‘We’re Good To Go’

We are thrilled that we can welcome you back
to South Warwickshire.

Our attractions, accommodation, and food & drink businesses have reopened successfully with a range of safety measures in place.

Look for the ‘We’re Good to Go’ logo which shows they are COVID-secure and ready for your return.

Each business is doing its very best to keep everyone safe, so please check individual businesses’ websites for their own enhanced safety measures and regulations.

 

When you spot this handy green tick you’ll know that the teams looking after you are following all the appropriate government and industry COVID-19 guidance. The ‘We’re Good to Go’ scheme has been created by VisitEngland and helps you to have a worry-free experience in South Warwickshire.

 

Here are our tips for getting out and about again:

  • Know before you go – check the websites and information from the places you’d like to visit. There could be restrictions and you might have to pre-book.
  • Follow guidance – the measures in place are to protect you and the teams working here.
  • Take plenty of photos – share them with us on social media using #MyShakespearesEngland.
  • Share your favourite places with friends –  they’ll thank you for it and might recommend a new place for you to try, too!
As different areas of the UK are at different stages of reopening, the We’re Good to Go map and the Know Before You Go map shows visitors the local restriction and which businesses have been awarded the We’re Good to Go industry standard.
Here are some of the Shakespeare’s England members who have signed up to show they are ‘Good to Go’:

The Belgrade Theatre

The Arden Hotel

Mallory Court Country House Hotel and Spa

Royal Shakespeare Company

Coventry Transport Museum – Culture Coventry

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

Coombe Abbey Hotel

Go Ape Coventry

Warwick Visitor Information Centre

The Almanack (Peach Pubs) 

The Rose and Crown

Park Cottage Guest House

British Motor Museum

Mercure Warwickshire Walton Hall Hotel & Spa

Compton Verney Art Gallery & Museum

The Howard Arms Ilmington

Mercure Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare Hotel

Hotel Indigo Stratford Upon Avon

Hotel du Vin Stratford

Shakespeare’s Birthplace, the childhood home of William Shakespeare

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Shakespeare’s New Place

Crowne Plaza Stratford Upon Avon

Avon Boating Ltd

Shakespeare Distillery

Billesley Manor Hotel and Spa

Go Cotswolds Ltd

Bicester Village

The Guidance for Tourism and Hospitality businesses has been updated and businesses can find more information here.

Page updated 31 January 2022

Christmas in Shakespeare’s England

Christmas is a special time to visit Shakespeare’s England as Warwickshire transforms into a winter wonderland with a whole host of festive events and activities to enjoy!

Our historic towns of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Kenilworth and Royal Leamington Spa will be sparkling with Christmas magic. Shop till you drop, indulge in delicious festive food and drink, make special Christmas memories with the kids, and get together for festive fun with friends and family.

Use our guide to help you plan the perfect Christmas in Shakespeare’s England!

Christmas Shopping in Shakespeare’s England

Add even more sparkle to your Christmas shopping at one of the many festive markets taking place across Shakespeare’s England.

Stratford-upon-Avon will switch on their Christmas lights on Saturday 19th November with a full day of festive fun across the town centre from 10am-7pm. And from 8th – 11th December you can stroll and shop at the Stratford-upon-Avon Victorian Christmas Market.

The annual Warwick Victorian Evening on Thursday 24th November is an event not to be missed. See the town Christmas lights turned on, capture a visit from Santa, and visit the Christmas market to find the perfect gifts from the carefully selected local, British and artisan traders.

Royal Leamington Spa switched their lights on at the beginning of November, but on Sunday 20th November the annual Christmas market will return to The Parade from 10am-5pm with a whole host of stalls, and a cheeky Christmas Elf Takeover. Click here for more information.

Kenilworth enjoys not one, but two Christmas lights switch on events!  On Friday 25th November from 6-8pm, the Old Town will see a traditional lights switch on with entertainment, food and drink from local businesses on the High Street in Kenilworth.  And on Sunday 27th November, join the festive fun on Warwick Road between 12pm – 8pm with market stalls, funfair rides and entertainment. (Lights are switched on at 6pm).

Festive Family Events in Shakespeare’s England

Christmas at Warwick Castle

Complete your Christmas wish list in one truly magical destination with a festive visit to Warwick Castle. Visit during daytime and discover twinkling trees, dazzling decorations, and festive flourishes at every turn. Make memories with Santa and Mrs. Claus as you listen to a special story of Christmas hope and joy. Glide upon an magnificent open-air ice rink, and as darkness falls, follow the magical illuminated light trail around the castle’s historic grounds. Book your visit early to avoid disappointment! 

Click here for more information.

Meet Santa at Kenilworth Castle

Book an audience with Santa when he pays a visit to Kenilworth Castle on special dates throughout November and December. Bring the children’s imaginations alive as they listen to his festive tales amidst the enchanting castle decorations.

Click here to book your visit in advance.

Candlelit Tours of Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Experience Christmas through the eyes of William Shakespeare himself on an after-dark tour of Shakespeare’s Birthplace, which will include costumed guides sharing stories of festive traditions of the 16th century and an insight into how one of the world’s greatest playwrights lived in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Click here for more information

Luminate Coombe

As darkness descends during the festive season, join an enchanting journey, weaving a captivating light trail through the stunning, historic grounds of Coombe Abbey Park. Immerse yourself in the mesmerising mile long trail, with stunning lighting elements and fabulous light play, all set to ambient music. Tickets must be pre-booked online in advance.

Click here for more information.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride

Do you believe? Join THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride with Vintage Trains and relive the magic of the 2004 motion picture being theatrically re-created and be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic children’s tale.  See the dancing chefs, meet the conductor and Santa and receive a ‘silver bell. Prepare to be surrounded by the magic and wonder of the Christmas season!

Click here for information and how to book.

Christmas at Fairytale Farm

At Fairytale Farm from 3rd – 24th December you will enter a beautiful Fairytale Castle and start your journey from the South Pole to the North Pole in their magical and immersive event that includes dancing penguins, and a walk through the Secret Forest to meet Santa himself!

Click here for more information

Santa at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom

Santa will be making his way down the chimney at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall in Stratford-upon-Avon to greet families for a special Christmas experience on dates throughout December. There’s also a festive quiz, story-telling, puzzles, music, Christmas crafts and games combine to make this an unforgettable excursion for all the family.

Click here for more information

Festive fun at Compton Verney

Historic Manor and art gallery, Compton Verney has a host of festive events lined up for the family to enjoy throughout December. From 1st – 24th December you can take part in the festive reindeer trail within the stunning landscape, and on selected dates between Friday 9 December to Friday 23 December there is a chance to meet Santa in his magical Grotto!

Click here for more information on the Reindeer Trail.
Click here for more information on Santa’s Grotto.

