Archive for the ‘Stratford on Avon’ Category

Run to Ann Hathaway’s Home

In Stratford on Avon, William Shakespeare on July 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm

After yesterday’s indoor run on the treadmill I was determined to get out doors for a run around the tourist spots of Stratford on Avon. At 7am it was nice,sunny and quiet and I was able to visit the tourist sites and take photos without cars and people in the way as a distraction.

I started of by visting Shakespeare’s birthplace.Wiliam Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Henley Street. Two years ago I did visit his home which you enter though a visitor centre and there are many exhibits depicting his life. There is much to see with original books in glass cabinets. However what you really pay your money for is to see the home where he was brought up as a child. The only disapointment is the feeling of being on a conveyor belt as you are unable to stop and look for too long in any room as so many people visit this house that you just have to keep moving. The floors are worn down by the no of visitors.

I didn’t no where I was going on my run but I found William Shakespeare’home very easily. When you are running in a starnge town I tend to run in straight lines as much as possible so I can find my way back . By chance I came to a place called Shottery a small hamlet outside of Stratford. Here is the the home of Anne Hathaway the wife of William.

It is clearly a major tourist attraction as the hamlet is dominated by the the house and the surrounding car park and a garden walk beside a stream. Hathaway married Shakespeare in 1582. They had three children Susanna, Hamnet and Judith which isn’t a lot compared to many familes of this age but reflects the fact that Shakespeare spent a lot of his time in London whilst Anne stayed in Stratford. The farmhouse that Anne Hatahaway gew up in is an impressive building with 12 bedrooms substantialy larger than Shakespeare’s home.

On my route back into Stratford I visited the Holy Trinity Church church where Shakespeare is buried. Close by is the home of one of Shakespeare’s daughters Susanna who married an eminent doctor John Hall. This looks perhaps to be one of the better homes to visit and an impressive home and garden.

I used up my remaining time to make up to 7 miles bu running along by the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre which is clearly undergoing a lot of refurbishment folowing floods two years ago.

The canal looked inviting for a dip as I ran past it and I was asked for directions and times of the nearest ferry as I ran past.

I returned to the hotel after my run long before many of the other guests at the conference had stirred from their sleep.

Now playing: The Lillingtons – War of the Worlds
via FoxyTunes

Running in Stratford on Avon

In Bury 5, flickr, gym, Stratford on Avon on July 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm

This week I have been working in Stratford on Avon which as many of you will know is a huge tourism draw it being the birthplace of one William Shakespeare.

On the first day with time being short I decided to use the gym facilities at the Holiday Inn. Luckily the hotel had a swimming pool and gym and I took full advantage. I did a triathlon not in the usual order as I started with bike doing 11.1 km in 30 minutes, followed by the treadmill doing 4.20 miles in 35 minutes and then a casual swim where I did no more than probably 100 metres. It was really enjoyable having all of the equipment to hand and not something I have done for a long time as I don’t belong to a gym. The workout measurements on the bike and treadmill are useful to know and motivational in that sense for measuring progress.

However that said give me the outdoors anytime. It was hot inside the gym and looking at euro pumped up electro r&b music is a real turn off for me. I noted several others in the gym had obviously come prepared and had ipods eyephones to overcome this.

The Holiday Inn sits on the River Avon Canal and the photo above is a view from the garden.

I have now uploaded all the photos I took at the recent Bury 5 race at Nowton Park Bury St Edmunds, you can view them on my link to flickr here or on the side panel flickr tool.

Now playing: Scott McKenzie – San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)
via FoxyTunes

Alveston and Stratford on Avon

In Alveston, Georgian, Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire, William Shakespeare on July 25, 2007 at 7:48 pm

4.15pm 8 miles in 1 hr 7 mins 04 seconds

Week to date mileage 15 miles

Month to date mileage 99

Average weekly rate 29.8 miles

Average monthly rate 130

Year to date 877

Lifetime 10470

After 2 nights at Wilderhope manor we moved on to another youth hostel at Alveston just outside Stratford on Avon in Warwickshire. This was a Georgian building and was rated as a 4 star youth hostel. It certainly had more facilities than but I still preferred Wilderhope Manor. The food and restaurant facilities were better and there was a wi fi connection.

Our family room was a combination of bunk beds and single beds. I can’t remember the last time I slept in a bunk bed but it was ok and the breakfast was included in the price and included a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs, tomatoes, beans and sausages (for meat eaters) and toast and cereal and orange juice. There was also natural yogurt on offer which was good for me. This place was a lot busier than Wilderhope manor and had a large no of German guests seemingly battling over fresh cooked rolls and cold ham for some reason.

For my run I ran first along a busy b road into the centre of Stratford on Avon. Entering Stratford I arrived at the Waterside and canal basin where there many longboats who stop over before returning to the River Avon nearby.

Stratford is really quite a small town but being the birthplace of William Shakespeare the greatest English playwright tourism is big all year round.

The recent flooding had caused serious damage around this area and the Royal Shakespeare Company being situated closely to the River Avon and the canal works came off badly and there were several skips with collected damaged carpets that had been chucked.

I returned to Alveston and had a wonder around this village.

The church and the village just appear to have a separate identity to the their near by neighbour of Stratford. The church of St James serves a large parish area.

Stratford on Avon Warwickshire

In Stratford on Avon, William Shakespeare on July 25, 2007 at 8:22 am

My first visit to Stratford on Avon and a visit here would be incomplete without a tour of some of the Shakespeare sites.

First off was his family home.

William was obviously born into a well to do family his father John being a tradesman and you can see his workshop at one end of the house for making amongst other things gloves. The house is worth a visit but is extremely popular and if you time it wrong you can be hurtled along by bus loads of tourists from all over the world. As one of the guides said the stone ground floor has been walked on by literally millions of visitors.

There seems to be very few records to determine what schools he attended or even a marriage certificate to prove he married Anne Hathaway. One of the interesting things you can see in the house is his will. He left his wife Anne just the 2nd best bed , everything else when to the rest of his family and friends. However this doesn’t prove they were necessarily unhappy in their marriage as Anne went on living in the family home until her death. However they must have lived apart for a lot of the time when William was in London writing an appearing in plays.

There is also an interesting glass window you can see in the museum on which many people have carved their names including many famous people over the course of many years. The graffiti has now become a protected item so this pane of glass is now protected in its own right.

I have to say I struggle with Shakespeare plays. Perhaps it is something that I shouldn’t admit to but for me the language is so rich every sentence has to be translated to understand the meaning and I feel as if it is a foreign language. Perhaps it also has something to do with the way we were taught Shakespeare at school. The Merchant of Venice was the play we did for our English Lit O Level. I failed – all of that pound of flesh business when I just wanted to be playing football!

The water levels had dropped considerably in a week as the photos of the Royal Shakespeare Company just the previous week had shown water levels high up on the surrounding red boards around this building. However workmen were busy here clearing out damaged carpets into skips and several of the theaters were closed.

William Shakespeare is buried at the local Holy Trinity Church and to visit this site you pay a small admittance fee I think around £1.50 for the privilege.