Monday, 14 May 2018

Stratford-upon-Avon - #1 Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Hi there everyone 😀

As you may know, last Monday was our 9th wedding anniversary. We usually go away for a week’s cottage holiday somewhere to celebrate, but this year chose to do something a bit different and we are just back from a bit of a mini-break in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Last summer we spent a couple of really nice days out in Stratford, which we both really enjoyed. Whilst we did get chance to experience the delights of The Four Teas and have a wander around the theatre, we didn't really have time to do much else.

As neither of us have ever visited any of the Shakespeare properties we decided it would be good to go back and stay for a bit longer, giving us chance to immerse ourselves in Shakespeare's Stratford, and it was something I added to my list of 50 things to do before I’m 60.

We’d booked a couple of nights at the Premier Inn just outside of the town centre and bought two Full Story tickets, giving us greatly discounted access to Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Shakespeare’s New Place, Hall’s Croft, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Mary Arden's Farm. As well as making huge savings by buying tickets in this way, they are valid for as many visits as you want to make to the properties for a full 12 months, so it’s definitely worth doing, rather than paying for individual entry to each property.

I must have been seriously excited as I was up at 6 o'clock on the day we were setting off, which is pretty unheard of for me, and by 9.15 we were all packed and on our way.

It was a glorious day and our first port of Call was Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, which was the property I was looking forward to the most. The cottage is the place where Shakespeare's wife grew up and lived for many years. This is where William and Anne's romance blossomed.

We called in at the cafe opposite for a quick breakfast in the sunshine for a lovely way to start off our visit.

Following very tasty al fresco sausage baps, and the first of a stack of holiday selfies ...
... we had a quick wander up the road to see what we could see before heading into the property.

Once inside the first thing that you see is the gift shop, which is housed in the most beautiful old cottage ...

We decided to explore the orchards and the sculpture trail first and wandered through the mown grass pathways under the blossom of the fruit trees.
We love outdoor sculpture and there were a few really striking pieces that looked stunning against the perfect background of a clear blue sky ...
... and some that seemed just a little odd ... apparently this is Titania and Bottom, from A Midsummer Night's Dream ...
There were plenty more to be seen ...

... all positioned around the outside of the Yew circle ...

We made our way back through the orchards ...
... passing the Musical note willow sculpture ...

... ending up at another willow sculpture and perfect viewing point of the cottage. This view has to be the highlight of our visit. It was beautiful and we got really lucky as there was hardly anyone else around and we managed to get plenty of people free photos without too much hanging around.


The cottage gardens were fairly small but choc full of planting ... we had clearly been spoiled by the tulips at Coughton the previous week.
We did look round the inside of the house, which didn't take very long at all. It's fair to say that our visit really was totally about the gardens and we couldn't resist a loll in a deckchair in the sunshine for a few minutes ...

before heading off to our next port of call ...
We loved our visit. We were very lucky as it had been fairly quiet and the weather was perfect, which made for an absolutely tranquil spot for a very relaxing wander. Anne Hathaway's Cottage totally lived up to out expectations 💜💜💜

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1 comment:

Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.