Christmas trail and lunches at National Trust Charlecote Park

At Charlecote Park, a deep freeze is being felt this winter and your help is needed! Take on the Festive Curse Breakers Trail to help crack the code and break the freezing curse that’s fallen over the parkland and buildings this Christmas. You can also warm up after your adventures with a delicious festive lunch in the Orangery Restaurant (lunch must be booked in advance, find information here.

Click here for more information.

Christmas Day Walk in Stratford-upon-Avon

The best way to work up an appetite for your Christmas Day lunch is to join Stratford Town Walk on their special Christmas Day Walk! Walk in the footsteps of William Shakespeare on this multi award-winning 2 hour guided walking tour of Stratford-upon-Avon. Booking ahead is essential.

Click here for more information.

Catch a panto at the Belgrade Theatre

Child cast performing a pantomime

This year’s legendary Belgrade Theatre pantomime is the enchanting tale of Jack and the Beanstalk – and it’s their fastest selling panto ever!

In this good old fashioned panto you will head to the village of Prickly Bottom where the evil giant Blunderbore is causing havoc! What the village needs is a hero brave enough to climb up to the giant’s castle and send him packing. Will Jack and his mysterious beanstalk prove to be the heroes we are looking for? There’s only one way to find out!

Make sure you book your tickets early to guarantee the best seats at the best price on your preferred date, because they are getting snapped up quickly!

Click here for more information.

Festive Food and Drink in Shakespeare’s England

 

‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry and there are plenty of places to indulge in wonderful festive food and drink in Shakespeare’s England this Christmas. Below is just a small taste of what you can enjoy…

Festive Lunch and Show at Studley Castle

Celebrate the festive season with a special treat at Studley Castle. Enjoy a sumptuous 3-course festive lunch served with Tea & Coffee followed by a Christmas Show in the Castle’s luxurious Evesham Restaurant. Available on selected dates at £35.00 person

Click here for more information.

Festive Afternoon Tea at The Telegraph Hotel

Book a festive sparkling afternoon tea at the Telegraph Hotel between 29th November and 21st December within their stylish and relaxed Forme & Chase restaurant. From £23.50 per head.

Click here for more information.

Festive Lunch with Santa at Billesley Manor

Book a Festive Lunch with Santa on Sunday 18th December at Billesley Manor. Lunch will be served in the stylish wood panelled surroundings of the Stuart Rooms restaurant, and tickets include a gift for your  child.

You might also like to take a festive afternoon tea with friends at Billesley Manor, available throughout December from £25 per person.

Click here for more information on lunch with Santa.

Christmas Breaks in Shakespeare’s England

Book a magical break in wintery Warwickshire to experience the festive season at one of our wonderful hotels.

Pre-Christmas Escapes

Enjoy a pre-Christmas stay in Stratford-upon-Avon at the stylish Arden Hotel. After a day of Christmas shopping, check in to your room before you relax in the No.44 Brasserie for a delicious dinner, and afterwards maybe take in the beautiful view over the River Avon on the all-weather terrace with a glass of mulled wine and delicious iced ginger cake under the patio heater. Perfection!

Pre-Christmas package is available from £279.00 per room per night.

Click here for more information.

If you prefer the tranquillity of a rural hotel, then you might prefer a pre-Christmas escape at Mallory Court Hotel and Spa near Royal Leamington Spa. Relax in one of the hotel’s cosy lounges next to the fire with a delicious festive cream tea, and after a busy day of Christmas shopping, experience culinary excellence in The Dining Room within the Manor House for a Taste of the Season dinner.

Pre-Christmas package is available from £249.00 per room per night.

Click here for more information.

With a wide choice of accommodation from peaceful country retreats and boutique town centre bolt-holes to cosy bed and breakfasts, and self-catering stays – there is something to suit all tastes and budgets. Find a place to stay in Shakespeare’s England here.

Visit our Offers page for a choice of accommodation and dining offers in Shakespeare’s England.

Keep an eye on our Events Calendar for a full calendar of festive events and activities. taking place in Shakespeare’s England this Christmas.

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas time in Shakespeare’s England and don’t forget to share your festive adventures with us on social media – #MyShakespearesEngland.

Follow Shakespeare’s England on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and Twitter.

 

 

Spooktacular Half Term Halloween Fun in Shakespeare’s England

Experience the thrills and chills of Halloween this October in Shakespeare’s England! From haunted castles and frightening fairy tales, to ghostly walks and fearsome family activities – there is plenty of eerie excitement to be found….if you dare!

Family Friendly Halloween Fun

Halloween at the Castle, Warwick Castle

From £29, Sunday 1st – Monday 31st October

Encounter Halloween frights and fun at Warwick Castle this October. Explore over a thousand years of spooktacular history as you venture through The Haunted Hollows, meet the Witches of Warwick, and experience the haunting Halloween atmosphere around the castle and grounds. 

As Halloween approaches, the castle’s spookiest residents invite you to join them for haunting half-term fun at The Haunted Castle (22nd-30th October). Enjoy mysterious mazes, eerie entertainment, and frightful delights for the whole family as over a thousand years of haunted history come to life.

For more information visit: https://www.warwick-castle.com/

Halloween Fun at the Farm, Mary Arden’s Farm

From £7.50, includes pumpkin carving
25th, 27th, 29th October, 9:30am – 12pm & 1pm – 3:30pm

Discover the weird and wonderful traditions of All Hallows’ Eve at Mary Arden’s Farm this October half-term. This family friendly event gives the opportunity to explore the spooktacular traditions that people in medieval and Tudor England took part in to keep the spirits at bay, with fun-hands on activities to enjoy! All activities are included, including a pumpkin to take home.

Suitable for ages 4+, pre-booking is essential.

For more information visit: https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/visit/whats-on/tudor-halloween/

Halloween half term, Kenilworth Castle

£36.90 for two adults and up to 3 children if booked online in advance
Saturday 22nd – Sunday 30th October, 10am-5pm

Gather your little monsters and prepare for a ghoulishly good day out at Kenilworth Castle this October Half Term.

Follow Dennis, Gnasher and friends to solve creepy clues on the fun family quest around the grounds. Then, meet costumed performers to hear tall tales of the strange, the supernatural and the downright silly.

With so much spooky stuff to see and do, it’s a phantomtastic, great value day out for families – and tickets are even cheaper if you book in advance.

For information and how to book click here.

Twisted Circus – Family Friendly Edition, Magic Alley, Stratford-upon-Avon

£8 or £9 when a performer is present
From 8th October

Roll up, Roll up! Welcome to the most Twisted Circus in Town!

As you enter the Corpse Brothers’ circus at Magic Alley, expect to find all your favourite circus characters but with a distinctly creepy twist ready for Halloween. Part circus, part funfair part carnival (or should that be carnevil!) you can immerse yourself in a different world long forgotten.

The Twisted Circus is suitable for children over 6 with strictly no admittance to anyone younger…some things are simply not suitable for little ones.

Anyone caught misbehaving will be sold to the circus – For Eternity!

For information and bookings, click here.

