Shakespeare birthplace: indulge your inner bard, watch Tudor hiring fair (photos)
Stratford-upon-Avon — Love Shakespeare? Love the summer? Well now you can enjoy both and celebrate summer at the Shakespeare houses with an exciting program of events that will be happening during the school holidays.
Want to try your hand at writing sonnets, trying on Tudor clothes or following Shakespeare’s life from the time of his birth to the time of his death? Then you’ll find you can do all that at the historic Shakespeare Houses in Stratford-upon-Avon.
From Saturday 3 July – Sunday 5 September visitors can look for a variety of events at Shakespeare’s Birthplace. Youngsters can follow a “Children’s Trail” which will lead them to explore the Shakespeare house & gardens. Every day actors from “Shakespeare Aloud” will perform Shakespeare’s works. On Mondays & Fridays, from 3pm – 6pm, the “Write a Sonnet” workshop will teach visitors to write poetry and help them understand the rules for writing a sonnet.
On Tuesdays & Thursdays there will be “Cradle to Grave” walks from 9.30am – 11.30am & from 4pm – 6pm. These walk will include several period features of the town and will include the Guild Chapel and Hall’s Croft. On Wednesdays house minstrels will perform several songs of Shakespeare’s times in “Tudor Songs in the Garden” from 3pm – 6.30pm.
And what about the children? On Kids Sundays” from 9am – 6.30pm children will be able to don Tudor clothes just like Shakespeare did as a boy and play with Tudor games and toys (at last, a way to get them away from the Internet!). At 11am & 3pm there will be Shakespearian storytelling.
During August on Thursday evenings “An evening with Shakespeare in the Garden” can be enjoyed from 7.30pm and visitors can bring their own picnic.
Children can also have fun taking the “Eye Spy Timber Buildings” quiz at Hall’s Croft, which lets them explore and enjoy the features of the Jacobean house. Future archaeologists will enjoy visiting the New Place & Nash’s House to search for the belongings of Shakespeare at the archaeological site.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage will host an enchanting “Fairy Trail” for visitors to follow through the magical woodland walk to find fairies from A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. Every Wednesday during July and August at 11am & 2pm, children can have fun listening to costumed guides telling stories and dressing up as different Shakespeare characters. You never know what you might find in the dressing up box.
Unemployment is often on people’s minds and worries were just the same in Tudor Times. You can watch Mary Arden’s Farm putting on a “Tudor Fair and Market” from Saturday 28 – Monday 30 August. Visitors can watch a typical Tudor hiring fair where people gathered to find and hire workers for the following 6 months. Visitors can also see country crafts and traditional activities being carried out.
Tickets to all five Shakespeare Houses are great value and are valid for a period of 12 months – no limit on entry. That means that for the cost of one ticket you can attend the festivities at the Shakespeare Houses all year long – for free!
For details of all activities please visit www.shakespeare.org.uk or call 01789 204016.
Follow Sheila on Twitter
Re travel: San Francisco residents can fly to London from SFO International Airport. Deals can be found online by looking at www.kayak.com. From London, San Francisco residents can take the train to Stratford-upon-Avon.
See more Shakespeare stories by clicking on the blue links in the “If You Like This” box above. See the photos and video below for more on Shakespeare.