1. Visit Shakespeare’s birthplace

There are five houses said to be linked to local lad William Shakespeare, including the Tudor house where he was born, which was once owned by a local glovemaker and his wife.

The Henley Street residence has been a tourist suction-pad for three centuries. Now there’s a new-fangled visitor’s entrance but continue inside and you’ll reach the wooden beams, lattice windows and rare furnishings more reminiscent of the 16th century.

Part of the exhibition is a window into which previous visitors could scratch their names with a diamond. Among the famous autographs are those of Keats, Dickens and Hardy.

2. Explore Shakespeare’s retirement home

After well and truly making his mark in London, a wealthy Shakespeare retired to his home town and took up residence in the town’s second biggest house in New Place. It was here he died in 1616.

The house has since been demolished but the adjacent Nash House – where Shakespeare’s granddaughter Elizabeth lived – now has an exhibition looking at the town’s history. You can also visit the former residence of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna, who married respected doctor John Hall.

Their lovely Elizabethan town house Hall’s Croft now features an exhibition on medicine in the 16th century.

3. Have a pint at the Windmill Inn

Avoid the touristy cafés and head instead to the Windmill Inn on Church Street for a glass of ale and a bite.

4. Head to Shottery

You’ll have to follow a footpath to Shottery, one mile from Stratford’s town centre, where you’ll find the pretty thatched farmhouse where Ann Hathaway grew up.

Here it’s supposed Shakespeare wooed his wife-to-be from an armchair known as the Hathaway Courting Chair. The gardens are the best bit, though, with an Elizabethan maze, Shakespeare-inspired sculptures and a garden blossoming with examples of trees mentioned in the dramatist’s work.

5. See a modern day Shakespeare play

You must see a play at the RSC’s Courtyard Theatre. Ticket prices start from as little as a tenner, which isn’t bad if you manage to catch a production featuring a big-name star – David Tennant was on the bill last year! You can also tour the theatre.

Need to know

When to go: The town’s great for a visit any time, but it gets absolutely rammed in summer when the tour buses roll in every weekend.

Getting there: Trains run from London Marylebone direct to Stratford-upon-Avon and take about two and a quarter hours.

Language: The Queen’s finest English, of course.

Getting around: Stratford-upon-Avon itself is easily navigated by foot with almost all sites within walking distance. There are a number of interesting tours you can participate in.

Going out: A beer costs about £3.

Accommodation: A bed in a dorm room starts at £20.