Halloween themed family fun day, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Free entry, Wednesday 26th October, 10.30am-4pm

Join the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry for a free Halloween-themed family fun day with activities including story-telling, a dressing up station with real stage costumes, and arts and crafts inspired by upcoming family shows such as David Walliams’ Demon Dentist. No booking is required and families can turn up on the day.

For more details visit https://www.belgrade.co.uk/events/halloween-family-fun-day/

“Scarily Ever After” Halloween event, Fairytale Farm, Chipping Norton

£7.75 per person, Saturday 22nd – Sunday 30th October, 10am-5pm

Head to the award-winning Fairytale Farm in Chipping Norton for their Halloween themed “scarily ever after” family-friendly Halloween event which runs daily during half term.

Fun activities include: sing-a-long sessions, pumpkin carving and painting competitions, and indoor craft activities. Post photos of your children in fancy dress on the Fairytale Farm social media to be entered into a prize draw to win a free annual family pass to the farm.

From October 8, Fairytale farm is also launching an “illuminations and supper deal” which will run every weekend after 3pm. Wander through the illuminated walk, see farm animals (if you arrive before they are put to bed!), and enjoy a tasty hotdog or crusty bread and soup with a drink. The “illuminations and supper” deal is charged at £9.75 per adult and £8.75 per child.

For more information visit www.fairytalefarm.co.uk

Halloween Family Fun Day, Sulgrave Manor

£6 per child, £8 per adult, Sunday 30th October, 11am-3pm

Celebrate Halloween at Sulgrave Manor and enjoy a full day of fiendishly fun activities including a Halloween Trail, Craft Activities, Pumpkin Painting, Roasting Marshmallows, House Talks and Free Flow Tours.

For more information and to book online click here.

St John’s Haunted House, St John’s House, Warwick

£14 children, £8 adults, 2 and under free, Thursday 27th October – Sunday 30th October

Head to St John’s Haunted House in Warwick this half term. Get spooked as you explore rooms and see them as you’ve never seen them before. Discover the creepy story of the Knights Templar hospital that was based on the site in the Medieval era.

Make Mad Science bouncy eyeballs and a spooky lantern to take home. Get messy making potions, enjoy small world fairy play and more. Dressing up is welcomed for children and adults!

For more information and to book, click here.

Magic of Science, British Motor Museum

£40 for a family in advance or £44 on the day, Saturday 22nd – Sunday 30th October

Less scary but certainly magical is the Magic of Science which takes place at the British Motor Museum during October half term. Get up close to one of the Ford Anglias which starred in the film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and then join the mad scientists for some magical, mind-blowing experiments, extraordinary family tours plus make an optical illusion to take home!

Museum entry is just £40 for a family in advance or £44 on the day, £14.50 for adults in advance or £16 on the day, £12.50 for concessions in advance or £14 on the day, £9 for children (5-16 years) in advance or £10 on the day and under 5s are FREE.

For information and bookings visit: https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/whats-on/october-half-term

 

Ghoulish Fun for Grown Ups!

Halloween isn’t just for the kids! Shakespeare’s England has something spooky to offer the adults too….

Castle After Dark, Warwick Castle

From £20, 22nd, 23rd, 28th – 31st October, from 6pm

Can you brave the darker side of Halloween at Castle After Dark? From fearless families to brave scare-seekers, see if you have what it takes to conquer the UK’s scariest castle.

Brace yourself for an evening of spine-chilling scares ahead at Warwick Castle. The castle courtyard transforms into a frightful festival of entertainment. Feed your fear as you prepare for an evening you’ll never forget. The Castle Dungeon* awaits for frightful fun and Warwick Castle’s grisliest tales.

There’s terror at every twist and turn across three thrilling scare attractions within the Castle and grounds. You’ll face your fears as you venture through the darkness and open your mind to the most unnatural possibilities.

Recommended for ages 10+, pre-booking is required. Additional charges apply.

For more information visit: https://www.warwick-castle.com/explore/events/castle-after-dark/

Halloween Ghost Walk, Stratford-upon-Avon

Adults £10, Children £5 (recommend 8 years +), Monday 31 October 2022, Walks at 7pm and 7.30pm

Join this award-winning, entertaining ghost walk around the ‘haunted’ streets of Stratford upon Avon with Stratford Town Walk.  Join your costumed guide, Vincent, Edward or the Man in Black for a stroll around the ancient streets to discover the buildings seeping with tales of ghosts, witches, murder and misery.  Hear about ghostly goings-on at a haunted tearoom, the witch of Sheep Street, a jilted bride who appears in a local hotel, a young girl buried alive and more.  An evening of good old-fashioned story-telling. The guides are professional entertainers and deliver the tour in their own unique style.

Walks last 1-1.5 hours, pre-booking is essential.

For information visit: https://stratfordtownwalk.co.uk/halloween/

Spooky Cocktails and Ghost Tour, St John’s House, Warwick

£25 per person, Friday 28th October 7pm – midnight

Join this unique Ghost Hunt at St John’s House! Challenge your fears and take part in real experiments with Ghost Hunters ‘Haunted Happenings’ and enjoy some spooky gin cocktails from ‘The Warwickshire Gin Company’.

The evening includes a tour of the St John’s House to hear the fascinating and varied history of the building and all the people who have lived here. Then join experienced guides and paranormal experts as they show you what to look for and how to read the signs of unusual activity. Some of these activities take part in the cellar and attic, please note unfortunately there is no disabled access.

The bar will be open all evening for you to purchase further drinks and cocktails, either before or after your tour experience. Other alcoholic drinks available.

This is an adult only event, dressing up is welcomed!

For more information and to book click here.

Twisted Circus After Dark, Magic Alley, Stratford-upon-Avon

From £15
Friday 28th October, Saturday 29th October, Sunday 30th October and Halloween from 7pm till late


Do you dare enter the Big Top after dark? Experience a Halloween event at Magic Alley, Stratford-upon-Avon that is not for those of a nervous disposition!

During this Halloween scare attraction sound and lighting effects will be used and there will be live actors in attendance.

There is a glass of prosecco or equivalent soft drink included if you make it out alive!

Admission is for 18+ years only.

For more information and bookings visit: https://magicalleystratford.com/halloween/

Halloween Masquerade Ball, Billesley Manor Hotel

£65.00 per person, Sunday 30th October, from 7.00pm

Join Billesley Manor for a black tie masquerade ball in aid of The Shakespeare Hospice. Enjoy 5 courses along with blood punch in the newly refurbished Topiary Suite. Follow this with dancing to live music.

Tickets are £65.00 per person or £600.00 for a table of 10

Booking is essential, visit: https://www.billesleymanor.com/

 

Book a Spooky Halloween Short Break in Shakespeare’s England

Extend your stay in Shakespeare’s England during Halloween and Half Term with some wickedly good accommodation to choose from!

With a wide choice of accommodation from peaceful country retreats and boutique town centre bolt-holes to cosy bed and breakfasts, and self-catering stays – there is something to suit all tastes and budgets. Find a place to stay in Shakespeare’s England here.

