Bedroom at Shakespeare's birthplace
Tour of Shakespeare's houses
The Shakespeare houses number some of the finest historic buildings in Stratford. Take a virtual 360° tour and have a peep from your armchair.
The Shakespeare Houses, owned and maintained by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, are dotted in an around the Bard's home of Stratford-upon-Avon.
The properties are preserved as museums of times gone by and not just of Elizabethan Stratford - the time of Shakespeare's life.
Discover how to find each house and what you'll find there...
How to get around
The five properties can be viewed in a day. Two of the houses, Mary Arden's House and Anne Hathaway's Cottage, are actually just outside the town.
As the roads can get congested - and to aid the environment - the best way to travel is by one of the tourist buses running around the town.
The other three properties are in the town centre itself and are just a few minutes' walk from one another.
Starting off - Shakespeare's birthplace
Where better to start the tour than Shakespeare's Birthplace?
The house stands on Henley Street, close to the bus and coach park. It is magnificent and has been carefully and painstakingly restored to paint an accurate picture of Elizabethan life.
Don't leave, either, until you've had the chance to have a good look around the Shakespeare Visitor Centre, and the superb gardens, planted up with flora mentioned in Shakespeare's writings.
To New Place and Nash's House
If you walk down to the end of Henley Street and turn right at the Market Cross Island and walk down High Street to Chapel Street to find Nash's House and New Place, which stand side-by-side.
New Place Gardens
New Place was the house Shakespeare bought to retire in. It was sadly demolished in the 19th century, but the foundations and gardens remain.
Next door is Nash's House, home of Thomas Nash who married Shakespeare's granddaughter Elizabeth.
The house, in its time the grandest in the town, is now home to the Stratford Town Museum and hosts some extraordinary pieces of Elizabethan and Jacobean furniture.
Continuing to the Croft
If you pop back out onto Chapel Lane and continue into Old Town, you'll find Hall's Croft, home of Dr John Hall - the husband of Shakespeare's daughter Susannah.
Once again, Hall's Croft is more than just another old house and houses a fine collection of fine furniture and art of the time, making it a perfect representation of a middle-class Elizabethan home.
Particularly fascinating is the display of objects that would have been used in medicine at the time and one can imagine Dr Hall preparing lotions and potions with herbs at the cauldron!
Outside the house is a tour bus stop and you can hop on and continue your tour to Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Mary Arden's House.
Anne Hathaway's cottage
Anne Hathaway's Cottage
Anne Hathaway's Cottage is the picture postcard girlhood home of Shakespeare's wife.
The fact that it is called a cottage creates something of a misnomer, it's actually quite a grand home and once stood in many acres of land.
Again, the house is filled with period furniture and artifacts, transporting visitors straight into the past!
The final stop
Our tour finishes at Mary Arden's House in the village of Wilmcote, just a few miles from Stratford and at the end of a very pleasant drive or bus journey from the town up the Ridgeway.
The house, the home of Shakespeare's mother, is a huge farm house standing next to Glebe Farm - which until recently was believed to be the original home of Mary.
As well as the houses, which are home to displays and collections from years gone by, the site has a real working farm, which is home to a number of rare animal breeds.
Visitors can also see the ancient art of falconry come alive and take a look around the orchard or explore old fashioned farming techniques.
last updated: 03/04/2008 at 10:20