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The top five quintessentially-British towns in country.

1 Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Famous for being William Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon streets of Tudor houses and a picturesque riverside. Most of the black-and-white houses have survived as The Bard would’ve known them. You can visit the house where theplaywrite was born, on Henley Street, and check out its colourful English garden.Hit the Royal Shakespeare and Swan theatres to see the Royal Shakespeare Company perform one of the iconic plays on home turf (rsc.org.uk).

When you’re Shakespeared out, head to one of the town’s many  tearooms for a mega fix of twee. The Henley Street Tea Rooms serves tasty afternoon teas and traditional clotted- cream-laden English scones.If you’d rather a tipple than a dairy-induced food baby, there are old English pubs aplenty. The Rose & Crown on Sheep Street is a good spot for a pint of ale, with its dark wooden beams and oak furniture.

On the same street is The Falstaff Experience’s Tudor World, £5 – a museum of Tudor life. The house was the real-life home of Shakespeare’s comic character John Falstaff, and curators have recreated the sights, sounds and smells of 16th-century England and Stratford. Keep an eye outfor Fright Club – a mini ghost hunt equipped with a seance room and ouija boards (falstaffexoerience.co.uk).

Head down to the Avon and take a stroll along the weeping willow-lined riverside. For an exotic twist on your quaint break, stop off at the Butterfly Farm and warm up from the inevitable British chill in a tropical man-made rainforest. There’s also a room called Arachnoland for the brave, where you’ll find the world’s largest spider, a scorpion colony and other killer critters.

Finish up a daytrip back in town with a visit to possibly the cutest shop in the world – Curtis Brae, on Henley Street. There you’ll find old-fashioned toys and collectible teddy bears. And of course, it’s in an old Tudor building.
visitstratforduponavon.co.uk


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