Stratford upon Avon is well known as the birthplace of Shakespeare. And indeed you can go to visit his house and several other properties which were associated with him during his life as well.
But you can also visit properties that were associated with other important people in his life – and arguably the most important one of these would be Anne Hathaway’s cottage.
The wonderfully named village of Shottery is the location of this cottage. But while it is known as ‘Anne Hathaway’s Cottage’ it is more specifically her family’s cottage, even though she did live there.
But is it worth visiting? The answer is undoubtedly yes, and here are five reasons why you should pay a visit when you are enjoying a UK holiday staying in a Stratford upon Avon cottage:
1. It offers wonderfully in depth guided tours. Some venues leave you to wander around on your own and explore for yourself. But while this has its advantages you don’t tend to get the depth of knowledge that comes from a guided tour led by an experienced guide. This is the case with Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. The guide shows you round and adds in plenty of small details that really bring the cottage to life in front of your eyes.
2. The gardens are also well worth seeing. Imagining Anne Hathaway playing in the gardens as a child is quite something. The cottage garden has paths meandering through it, so you can wander through and appreciate the modern day range of flowers which are present. Many of these replicate how the garden would have looked in Anne’s time.
3. You get the feeling of going back in time. The guided tour takes you right through the cottage – and for cottage, read large farmhouse. It has had extensions built during its lifetime, but the oldest part dates from the 15th century. You can see the bedchambers and the kitchen, which have been created to appear as close as possible to how they would have been during Anne’s lifetime.
4. It is an ideal activity to do during a rainy afternoon. Even though the gardens won’t be as enjoyable in bad weather, the tour itself takes place inside the farmhouse. So whatever the British weather happens to throw at you, you can still drink in the atmosphere and find out what life was like back in the 1500s, when Anne was born. We seem to recall on this tour they told us that baths were only taken once a year! Now that leaves little to the imagination as to how fragrant the farmhouse must have been!
5. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is often regarded as the most beautiful of all the Shakespeare properties. Even though it is a mile or so from the main part of Stratford upon Avon, the short journey is well worth making. You can enjoy the walk on a sunny day, or take the car and park up in the nearby car park. Either way, you will be glad you went.