Visit our Offers page for a choice of accommodation and dining offers in Shakespeare’s England.

Enjoy a shivering-ly great time in Shakespeare’s England this Halloween and don’t forget to share your spooky adventures with us on social media – #MyShakespearesEngland.

HM The Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022

Shakespeare’s England are deeply saddened by the passing of HM The Queen Elizabeth II, and express our sincere condolences to all Members of the Royal Family. The Queen’s dedication to the UK and beyond was truly inspirational, and for over 70 years has helped promote the essence of Britain around the World. We thank her for her unstinting service and confirm our total support for King Charles III as he commences his reign.

 

Escape the Everyday in Shakespeare’s England this Summer

Escape the everyday with a summer break to Shakespeare’s England – a picture-perfect pocket in the county of Warwickshire dotted with bustling towns, charming country villages, miles of rolling green countryside, and a whole host of attractions and days out that will keep the whole family entertained throughout the summer.

There is a place for everyone to escape to in Shakespeare’s England! With everything from mediaeval castles showing thrilling live jousting, al fresco theatre performances of much-loved Shakespeare or classic fairytales, to traditional steam train journeys through our beautiful countryside, and creative and colourful art and cultural exhibitions, and all the fun kicks off this summer with a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the Commonwealth Games right here in Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa.

Read on to discover all the places you can escape to this summer in Shakespeare’s England.

Escape to History

From 23rd July, the ultimate jousting experience returns to Warwick Castle! War of the Rose Live! unleashes the action of historic battles from the 15th century.  Feel the past come to life as you witness thrilling battles, daring stunts and incredible jousting. Horses will charge, swords will clash, and the crowd will roar. But which side will you choose… red rose or white rose? Book your tickets.

The excitement doesn’t stop there! The skies of Warwick will be illuminated with the legend of the epic night-time spectacular, Dragon Slayer!  Myth becomes reality in this gripping theatrical experience as you join Guy of Warwick on his quest to prove his valour to Princess Felice. The live-action performance encompasses thrilling stunts, majestic horses and daring swordsmanship, before a breath-taking finale where projection mapping blended with live-action brings the legend to life on the walls of the castle itself. Discover more and book tickets.

Escape to history and enjoy an exhilarating, action-packed family day out at Kenilworth Castle on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st July at their Legendary Joust. See lances shatter, feel the thunder of hooves and hear the roar of the crowd as reputations are won and lost as four legendary knights will compete on horseback. Learn more and book tickets.

Return to Kenilworth Castle over the August bank holiday weekend to experience their thrilling live Knights Tournament! Watch as rival knights compete in the ultimate test of strength and skill with the winner decided by the clashing of swords in the Grand Melee finale! Find out more and book tickets.

Escape to Theatre

As the home of the world-famous Bard, Shakespeare’s England is the ideal location for those looking to escape to an immersive theatre performance. The Royal Shakespeare Company theatres in Stratford-upon-Avon are the theatrical home of Shakespeare’s works, while a whole host of theatre performances can be enjoyed across Warwickshire with the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, and the brand-new 500 seat outdoor Amphitheatre at Berrybank Park in the Cotswolds also offering a diverse programme of performances this summer.

At The Belgrade Theatre, experience a very special performance of The Allesley Silas (Saturday 23rd to Saturday 30th July).  Silas Marner is one of the great stories by one of Coventry’s most celebrated writers, George Eliot. This new version of the story, with joyous music by Rebecca Applin, was a sell-out success during Coventry UK City of Culture 2021, where it was performed in a circus marquee in Allesley Park.  For more information visit the Belgrade Theatre website.

Why not escape outdoors for a summer theatre performance with an al fresco feel?

The Amphitheatre Berrybank Park is a newly opened 500-seat green venue in the Cotswolds that is set on an ancient wold between Stow, Moreton and Chipping Norton.  This unique outdoor venue has an entire summer of music and theatre to look forward to, including world-class opera, Broadway and West End musical hits, jazz, blues, and community choirs.

This August brings a run of events for the whole family with a ‘gloriously silly’, Slapstick Picnic version of The Importance of Being Earnest – also showing this summer are The Wind in the Willows; Pirates of Penzance (complete with a chance to sing in the Chorus); Elmer’s Walk; The Woman in White; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Peter Pan (with real flying!).

The Real Garden Festival on August Bank Holiday Monday is the perfect way to see out the summer holiday, you and the kids can enjoy an ecology-themed day of outdoor discovery and wonder, with storytelling, foraging walks, dance and music.

The Amphitheatre will also be inviting guests to their outdoor cinema with summer showings of Moulin Rouge, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Paddington 2.  Visit our Events Diary to discover their full summer calendar.

During the summer weekends, The Dell, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon will play host to a range of lively student, community and semi-professional productions. The Dell is situated on the banks of the River Avon in Avonbank Gardens, near Holy Trinity Church.  Entrance is free and no booking is required. Find a list of performances here.

To discover these and other outdoor theatre events in Shakespeare’s England this summer, visit our Events Diary.

Escape to Arts and Culture

Head to Compton Verney to escape to an incredible Summer of Colour over the holidays, and make sure to experience their thought-provoking and immersive new artwork Luke Jerram: Crossings which invites you to take a rowing boat out onto their iconic lake and listen to different stories from around the world.  Each brightly decorated boat is fitted with speakers that play recorded audio the recorded audio of people sharing a variety of different life experiences and personal testimonies – what a perfect summer treat! For information sail over to www.comptonverney.org.uk

To coincide with Birmingham 2022, Warwick District Council is running a month-long CultureFest from Saturday 16th July to Sunday 21st August to showcase and celebrate the incredible arts and heritage venues, artists, and creatives in the area. Events and activities will be taking place across Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick, Kenilworth and Whitnash. Click here for more information, or browse our events diary.

Escape to Family Fun and Fairytales

Escape the present and learn what life was really like ‘in the olden days’ at Mary Arden’s Farm this August. They are running a series of Tudor family experience days on 17th, 18th, 25th and 31st August from 10am-3pm. The kids will love this unique Tudor experience packed full of creative activities, at the home of Shakespeare’s mother – a perfect introduction to life in Shakespeare’s time. Booking online is essential (suitable for children aged 4+).

How about a trip down memory lane?  The British Motor Museum is inviting families to help celebrate the 100th birthday of the Austin Seven with seven marvellous activities running from 22nd July to 5th September. Uncover this much-loved car’s history and take a look at some of its exciting adventures with at the ‘Small car. Big history: 100 years of the Austin Seven’ exhibition. Your little ones will love to have fun on the interactive family tour and even get crafty by making an Austin Seven to take home. Find out more here: https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/whats-on

Escape on a tropical rainforest adventure with a minibeast-filled summer at Stratford Butterfly Farm where the whole family can walk among some of the world’s most stunning and colourful butterflies, and spot colourful fish amid the cool pools and splashing waterfalls. Join a series of interactive sessions throughout the holidays including Meet the Mini-Beast handling, Butterfly Life Cycle, and Beetle and Snake demonstrations in the Discovery Zone. To guarantee entrance over the summer holidays tickets advance online booking system is recommended, visit www.butterflyfarm.co.uk

Why not escape the humdrum of the town centre and hop onto the Shakespeare Express for a vintage steam train ride across Shakespeare’s England?! Every Sunday from 17th July to 4th September the steam hauled Shakespeare Express travels from Birmingham Snow Hill to Stratford-upon-Avon on a series of return trips, calling at Birmingham Moor Street, Tyseley and, on the outward journey only, at Henley in Arden. Trains will travel along the Shakespeare Line through city townscapes and the beautiful Warwickshire countryside.

