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As any avid gardener will know, this is the time of year when the sweet peas start to come into bloom. If you have a collection of sweet peas in your own garden you will be familiar with the sweet smell and the gorgeous blooms that are ideal for growing up trellis and in and around all manner of other things.
But however good your own display might be, there is nothing quite like seeing the annual delights that are on display for the public to see and enjoy at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage in Stratford upon Avon.
As you may already know, Anne Hathaway was the wife of William Shakespeare, and her cottage may be found in a little place called Shottery, a short distance outside of the main part of Stratford upon Avon. The word ‘cottage’ does not adequately describe it as it is far from being a ramshackle or tiny property. It is quite big and it also has extensive gardens that look quite beautiful all year round. The property is now under ownership of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which lays on various events throughout the year. One of these events is the Sweet Pea Festival.
However much you love sweet peas, you may not be aware that there is over three dozen different types of them in the UK. You can see many of them if you visit the cottage at this time of year, including the original sweet pea to have been brought into the country over three hundred years ago. As you can tell, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a place that is steeped in history in more than one way!
The Sweet Pea Festival is already underway, so be quick to see it as it continues into July. If the weather is fine it makes for a spectacular time to see the cottage for the first time. Even if you have been there before you will enjoy seeing the cottage and all its sweet pea varieties looking resplendent in the summer sun.
The cottage is easy to find. It is in Shottery in Cottage Lane, and there is an ample car park a short walking distance from the cottage itself. While you will want to see the gardens and their amazing range of sweet peas, be sure to take a tour inside the cottage as well. You will learn many exciting and fascinating things about Anne’s time there, as well as how they lived in those days. It makes for quite an interesting history lesson – especially when you learn why we say, ‘Good night, sleep tight!’ This is just one of many interesting facts you will discover when you visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage.
Of course there are other Shakespeare properties to visit in Stratford upon Avon as well. But nothing quite beats the beauty of seeing this charming cottage and stepping back into time as you wander through the colourful gardens and see how life was lived inside.