To be or not to be...

Published: February 8th 2011
Edit Blog Post

To be or not to be, that is the question. Or rather the question for us today was to go or not to go? Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare was our destination. We rented a car for the day and after a less than jovial car rental employee finally gave us a car, we were off. Why are car rental employees always grumpy? We didn’t even warrant a hello when we walked in! I’m not too young to remember a day that the customer was always right, well not even that but at least worth acknowledging. Anyway, after finally getting this one’s attention we realised that they had the wrong baby seat in. So another 30 minute delay and we were finally off!

We fanged it up the M40 straight to Stratford-upon-Avon. It is such a stunning town and we accidently ended up parking along the River Avon. It was such a good introduction walking along the water on a beautiful, crisp day to the centre of town. It’s full of Tudor-style houses and cottages that date back to the 16th century. That’s almost 500 years ago! They certainly don’t create building to stand for 500 years these days! The history is incredible but the biggest drawcard to this picturesque little part of England is, of course the birthplace of the great Shakespeare himself! You can see everything about Shakespeare here, from his birthplace to his wife’s house to his daughter who married his physician’s cottage and everywhere that he ate in between! In fact we did eat at Stratford’s oldest pub, The Garrick Inn. Incidentally, it was very child friendly and the waitress was the sweetest one we’ve come across so far, despite Mykenzie’s occasional meltdown!

After lunch we wandered the streets and alley’s to see what we could find. We ended up stumbling across Shakespeare’s birth cottage but it was getting late and the girls were getting antsy so we decided to pass on going through. You could see it from the street so we got the idea. We then took the long way back to the car and again stumbled across said physician’s cottage. We drove out to see Anne Hathaway’s cottage, who was married to Will. Everything is so beautiful in this town and all the cottages are so quaint and tiny! Even looking from the outside, you can imagine what went on inside.

After spending a couple of hours in Stratford we decided to go home via Cambridge, which really isn’t on the way back to London. Stratford is NW and Cambridge is north so it’s sort of like doing a triangle but I was adamant that I wanted to see the place. We would have to use all the B roads to cut across all the major highways until we ran into Cambridge. Anyway, the girl’s fell asleep as soon as we got in the car so the journey was at least peaceful, however the B roads didn’t make for a quick one. We got as far as Northampton and it was dark so we decided to take a sharp right turn and head back down the M1 to London, straight into peak hour traffic. Thankfully, the traffic was mostly against us but it still took another 2 hours to finally make it home.

We weren’t home for more than a pee stop before we were headed out again for a final dinner with Clare B. We meet in Clapham and had dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant which catered superbly for the kids. Don’t you love it when you walk into an empty restaurant wondering why it’s empty and then look up half way through a great meal and realise the restaurant is now full? I suppose we should remember that we eat at family time nowadays when most normal people eat a little later! It was a great meal and so lovely to see CB once more before we leave.


Tot: 0.087s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 12; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0547s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.1mb