Billesley Manor

Just before Christmas we met up with family near Stratford-upon-Avon. As our drive south was fairly uneventful we had time to pop to Billesley Manor, a couple of miles outside Stratford, for a coffee and quick look round.

Billesley Manor is a stunning Stuart manor house, built on the foundations of a manor house dating back to the Norman Conquest, and set in gorgeous gardens with extensive topiary, a church and a lake

But the most exciting aspect of Billesley Manor is it's connection to William Shakespeare.

Not only did Shakespeare write his twentieth play, As You Like It, here, but there is also a very strong possibility that he married Anne Hathaway in the Church of All Saints in the grounds of the Manor. We drank our coffee in the very room where Shakespeare drew inspiration to write his comedy. I felt quite overwhelmed with the heritage and history all around us.

We didn't have time to explore the church and grounds, but have promised ourselves a return visit and an overnight stay, to truly soak up the atmosphere.