Stratford-upon-Avon (pop. 23,500) would be an ordinary market town with a few historical buildings had it not been the birthplace of the greatest playwright of the English language, William Shakespeare (1564-1616).
Virtually all the attractions in town are related to Shakespeare, from his birthplace in Henley Street, and his later family home at the corner of Chapel Street and Chapel Lane, to his burial place in Holy Trinity Church, but also his mother's home (Mary Arden's House) in Wilmcote, his wife's home (Anne Hathaway's Cottage) in Shottery, and finally the home his daughter Susana (Hall's Croft), who married Dr John Hall.
A detailed description of each house with the opening hours is available on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's website, which manages the properties.
You can see theatrical costumes and equipment or take a theatre tour at the Royal Shakespeare Company Gallery inside the celebrated Swan Theatre.
Among non-Shakespearean attractions, Harvard House is the beautiful timber-framed residence of the mother of John Harvard (1607-1638), the founder of the prestigious Harvard University in Boston.
The Falstaff Experience is a 'haunted' museum geared to children, and is both fun and educational.
How to get there
Trains link Stratford to London Paddington (2h, £14.90 offpeak saver single), Warwick (20min, £3.30) and Birmingham (50min, £5.20).
National Express has buses to London (3h30min, £16.50), Birmingham (1h, £6) and Oxford (1h, £9.25), among others.