Home & Away with Robert Walshe
Destination Hotspot – Stratford Upon Avon
Stratford-upon-Avon set in the beautiful rural Warwickshire countryside, on the banks of the river Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Stratford-upon-Avon has a very rich and varied programme of events and activities throughout the year: theatres, arts, music in the parks, river racing, river cruising, walks along the river or simply relax and take in the atmosphere that is Shakespeare’s Stratford.
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Stratford is a pleasure to explore on foot, and has more than enough attractions to fill a two day visit including the Shakespeare Birthplace ( www.shakespeare. org.uk), where the Bard was born in 1564, and Holy Trinity Church where he was laid to rest in 1616. The Shakespeare Birthplace lightshow starts from 21 November - 19 December four times nightly and is the first 3D lightshow to combine a laser lightshow with live theatrical performances outside the Birthplace. The two-hour Stratford Town Walk (www.stratfordtown-
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walk.co.uk), offered daily throughout the year, is an enjoyable way to explore Stratford and see all its Shakespeare sites on one well-planned and highly entertaining outing. Daily tours of the new Royal Shakespeare Theatre (www.rsc.org.uk/ theatretours) offer a front-ofhouse and behind-the-scenes look at the exciting home of the RSC. Seeing a Shakespeare play performed here by the Royal Shakespeare Company should be your first priority Enjoy a host of festive activities this season with traditional carols, candlelit tours, storytelling, craft fairs and a RSC production of Wendy & Peter Pan running until from December 10th to March 2014. One non-Shakespearean attraction worth visiting is the Butterfly Farm at Tramway Walk, Swan’s Nest Lane; ( www.butterflyfarm.co.uk), one of the world’s largest butterfly habitats, where a fascinating assortment of gorgeous butterflies and moths flit and flutter and
perch on visit. The four star Menzies Welcombe Hotel on the outskirts of Stratford-upon-Avon is by far one of the most relaxing venues in this charming and historic town. This luxury hotel was originally built back in 1866 and was a former country mansion. The Italian gardens are impressively maintained and if you’ve brought your golf clubs then a round or two could n Menzies Welco mbe Hotel & be in order on its 18 Spa Stratford Upon Avon. hole championship course. The spa and leisure £2.2 milareas are also very appealing, lion refurbishment during t h o s e featuring a gym and exercise 2012 the hotel is the perfect returning from Midnight studio, a choice of thermal choice for a festive break. Mass. For full rates visit rooms, and several spa ther- On Christmas Eve on arrival www.menzieshotels.co.uk apy rooms. Each of the 78 en- relax and enjoy afternoon tea Shakespeare Country offers suite bedrooms have Apple in front of the fire in the mag- all the magical ingredients iMac TV screens with Sky TV, nificent oak-panelled lounge. for a short break this festive Skype and internet access, as The evening starts with a season. For more informawell as free Wi-Fi. The garden Champagne and canapé re- tion visit www.Shakespearerooms have been tastefully ception with entertainment Country.co.uk designed in a contemporary from the St Mary’s Church, Robert Walshe is a travel style while the traditionally Warwick Girls Choir before broadcaster with Q Radio styled rooms in the main enjoying a four course can- Network & Travel Editor house, including suites and dlelit dinner in the award- for numerous print & onfour poster bedrooms, pro- winning restaurant. Mulled line publications on the vide traditional, elegant lux- wine and mince pies available island of Ireland. www. ury. Having benefitted from a in the lounge by the fire for robertwalshe.com