Tim and I have just (well, yesterday) come back from a few days’ holiday in Stratford-upon-Avon. We just wanted to go somewhere pretty to relax and have a break, but you’d have to try pretty hard to go to Bard Country and not do any Shakespeare tourism at all. We pretty much gave in and absorbed all of the culture, and despite the freezing cold had a lovely time.
We saw not one but two RSC plays – The Winter’s Tale and The Orphan of Zhao, more of which later – and went to three of the properties run by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. And though I may have mocked the tourist-trap stylings of it all, there is something humbling about standing in the house where a great genius lived half his life.
On a previous holiday we spent some time in Père Lachaise Cemetary in Paris and I paid my respects at the graves of Oscar Wilde and Colette, among others. I have now added to this list of pilgrimages by visiting Shakespeare’s grave, in Holy Trinity Church.
The town itself is pretty and though no doubt it’s prettier still in spring and summer, I was glad we had visited when we did after a taxi driver told us that the place was dead compared with how busy it gets from Easter onwards. It was far from empty.
Having had our fill of plays and history lessons, on our last day we went to the butterfly farm. It was pleasingly warm and full of little flying creatures, though disappointingly lacking in educational information (Bristol Zoo does spoil us). I took a lot of photos there.
As always, I’ll add more photos to Flickr (mostly of butterflies, no doubt) over the next few weeks. Feel free to have a gander.