Taking A Step Back In Time With Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Taking A Step Back In Time With Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

After a focus week on Shakespeare that inspired our boys earlier in the year, we took them to the home of Shakespeare this weekend. If you are planning a trip to Stratford upon Avon this summer the then you are in for a Shakespearean treat. There are a variety of ticket options available, but the best value option is the town, cottage and farm pass purchased online. If like us, you live a reasonable drive away you would need to look at splitting the activities up over a couple of days.

We decided that we would visit the houses in town first as they are all close together (around a 5 min walk to each one.) Then to end the day we took the boys to Mary Arden's farm to let off some steam. Unfortunately we didn't have time to fit in Anne Hathaway's cottage, but purchasing a pass would enable you to visit again within a year.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Website is really useful with planning, giving you a guide to how long you would need in each property. I will be writing a more in depth review of each property we visited over on A Strong Coffee To Go.

Shakespeare's Birthplace

Shakespeare's Birthplace

We started our day at Shakespeare's Birthplace. Here there is a short exhibition followed by a look around his house. On hand are some Tudors to explain what you are seeing. It seems we wasted a lot of money moving house so the boys could have more space, as in Shakespeare's day they would have shared a bed!

Outside there were some actors who quite frankly amazed me by taking requests and acting out scenes from Shakespeare's plays.

Shakesperare aloud

Shakespeare's New Place

Here was a small garden filled with sculptures representing Shakespeare's work. I was shocked at how much the boys enjoyed this. However, activity books where they had to find each sculpture certainly helped.

Shakespeare's new place

Inside was a small exhibition.

exhibition Shakespeare's new place

Hall's Croft

This was the house of Shakespeare's daughter Susanna and her husband Dr John Hall. The children's interest was held here by a mouse hunt! Little Ikea mice were hidden in each room and the boys had to match the mice to the rooms.

mouse hunt at halls croft

I personally enjoyed looking at old fashioned medicine.

medicine in the 1600's

It took us a couple of hours to visit these houses and we could have really done with an hour longer at the car park so that Hall's Croft was not such a rush (I really hate pay and displays as you never know how long you will be!) We decided that we would then spend the afternoon a short drive away at Mary Arden's Farm.

Mary Arden's Farm

This was the boys favourite part of the day, and could easily be a "whole" day with small children. Let's face it a whole day with kids is only 4 hours maybe 5 at a stretch. We arrived at just after 1. Unfortunately, we didn't realise that at 1-1.45 you can go down to the house and have dinner. When I say dinner, you can try some old fashioned dishes. We arrived just as they were washing up, but I am sure this would be really engaging for the children and worth remembering if you are visiting. The farm is small and has a number of actors dotted around the place, who stayed in character all the time.

We were able to get a feeling for what it was like to live on a farm in Tudor times.

Mary Arden's Farm

There were many games dotted around the place, and when in Shakespeare's mothers farm, one needs to play quills and ink splots rather than snakes and ladders.

quills and ink splots

Unfortunately, the weather had taken a turn for the worse and we were concerned that the falconry display might get cancelled. Luckily there is a barn, where we were treated to a talk about this gorgeous barn owl.

Owl at Mary Arden's Farm

We got to see her fly and learned lots about how she would have hunted. It really rounded off our day.

Our visit to Stratford Upon Avon was really enjoyable and it was lovely to see the boys so interested in one of our countries greatest playwrights. Middle man has decided that he will write a short version of A Midsummers Night's Dream with his newly purchased quill biro. And long may my husband be alerted by e mail of big mans you tube Googling of the works of Shakespeare.

Thank you to Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for providing us with entry in return for this review.

Pin it for later:

A review of the town houses and Mary Arden's Farm which are part of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Family Fever

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