Historic Stratford-upon-Avon

Last week, as we were in Stratford-upon-Avon to enjoy Love's Sacrifice, we thought we'd be tourists for the day and visit some of the Shakespeare-related properties. As it was a Monday and Tuesday in mid June it was, thankfully, fairly quiet at all the properties: I'm not sure it would have been much fun during the summer holidays.

Having bought our combined ticket, we started (naturally enough) with Shakespeare's Birthplace.

Next morning we headed to Hall's Croft, home of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna after she married. Despite being land-locked in what is now a fairly suburban part of Stratford there is plenty of outside space and an attractive garden which helps to create the Tudor atmosphere.

As we were very closeby, we popped into Holy Trinity church to see Shakespeare's grave.

Finally we headed off to Shottery to Anne Hathaway's Cottage, where Shakespeare's wife lived as a child. All of the properties have beautiful and well-tended gardens filled with plants that Shakespeare would have known - but this is certainly the finest.

We enjoyed all the properties. The Birthplace has clearly had to be adapted to enable hundreds of thousands of tourists to visit every year; for us it was a bit impersonal and museum-like. Halls's Croft seemed much more like a house that has been lived in. And Anne Hathaway's Cottage, with a lot more space and fewer visitors, was possibly the most life-like of all.

Having completed our tour, we meandered up through Warwickshire along the old A34 - through Wooten Wawen and Henley-in-Arden - before returning to the 21st century and the M40.