On Saturday 31st July and Saturday 7th August you can step through the train keyhole into Wonderland. If you’re completely mad… you’ll fit in just fine on the Vintage Trains Mad Hatters Theatrical Experience! A fun-filled theatrical day out for everyone! Visit the Vintage Trains website for details and bookings.

To celebrate the Commonwealth Games, vintage steam or diesel trains will run over the Shakespeare Line returning from Birmingham and Stratford upon Avon, bookings and times: https://vintagetrains.co.uk/

Escape to Sport and Once in a Lifetime Events!

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be staged in Britain’s second city from Thursday 28th July to Monday 8th August.  Sporting action is taking place across Shakespeare’s England too with the Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls at Victoria Park, Leamington Spa from Friday 29th July to Saturday 6th August, and the start and finish of the Cycling Road Race in Warwick on Sunday 7th August!

If you can’t make it to the games you can still experience the excitement and atmosphere with the Queen’s Baton Relay which passes through Stratford and Warwick Districts on Friday 22nd July. Find details on where it will stop via our events diary.

Throughout the games themselves head to one of two Live Festival Sites in Market Square, Warwick and Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa to catch the action from the games on live screens, and take part in fun activities like pop-up lawn bowls! Details on the Live Sites can be found here.

Use our helpful guide to find out how you can experience all the excitement of the Commonwealth Games in Shakespeare’s England.

Escape for a short break in Shakespeare’s England

We get it, there is just too much for you to choose from! After a busy year, why not treat yourself and escape to Shakespeare’s England for an extended stay? With a wide choice of accommodation from glamping at Warwick Castle, to peaceful country house hotels and boutique town centre bolt-holes – there is something to suit all tastes and budgets. Find a place to stay in Shakespeare’s England here.

We can’t wait to welcome you to Shakespeare’s England this summer! There is something for everyone to enjoy, it is the perfect place to escape the everyday and make summer memories to last a lifetime.

Don’t forget to tag us in your escapes on social media – #MyShakespearesEngland.

 

 

CultureFest 2022: A guide to a summer celebration of arts, heritage, and creativity

From 28th July to 8th August 2022, Birmingham and the West Midlands will play host to the Commonwealth Games.  Two of the key sporting events will take place in Warwick District. – the Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls will be played at Victoria Park, Leamington Spa, and the Cycling Road Race will start and finish in Warwick.

In honour of this exciting opportunity, a month-long CultureFest will be hosted across Warwick District alongside the games.  CultureFest 2022– hosted by Warwick District Council and partners – will showcase and celebrate the incredible arts and heritage venues, artists, and creatives in the area with events and activities taking place across Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick, Kenilworth and Whitnash from Saturday 16 July to Sunday 21 August 2022.

Culturefest 2022 will feature a series of artistic, colourful, thought-provoking and fun events and activities that can be enjoyed by everyone – whether local to the area, or visiting!

See below a full list of events from the CultureFest programme and how you can experience them!

Alternative Leamington – Leamington Spa

An exhibition to celebrate the diversity within the town of Royal Leamington Spa.
16th July – 21st August 2022
More information

Andy Kershaw Introduces MG Boulter – Leamington Spa

As part of CultureFest (to coincide with the arrival of the Commonwealth Games), bowls and cycling enthusiasts will be delighted to welcome the fabulous MG Bouter to Temperance’s intimate venue.

Tuesday 26th July, 19:00 – 23:00
Temperance Bar, Leamington Spa
More information

Andy Kershaw’s African, Caribbean and Latin Dance Night – Leamington Spa

Temperance is thrilled to be able to welcome back legendary DJ, Andy Kershaw for a night of world music and dancing. As part of our CultureFest, he will be playing songs from around the Commonwealth and beyond.

Wednesday 27th July, 19:00 – 23:30
Temperance Bar, Leamington Spa
More information

Art in the Park Festival – Leamington Spa

A free, curated, arts festival, which showcases, sells, and provides live demonstrations from artists and craftspeople from the local area.

13th and 14th August, 10am-6pm
Jephson Gardens, Royal Leamington Spa
More information

Battle of the Big Top – Leamington Spa

Set within the vibrant world of a Big Top, we follow two siblings’ journey as they experience an adventurous visit to the circus.

Wednesday 3rd August – Sunday 7th August
Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa
More information

Caitriona Dunnett at Hill Close Gardens – Warwick

Artist Caitriona Dunnett will be exhibiting at Hill Close Gardens this summer as part of CultureFest 2022.

Hill Close Gardens, Warwick
From Saturday 16th July
More information

‘Come Bowl with Me’ by Talking Birds – Leamington Spa

Come Bowl With Me is a funny and interactive outdoor performance by acclaimed Coventry theatre company Talking Birds, celebrating the popular and accessible sport of Lawn Bowls, which is being hosted in Leamington Spa for the Commonwealth Games.

Saturday 23, Sunday 24, Monday 25 July 2022
Jephson Gardens by the Clocktower and Pump Room Gardens
More information

Islamic Cultural Exhibition – Leamington Spa

Learn the history of Islam, its links with the Commonwealth, the uniqueness of the Holy Qur’an, Islam’s place with respect to other major faiths of the world.

Baitul Ehsan Ahmadiyyah Mosque (AMA UK), Leamington Spa

Saturday, 20 August 2022, 10am – 4pm
More information

Leamington History Group’s Commonwealth Town Trail – Leamington Spa

Book your place for a free guided tour around Central Leamington to learn more about the town’s past connections, including the Royal Pump Rooms, the Town Hall, Imperial House and the Commonwealth Club.

Visitor Information Centre, Pump Rooms, Leamington Spa
Tuesday 26th July and Tuesday 2nd, 9th & 16th August
More information

Leamington Literary Society’s Promenade with Mr Dickens – Leamington Spa

Experience a magic lantern show at the Temperance Café, Bath Street, on Charles Dickens’s visits to the Royal Spa, followed by a leisurely stroll to the places he knew, by way of some intriguingly Dickensian alleyways!

Saturday 23 Jul at 11am-12pm
More information

Modern Pre-Raphaelite Visionaries: British Art 1880 – 1930 – Leamington Spa

‘Modern Pre-Raphaelite Visionaries’ offers you the chance to rediscover a host of ‘forgotten’ British artists working at the turn of the twentieth century.

Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum
The exhibition runs until 18 September 2022, open daily from 10am-4pm.
More information

Music Improvisation Workshop by Interplay Jazz – Warwick

Join members of Interplay jazz group in this entry-level music improvisation workshop to have fun and try out some simple techniques for making new music with other people.

The Nelson Club, 21 Charles Street Warwick
13th August, 2.30pm-4.30pm
More information

On Yer Bike! Exhibition at Market Hall Museum – Warwick

Cartoon happy man cycling

This exhibition tells the story of the history of cycling, with Warwickshire at its heart, and showcases a number of star cycles, including a boneshaker, a Chopper, a Royal Mail postal bike and a bicycle frame made of bamboo!

Saturday 2nd July – Saturday 29th October
Market Hall Museum, Warwick
More information

PechaKucha Night – Leamington Spa

PechaKucha (Japanese for “chit chat”) is the world’s fastest-growing storytelling platform, used by millions around the globe.

St Patrick’s Irish Club, Leamington Spa
Friday 22nd July, 7.30pm
More information

Play, Me Leamington… Rotary Street Pianos – Leamington Spa

This project, inspired by artist Luke Jerram’s ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ Street Piano artworks will see three pianos, painted by local young artists, installed in Leamington Spa. They will be free for the public to play and enjoy, and help showcase the Rotary Club’s dedication to delivering inspiring experiences for Leamington’s residents.

Leamington Spa train station, outside the Royal Pump Rooms and inside the Royal Priors shopping centre
From 14 July until 30 August 2022
More information

Red Sky at Night, by Mikron Theatre Company – Leamington Spa

Mikron Theatre Company return to Leamington’s beautiful Foundry Wood for a theatre performance about the wild and wonderful world of weather.

Outdoor Classroom, Foundry Wood
Sunday 21st August
More information

Right Up Craig and Johnathan’s Street

Download and listen to six FREE podcasts that explore the streets of Leamington, Warwick, Kenilworth and Whitnash via two restored Raleigh Magnums.

More information

Taking the Waters – Leamington Spa

In it’s centenary year, David Fletcher’s new play celebrates the Loft’s presence in Leamington Spa by bringing to life some significant events in the town’s history through drama, music and movement. It is also a deeply human story, told through the eyes of two generations of remarkable women.

Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa
13th – 23rd July
More information

The Leamington Society’s Welcome Walking Tours – Leamington Spa

Visiting Royal Leamington Spa for the first time? Welcome!

The Leamington Society invites you to join them for a walking tour, to be introduced to the town’s history as a spa and to the modern town with its many attractions.

Visitor Information Centre in the foyer of the Pump Rooms
Friday 29 July – Saturday 6th August, 11am and 3pm
More information

The Legend of The Dragon Slayer at Warwick Castle – Warwick

Experience an unmissable evening of captivating storytelling, fearless fighting, majestic horses & thrilling battles all set around the local legend of Guy of Warwick and his quest to prove his valour to Princess Felice.

Warwick Castle
Showing: 12th – 13th, 15th – 21st August 2022
More information

Wars of the Roses LIVE at Warwick Castle – Warwick

Witness the iconic history of the Wars of the Roses come to life before your eyes in a live action jousting experience.

Warwick Castle
23rd July – 4th September 2022
More information

Warwick Folk Festival – Warwick

Warwick Folk Festival returns for it’s 42nd year from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 July 2022!

Castle Fields, Warwick
Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 July 2022!
More information

Warwick’s Unbelievable History – Warwick

An alternative, self-led, tour of Warwick, which weaves fact and fiction to create unbelievable stories about the town’s incredible past.

More information

Warwickshire Pride Festival – Leamington Spa

Warwickshire Pride logo

Warwickshire Pride is an annual festival – a celebration of LGBT+ life and culture. You can expect a wide range of stalls, live performances and entertainment, food stalls and a bar, fairground rides, a trans chillout zone, bi zone, women’s tent, talks, workshops and much more.

Pump Room Gardens, Leamington Spa
20th August, 11am-6pm
More information

Windows Into the Past – Warwick

History meets technology in Warwick’s interactive “Windows into the Past” shop front exhibition.

Market Street, Warwick
More information

Live Festival Sites – Warwick and Leamington Spa

Experience the Commonwealth Games in Warwick and Leamington Spa at two Live festival sites – in Pump Room Gardens, Royal Leamington Spa operated by Warwick District Council and another in Market Square, Warwick operated by Warwickshire County Council; both will have big screens, open from 10am – 10pm and are free to attend, to celebrate the region’s hosting of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Thursday 28 July – Monday 8 August, 10am-10pm
More information

More information on CultureFest can be found on their Facebook Page.

Visit our guide for more information on experiencing the Commonwealth Games in Shakespeare’s England.

Don’t forget to share your summer adventures in Warwickshire with Shakespeare’s England with the tag #MyShakespearesEngland on social media!

 

Experience Birmingham 2022 – The Commonwealth Games in Shakespeare’s England

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held in venues all across Birmingham and the West Midlands, from 28 July until 8 August 2022.

We are so excited to be welcoming some of the Commonwealth Games action right here in Shakespeare’s England!  Exciting sport events will be held in Coventry and Royal Leamington Spa, and there is a whole host of cultural events to look forward to, such as Culturefest which is taking place at venues across the Warwick District’s four towns of Leamington SpaWarwickKenilworth and Whitnash.

Read on to find out more information about the sports, venues, tickets and schedule for the Commonwealth Games. Discover what the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games stands for and find out how you can experience all of the excitement and history of this iconic sporting event.

Sporting Events

The most dedicated, highly trained and determined athletes from across 72 nations will come together for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in a momentous celebration of sport, competition and community. Discover the exciting line up of sports from Athletics and Gymnastics to Basketball and Boxing – click here to find out more.

Click here for the full schedule of sporting events, and where they will take place.

Which Commonwealth Games sport events are taking place in Shakespeare’s England?

 

Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls – 29th July to 6th August
Victoria Park, 23 Archery Road, Leamington Spa, CV31 3PT

Lawn Bowls competitor on the green

The home of English Bowls will be transformed this summer, as the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games programme is played on the hallowed greens of Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.

In just the third ever Games hosted by an English city, the lawn bowlers vying for Commonwealth glory will compete for victory between Friday 29 July and Saturday 6th August.

During the Lawn Bowls and Para-Lawn Bowls, spectators will witness bowlers maintaining composure under immense pressure as they battle to get closest to the jack. Demanding strategy and cunning moves, this event at the Commonwealth Games is one of the most uniquely nerve-wrecking sports.

18 sessions, and 8 medal sessions will be played at Victoria Park.

From 4 – 13 July, park users will need to enter Victoria Park through the end of the old tennis courts car park. From 13 July, the access into the park will be through the Avenue Road pedestrian entrance, with the old tennis court car park closed to the public until 11 August.

Find more information on the Lawn Bowls here.

