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Stratford-upon-Avon

(4.1/5 based on 16,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, nightlife, parks
Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town in Warwickshire, England, on the River Avon, 22mi south east of Birmingham and 8mi south west of Warwick. The estimated population in 2007 was 25,505, increasing to 27,445 at the 2011 Census.The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, and receives an estimated 4.9 million visitors a year. The Royal Shakespeare Company resides in Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre.HistoryStratford has Anglo-Saxon origins, and developed as a market town in the medieval period. The original charters of the town were granted in 1196, making Stratford over 800 years old. The name is a combination of the Old English strǣt, meaning "street", and ford, indicating a site at which a road forded a river. The "street" was a smaller Roman road connecting the larger roads Fosse Way and Icknield Street.In 1769 the actor David Garrick staged a major Shakespeare Jubilee over three days which saw the construction of a large rotunda and the influx of many visitors. This contributed to the growing phenomenon of Bardolatry which made Stratford a tourist destination.
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Where to stay

Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, has a wealth of hotels, guesthouses, country inns, and self-catering apartments. For big-name hotels, look no farther than the historical town center, where most of the area's big attractions are located. Stratford is also famous for its range of comfortable B&Bs, conveniently located in and around this compact town. If you're looking for something a little closer to nature and prefer the open air, consider exploring family-run hostels and working farms in the nearby countryside.
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