway and Stow-on-the-Wold . If you decide to visit the Cotswolds, don't forget to see Blenheim Palace , one of England's largest houses. It was built in the early 18th century as a gift to the Duke of Marlborough in gratitude for a military victory.
The countryside around Stratford-upon-Avon is full of interesting places and villages. You can visit the redbrick cottages of Stoneleigh or the award winning art gallery at Compton Verney. Alternatively you could visit the two market towns of Alcester , which dates back to Roman times, or Henley-in-Arden .
There are many walks and tours, together with museum exhibits and shows in the area, all of which will help you relive the Shakespeare experience in this largely unspoilt part of England.
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