We've been looking forward to our trip to Stratford-upon-Avon for some time - but not just because of the amazing performance we were going to see. Our hotel makes much of its connections with Shakespeare.
We stayed at Billesley Manor almost exactly two years ago, when things were very different. Despite face masks still being compulsory, we were able to spend a night at Billesley is December 2021 and we loved it. 'When things are back to normal,' we said, not knowing if they ever would be, 'We must come back here.'
And so we did. Our second trip didn't disappoint and we were booked into the Shakespeare Suite, a large wood-panelled room in the original 16th century house. As well as an authentically sloping and creaking floor, the room had a huge fire-place above which is a crawl space, often called a priest hole but more likely a hidden place to store valuables during the turbulent times.
|The four-poster and fireplace with beautiful carvings
|The 'priest hole' - a secret void above the fire-place - is accessed through a tiny door
|A small slit enabled the occupant to see out
|The gallery landing and bar area below
|The building is full of preserved details such as this 16th century lock
|The bathroom didn't disappoint either
|Quality complementary toiletries, as you would expect