Cycling Road Race – 7th August 2022
Myton Fields, Warwick, CV34 6PR

Cyclists competing in a road race at the Commonwealth games

Warwick’s Myton Fields is a green recreation space, the other side of the river to St Nicholas Park that will be used for the Birmingham 2022 Road Race events on Sunday 7th August.

The Road Race will see the women complete seven laps of a 16km course, whilst the men will complete ten laps.

The course will involve the riders cycling past the Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick town centre, as well as Victoria Park in Royal Leamington Spa, which is the venue for the Birmingham 2022 lawn bowls and para lawn bowls competition (see above). The final part of the course will cross the River Avon, where the cyclists will be treated to a stunning view of Warwick Castle.

Find more information on the Cycling Road Race here.

Live Festival Sites

From 28th July until 8th August visitors can enjoy two Live Festival Sites in Warwick and one in Royal Leamington Spa.  Soak up the atmosphere and keep up with all of the action at the Commonwealth Games with Live Screens and lots of fun pop up activities and events. Find out more about all Commonwealth Games Festival Sites here.

Accommodation in Shakespeare’s England

Whether you’re looking for a hotel, a tranquil rural stay, or a quaint B&B, we have accommodation throughout the county to suit your tastes, whatever your budget. Visit our accommodation page to find the perfect base for your Commonwealth Games stay and see our latest accommodation offers.

Travel to the Commonwealth Games

In anticipation of the rail network being busier than normal throughout the Commonwealth Games, Chiltern Railways have strengthened their timetable across the fortnight of 28th July – 8th August, as follows:
• On the weekends they are doubling the number of trains running between Birmingham Moor Street and London Marylebone, to two per hour in each direction
• On weekdays they are running two trains per hour in each direction between London and Birmingham throughout the day
• On Sunday mornings they are adding additional early services, so that spectators can make sure they get to Leamington for the Lawn Bowls or Warwick for the Cycle Road Race on time for the start.

Due to major events also happening at Wembley on Sunday 31st July (Go Lionesses!) and Saturday 6th August, Chiltern Railways will not be running services to Aylesbury via Amersham as we will be using all available units to strengthen both the Birmingham and the Wembley service.

For more information on rail travel to the games you can visit the Chiltern Railways website.

Commonwealth Games Cultural Events in Shakespeare’s England

Culturefest logo

Culturefest 2022

Birmingham 2022 is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our region, and in response to this Warwick District Council, with the support of its partners, will showcase and celebrate the incredible arts and heritage venues, artists, and creatives in the area in a month-long CultureFest, with events and activities taking place across Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick, Kenilworth and Whitnash from Saturday 16 July to Sunday 21 August 2022.

CultureFest aims to encourage the people who live, work, and visit the area to discover or rediscover world-class venues and artists across our four towns and find new stories and experiences by young people and emerging talent.

The festival will add value to Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and give people a lasting memory of the district.

Use our CultureFest guide for a list of the events taking place, you can also keep an eye on our Events Diary and the festival What’s On page.

The Birmingham 2022 Festival

The Birmingham 2022 Festival is the biggest celebration of creativity ever in the region and one of the largest ever Commonwealth Games cultural programmes.

Birmingham 2022 Festival is a £12 million six month long celebration

led by artists who know that great audience experiences are a magical combination of beauty, community, participation, diversity and inclusion. Heritage is a golden thread that runs through and between every event, project and idea. Above all, it is a festival made in the West Midlands for the Commonwealth, and everyone is invited.

When the Games conclude in August, the Festival will keep going through to the end of September.

For more information on the Birmingham 2022 Festival, and a list of events and venues, click here.

Get Set for the Games

As our region ‘Gets Set for the Games’, now is the perfect time to start planning so that you’re ready too.

Whether you’re a resident or a business owner, to help you prepare, the ‘Get Set for the Games’ online hub will provide the most up-to-date information and the tools you need to plan and prepare for the busy and exciting Summer ahead.

For more information on the Get Set for the Games programme click here.

Visit the official website of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games for more information on this summer’s exciting events, and to find out how you can be part of the action!

Father’s Day Gifts and Days Out in Shakespeare’s England

Are you looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift or a special treat for Dad? There are plenty of exciting things to do and unique presents to find in Shakespeare’s England.

If your dad’s sock collection is getting out of hand and you are in search of a Father’s Day gift with a difference, our useful guide to celebrating Father’s Day in Shakespeare’s England is here to help.

With unforgettable days out, personalised gifts, and gastronomic treats, you can discover something to show your dad just how much he is appreciated.

Father’s Day Gifts for Car Crazy Dads 

The British Motor Museum has plenty of ideas for Father’s Day, whether you are looking for a special day out or a unique gift. Treat Dad to a visit on Sunday 19th June and he can experience the spectacle of 500 vintage and veteran motorcycles at the annual Vintage Motor Cycle Club’s Banbury Run. This event is the biggest gathering of motorcycles and three-wheelers produced before 1931 and is guaranteed to incite a bit of nostalgia! 

For a gift that keeps on giving, why not present Dad with an annual membership to the British Motor Museum? He can admire their collection of over 400 British classic cars whenever he likes for a whole year, as well as attend all their popular motoring shows. Membership starts from £42 a year and includes access to special ‘Member only’ events including ‘Museum on the Move’ where you get to ride in a selection of the Museum’s cars. Find out more on the museum website. 

For Dads with a need for speed, head to Bicester Village from 18th-29th June to discover the sound of motorsport and experience iconic and historical moments from the Williams Racing team. Try your luck with the racing simulator at the Bang & Olufsen boutique and be entered into the chance to win daily prizes, with one overall entry winning a ‘money can’t buy’ motorsport experience. Click here to book your space . 

A speeding racing car

Bicester Village is also the perfect place to shop for a special gift for Dad, with more than 160 boutiques of the world’s leading fashion and lifestyle brands offering exceptional savings, all year round.  

Father’s Day Gifts for Foodies

For the dad who loves a treat for the taste buds, there are endless options for a Father’s Day foodie experience in Shakespeare’s England!  

The Cross, Kenilworth’s only Michelin starred restaurant will be serving its usual a la carte and tasting menus on Sunday 19th June as well as a delicious Sunday roast – featuring Chateaubriand roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, vegetables and roasting juices. This delectable treat is priced at £50.00 as a main course or with a £5 supplement if ordered as part of a set lunch. 

Spring shot of the Cross Kenilworth

 

If you want your dad to be treated like royalty, why not indulge him in an Afternoon Tea that is fit for a monarch? At Billesley Manor he can enjoy a delicious feast in the stately surroundings of the 16th century manor house before taking a stroll around the stunning topiary gardens. What a way to spend some cherished moments with the main man in your life!  The Queen’s Afternoon Tea at Billesley Manor is available throughout June from £20, booking is essential on 01789 279955. 

