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Shakespeare's grave and other sites

My sister and I are going to be in Stratford-upon-Avon for two days in May, and we're hoping (among other things) to visit Shakespeare's grave in Holy Trinity Church. When I look on their website under opening times, though, one of the days (a Thursday) isn't listed at all, and the other day (a Wednesday) says, "12:15 - 14:00" and then in bold, "12:15 No access to Shakespeare's Grave." I'm having some trouble interpreting this, and I'm wondering if someone can help. Does that mean that there is no access for the entire time the church is open that day, or that there are staggered entry times (I've seen no evidence of this elsewhere on their site) and the 12:15 entry time has no access, but a later one does? Do I need to give up on seeing the grave on this trip?

Also, any advice on what can/can't be missed and/or the best order in which to do things in S-on-A would be appreciated. We're big Shakespeare people (both English majors), so we definitely want to cover most of the Shakespeare sites, and we've already bought tickets for an RSC performance. But are there other sites worth visiting? For instance, is Tudor World more of a cheesy museum experience for kids, or would two (ahem) mature women enjoy it? Any other sights, restaurants, etc., that you can recommend?

Posted by
4056 posts

The Church is open daily- see

On the home page, the times listed in the left hand column are when there are services, and in the right hand column are the exceptions to the general opening times- so reduced hours currently on a Sunday and 1215-1400 on a Wednesday, but available during the other opening hours. The Wednesday closure from 1215 to 1400, if you look at 'Upcoming Events' at the bottom of the right hand column (scroll down) is because of a lunchtime concert from 1300-1330 each Wednesday.
They are free-

Posted by
41 posts

Ah! Thank you! That makes much more sense than what I was thinking. Not sure how I missed that on the website.

Posted by
8196 posts

Go to the Old Thatch Tavern. Fish & Chips are what we had but I'll bet everything else is good too. Take the hand-cranked ferry across the river.

Posted by
418 posts

The theatre offers guided backstage tours, which are excellent and well worth doing if you’re interested in that sort of thing:

The Rooftop Restaurant at the theatre is also very nice for pre-theatre dinner or afternoon tea.

I’d give Tudor World a miss and concentrate on the Shakespeare sites.

It’s a lovely town with some decent shops and restaurants and there’s also good walks along the riverbank. I’m very fond of just meandering round. Interesting fact: it’s one of just a handful of historic towns in England that’s built on a grid system.

To eat: I like Lambs restaurant for a treat. There’s also a branch of the good Thai mini-chain Giggling Squid, which is nice. For excellent fish & chips, there’s a proper chippie near the river and RSC theatre. Can’t remember the name but you’ll see/smell it. If the weather’s nice, buy takeaway fish and chips wrapped in paper and eat on a bench by the river. Last time I was there it was cash only, so make sure you have some on you (most places take card these days).

Posted by
7175 posts

We visited Stratford Upon Avon in 2017 and first visited where Shakespeare was born (His father's home). There we booked the four site tour which includes that home with its museum, then the site of Shakespeare's home (house no longer standing), then is tomb and last his wife's home (Anne Hathaway).

Posted by
31515 posts

sorry to keep you waiting.

I don't see if you are driving. On the the off chance that you might can I suggest parking in the nearby Park and Ride on the riverside just north of town. Parking in the town is not easy, especially in the season -- May is getting into the season especially if your dates are near any of the bank holidays or coronations on the cards for this year. If you do try, the multistorey car park opposite the Crowne Plaza is in a good location but across town from the church and on busy days it fills quickly. Parking on the street is for the brave. Stratford upon Avon has a large army of very industrious enforcers of the parking regulations. Beware - if you look across the street and see regulations that allow free parking on that side at the time you are there do NOT assume it is the same on both sides. Sheep Street is (in)famous for being a money spinner. Also you can't come over Bridge Street and turn left before the top of the hill at the roundabout.

On the other hand you might get there by bus or train. If so, no probs. Just wanted to point out the dragons before they find you.

I've been going to Stratford upon Avon for years - used to live just a few miles away - and Tudor World is new to me. Sounds like a money trap to me but it might be very nice,

Other folks upthread have given good information with which I agree.

If you have some spare time maybe consider a ride on a boat on the river, or a visit to the Butterfly Farm. I don't think anybody mentioned the American Memorial.

Have a GREAT trip!!

Posted by
3554 posts

Holy Trinity is the church where Shakespeare is buried. The church is free to enter, free to attend church services, but as a visitor to Shakespeare's grave, you must stop at a desk in the center aisle and pay an admission fee to see the grave.

You may find this website to be useful in planning your visit:
To visit the houses, you can buy a ticket that covers all three. You will want to see Shakespeare's Birthplace, Shakespeare's New Place, and Anne Hathaway's Cottage, which is just outside of town in Shottery.

Shakespeare's Birthplace is on Henley Street, which is very busy with restaurants, coffee shops, gift shops and a department store or two. Quite busy "in season" with a street performer in costume as Shakespeare and crowds of tourists.

Walk 4--6 blocks south, and you will enter a quieter neighborhood known as "Old Town". Here you will find Holy Trinity Church.

That's great that you were able to get tickets to a play at RSC!
There are tours which sometimes include the wardrobe rooms. These are good for seeing some areas normally not open to the public.

Frequently asked questions answered here:

Here's a link showing RSC's restaurants including menus:

When you're worn out from sightseeing, relax in the afternoon on the banks of the River Avon. There are benches right beside the waterway and wide sidewalks for a stroll by the water.
Shakee's Ice Cream Barge is anchored in the marina and serves good soft-serve ice cream.

Posted by
1727 posts

Rebecca, thanks for posting all these wonderful resources with links I am busily going through them.

Posted by
3554 posts

There are interesting sights near Stratford-Upon-Avon. To the northeast of Stratford is
Charlecote Park & House (1.2 mi. away).

Nearby is the town of Warwick (8 miles away) with its mighty castle. This can easily be reached by rail, bus or taxi.

Just north of Warwick is Kenilworth Castle (partially ruined).

Other places to visit; these are easier if you'll have a car:

Coughton Court (9 mi.)

Hidcote Manor Garden (9 mi.)

Baddesley Clinton (11 mi.)

Packwood House (11 mi.)

There is a walking path from Baddesley Clinton to Packwood House; flat and level; 5 miles.

Posted by
41 posts

Wow, thanks so much everyone, for all the great information! I really appreciate it! We won't have a car -- we'll be arriving from Oxford by train -- so we can't venture too far out. But so many great ideas and good insights! We can't wait!

Posted by
3554 posts

aweingarten154, you're welcome. We are all happy to have helped you to plan.
Have a great trip!