You may think that the quaint timber-framed buildings, picturesque riverbank pathways, mix of traditional and modern pubs and restaurants, shopping boutiques and rich cultural history are enough to warrant a visit to the beautiful, medieval market town of Stratford-upon-Avon; but if you are heading that way this summer, there is so much more on offer. Here are just some of the fantastic events that should not be missed in 2017.
Date: Saturday 1st July – Sunday 2nd July. Time: 10am – 8pm.
Get stuck in with family and friends at this award winning, two-day, free festival. The festivities are spread along the river bank and include craft stalls, live music, family activities, face painting, a range of local ales, global food offerings, and even a fireworks finale. Whether you’re confident enough to have a dance, fancy exploring the narrow boats, or just want to socialise, the event will cater for everyone's tastes. With over 50,000 people joining in the fun in previous years, it promises to be great day or weekend out for people of all ages.
Date: Friday 2nd June – Sunday 4th June. Times: From 7pm Friday, and 12pm Saturday and Sunday.
Stratford Arts House hosts local bands and world class headline acts at Stratford’s first folk festival in over 50 years. Serving up tempting festival food and speciality ales, you’ll be amongst 2000 revellers for this special occasion. The festival will include workshops, arts and crafts, storytellers, and plenty of stalls to keep you busy in between the fantastic musical talent on offer. A ceilidh with local folk band, Greenman Rising, kicks off the festivities on Friday evening.
Date: Wednesday 12th July – Saturday 15th July. Time: 7:30pm.
With its literary history, you couldn't go the whole summer without seeing a classic play performed in Stratford-upon-Avon; but it's not all about Shakespeare. This year, for three nights only, you can see a Phoenix Players Production of the Oscar Wilde classic – The Importance of Being Ernest. This 'trivial play for serious people' as it is described, is on at the Bear Pit Theatre, an intimate venue run by a voluntary organisation of the same name. A seat at this show will not only be entertaining, but will also support this fantastic local venture as well as the amateur theatre company behind the performance.
Date: Most weekends and occasional weekdays throughout the summer. Time: Varies depending on day.
If you think you know all about Shakespeare's birthplace, or if you want to get to know a bit more about the town, then this quiz trail is the perfect activity. Put together a team of up to six people, and absorb a bit of local history while you tour the town for 90 minutes searching for answers to the quiz questions. With a prize for the winning team, knowledge may not be the only thing you gain from this fun and sociable quiz. Whether you want to get the family out of the house, are looking for ways to entertain on a school trip, or want an activity for a hen do or birthday celebration, this fun challenge is a fantastic way to explore the city.
Date: Friday 22nd September – Sunday 24th September. Time: 10am.
At the end of the summer, Stratford's town centre will again be filled with the tantalising aromas from an array of stalls selling fresh local produce. The festivities will include demonstrations from local and celebrity chefs, as well as al fresco dining and other activities. If you’re looking for some home cooking inspiration, want to sample some delicious local ales, or just want to get involved in the lively atmosphere, the festival is sure to bring out the foodie in you. With kids workshops on offer, you may even be treated to some cooking or baking from your children if you take them along.
Date: 26th September to 3rd October. Times: Various.
Stratford-upon-Avon is the perfect setting for classical music and jazz concerts. After 22 years, this music festival is still going strong, and this year will feature the successful, local, Orchestra of the Swan; New Generation Artists from BBC Radio 3; as well as other highly acclaimed orchestras and musicians. Check the performance listings for further details.
Dates: Every 1st and 3rd Saturday. Time: 9am to 3pm.
The Farmers’ Market shows off some of the region's most delectable and delicious treats, with everything on offer made by local producers, using local ingredients. The fertile landscape of Warwickshire is celebrated with sausages, chutneys, cheese, fresh meat, cakes, and a whole range of other products. Take a mouth-watering trip to the Farmers’ Market in Rother Street, and meet like-minded foodies, local growers and other food experts.
Thanks to www.lovemyvouchers.co.uk for compiling this summer events guide for Stratford-upon-Avon. You can find more travel offers, along with advice and guidance on how to save money this summer on their blog and for more information on holiday cottages available this summer, see our properties in Stratford-upon-Avon here.