There are a number of Stratford upon Avon walks and Stratford walking tours that give you the chance to walk in the footsteps of Shakespeare and see places that would have been familiar to him. Stratford is a very well preserved medieval town, and though most of the original medieval buildings have been lost to fire over the years, the original grid layout is now populated with plenty of fine 17th and 18th century buildings, as well as a number of buildings that Shakespeare and his family and friends lived in and frequented.
In combination with its well-preserved history is the fact that Stratford is a compact town, with all the top sights within easy walking distance of one another, this makes Stratford a fantastic place to enjoy a Shakespeare walking tour. Towards the bottom of this page we list a selection of the best-organised walking tours of Stratford, usually taking between one and two hours to do a circuit of the town in the company of a knowledgeable guide.
Stratford is very walkable, so taking a walking tour gives you a quick overview of all the sights – with some great commentary and interesting facts along the way. And you can easily then go back and visit those sites that take your fancy at your leisure. Most Shakespeare walking tours of Stratford upon Avon will take in the same sights, though not necessarily in the same order. These are:
- The Shakespeare townhouses (the Birthplace, New Place, Hall’s Croft)
- The Royal Shakespeare Theatres (including The Swan Theatre and The Other Place)
- The River Avon
- Shakespeare’s School
- The Guild Chapel
- Holy Trinity Church with Shakespeare’s grave
- The historic streets of High Street, Market Street, Bell Court and Sheep Street, as well as Cook’s Alley where the communal ovens were located.
- The historic buildings of:
- Old Bank, a Victorian gothic architecture complete with terracotta friezes of Shakespeare’s plays.
- The tudor butcher shop with exterior bull and hunting dog carvings now known as Harvard House.
- The Garrick Arms, a 16th century boarding house (now a fine pub) thought to be the starting point of the 1564 plague outbreak in Stratford
- The wine shop, owned by Thomas Quiney who married Shakespeare’s daughter Julie.
- The women’s market in front of Market Cross which was home to the town stocks and whipping post.
- The Town Hall, built in the reign of Charles I and redeveloped a number of times since then.
- The town boundary of Rother Market, containing ‘the American Fountain’, donated to the town by American publisher George William Childs.
Stratford Walking Tour Map
Here is a map showing the main sights on a Shakespeare walking tour, along with a suggested walking route between them. Taking in all these sights walking at a medium pace should take around two hours:
Guided Stratford Walking Tour Options
Stratford Walking Tour
Phone: +44(0)7855760377 or +44(0)1789292478
When: Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri 11am, Sat 11am and 2pm
Cost: Adults £6, Concessions £5, Children (8-15) £3 (under 8) free
Running 365 days each year with this award-winning guided walking tour runs from the Swan fountain close to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre each day. The tour guides are thoroughly knowledgeable on all aspects of Shakespeare and Stratford’s history and come highly recommended.
Guides can be pre-booked for private bespoke walking tours and coach tours – for all kinds of groups, including education groups. The cost includes five discount vouchers which can be used at 30 venues around town for up to 50% off anything from entry to Shakespeare’s schoolhouse to restaurants, pubs, and fudge shops.
Also on offer are Stratford Town Ghost Walks each Saturday evening, with a professional magician, entertainer or actor, dressed up and in character for and old fashioned storytelling with entertainment around d the haunted streets of Stratford.
Shakespeare’s Tour of Stratford
Phone: +44(0)1789 2980 070
When: Saturdays at 2pm
Cost: Adults £5, Children £3, Students & 60+ £4, Family tickets £13.50
Setting off from Tudor World on Sheep Stree,t Mr William Shakespeare himself guides you around the streets of his hometown, talking you through the key historic sights around the along with the stories of his family life and loves.
Tours By Locals – Shakespeare’s Stratford
Website: Tours by locals
When: Every day at 10am or 2pm
Tours by locals allow local experts to run their own tours anywhere in the world, and there are a number of Stratford Upon Avon locals who love showing tourists around their hometown. All tours by locals tend to explore historic Stratford-upon-Avon and focus on places familiar to William Shakespeare.
Find a Self-Guided Walking Tour Online
Of course, you can always do you own walking tour of Stratford. The map above gives you all the main sights, or GPS My City also offer a range of downloadable Stratford walking tours to print and do on your own: https://www.gpsmycity.com/gps-tour-guides/stratford-upon-avon-5613.html
Watch a Stratford Walking Tour Video
Watch a 30-minute walking tour of Stratford on youtube, to be ahead of the game before you arrive!