Boutique four-star sister hotels Mallory Court Hotel and Spa in Leamington Spa and The Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, have a range of Father’s Day gift vouchers including Midweek Afternoon Tea for Two or a Tasting Menu for two, including a glass of Champagne at Mallory Court Hotel’s 3 AA Rosette Dining Room; and Afternoon Tea for Two or a three-course Dinner for Two at the award-winning Arden Hotel from £59.00. Bookings can be made direct with each hotel.

At Coombe Abbey Hotel, he can experience a Knights Afternoon Tea! This cream tea with a twist is ideal for a dad who loves his historical dramas!  Served on a rustic bench, guests will be treated to hot small plates such as pigs in blankets, cottage pie, and salmon finger sandwiches. But not to fear – nobody’s jumping on a horse after this! Instead, you can amble around Coombe Abbey’s Old Deer Park or sneak in a beer before home time.  

Knight’s Afternoon Tea is served from Tuesday to Sunday, between 12.15pm and 2.30pm. Click here to purchase a voucher to book in advance.  

If dad needs a way to work off his Father’s Day treats, a trip to Coombe Abbey’s on-site Go Ape offers a hair-raising Father’s Day gift experience to get him moving! Leap off treetop platforms, wind through rope nets, and balance to reach a show stopping zip wire at the end. This gift is ideal for families, couples, and friends alike. More ambitious climbers can try the Treetop Challenge, while smaller adventurers should opt for the Treetop Adventure. Book online here 

A Personalised Gift Just for Dad

Is Dad a gin connoisseur? Or would he like to be? Buy him his own personalised bottle of Shakespeare Distillery gin and he will certainly feel like one!  You can choose from a Stratford Dry Gin, Rhubarb Gin, Mulberry Gin Liqueur or Elderflower & Quince and customise the label with a special message just for Dad. 

Extend his gin journey even further and arrange for him to visit the distillery just outside Stratford-upon-Avon to sample their artisan spirits on an entertaining tour, or why not send him back to the classroom on one of their popular Gin Schools so he can create and bottle his very own own gin recipe! If you just can’t decide, gift vouchers are available from the Shakespeare Distillery website. 

A perfect way to treat Dad to a day in the great outdoors, while he indulges in some good food and drink is to book him onto a Go Cotswolds ‘Brewery, Pub Lunch, and The Cotswolds’ tour!  This full day experience includes a 90-minute tour and tasting session at the award-winning rural craft beer brewery, Purity Brewing Co., a traditional pub lunch and a drink at The Fleece Inn, a historic country pub dating back to the 15th Century, free time to explore in the wonderful Cotswolds ‘wool’ town of Chipping Campden, and a visit to another, pretty, ‘secret’ Cotswolds village!  Tours run on the first Saturday of the month between July and December 2022 and cost 75 per person (strictly over 18’s only).  Book online here. 

Arrange a Magical Family Day Out with Dad

Perhaps all Dad wants to do for Father’s Day is enjoy a day out with his loved ones, and there are plenty of great attractions to choose from in Shakespeare’s England!  With majestic castles, historic houses, vibrant theatres and cultural venues interspersed with glorious countryside and charming towns and villages just waiting to be explored. 

Dads and father figures with younger families looking for a way to entertain the kids (and themselves!) for a few hours can enjoy a free Father’s Day visit to Wonderland at Magic Alley! Magic Alley’s brand new Wonderland themed experience in Stratford-upon-Avon!  Inspired by Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass but with a Steampunk Twist. This event is a ‘Who Dunnit?’ and involves solving the crime of who stole the tarts from the Queen of Heart’s Diamond Jubilee Party! Anyone who identifies as a dad can use the code “BONKERS” for a discount of £8 (one full ticket price) off the booking as a whole. A minimum of 2 tickets must be purchased. 

For a truly special gift for Dad, take him on an authentic steam express train experience with Vintage Trains, who have just launched a new summer and autumn tour programme. Father’s Day gift vouchers are available via their website for The Shakespeare Express which will be running ‘Summer Sundays’ between 17th – 24th July from Birmingham Snow Hill, Moor Street and Tyseley to Stratford-upon-Avon with dining options and five hours to explore this historic market town.

Treat Dad to a Weekend Away 

If you are planning a Father’s Day weekend treat, there are plenty of wonderful places to stay in Shakespeare’s England, visit the Stay page on our website to browse luxury country retreats, boutique town centre hotels, or charming guest houses and self-catering accommodation. 

However and whenever you plan to spoil Dad for Father’s Day, you can find plenty of inspiration on our website. Make sure to share your memories with us on social media using #MyShakespearesEngland, we love to see your adventures!

Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in Shakespeare’s England

This year Her Majesty the Queen celebrates an iconic 70 years on the throne.  She is the first ever British Monarch to achieve this milestone, and the country will come together for an exciting four-day weekend of festivities to mark the occasion.

Across Shakespeare’s England, our towns, villages, hotels and visitor attractions are staging a series of exciting events in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.  Whether you are local to the area, or you are visiting for a short break, you can join in with the fun!

Here is our guide to Platinum Jubilee celebrations across Shakespeare’s England:

The Stratford-upon-Avon Platinum Jubilee Festival

Stratford upon Avon Jubilee logo

 

Join the festive atmosphere as Stratford upon Avon celebrates the Platinum Jubilee with a host of street parties, music and live performances across the town.

Amongst the partying will be a huge Royal Artisan Market and Street Food Court boasting over 100 traders that will span across the town on Bridge Street, Bancroft Basin, Waterside, Wood Street and High Street.  The market will run Thursday 2nd, Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th June from 10am-9pm and on Sunday 5th June from 10am-5pm.

Other highlights of the Jubilee weekend in Stratford include:

Family Workshops with the Royal Shakespeare Company

The Dell Theatre Garden, Wednesday 1st – Thursday 2nd June, 2pm-4pm
Take part in environmentally friendly crafts, writing activities, and Citizen Science, hosted by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Jubilee Poetry Trail

Explore Stratford on foot and discover the Stratford Jubilee Poem!  Lines of the poem (Written by Coventry City of Culture Poet Laureate Emilie Lauren Jones) will be displayed at various locations around the centre of the town. Piece them together to discover the key word to be in with a chance to win a prize.

Poetry trail maps and entry forms are free and will be available from the Escape Arts’ family activity stall during the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend from Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June.

Jubilee Picnic in the Park

On Saturday 4th June between 2pm-6pm visitors can soak up the party atmosphere on Bancroft Gardens at a giant picnic in the park.  The Picnic in the Park will include fun and creative activities with the Royal Shakespeare Company including flag making, and memory making crafts.  Indulge in a bit of nostalgia with an outdoor temporary display that will give people the chance to find out more about Her Majesty The Queen’s visits to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Stratford-upon- Avon.

Memories of Her Majesty Exhibition

On Friday 3rd June, head to Stratford Town Hall for ‘Memories of Her Majesty’ (10am–4pm). This is a colourful and evocative one-day exhibition in partnership with Stratford community groups and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. It shows how the Queen’s reign has brought families, friends and the people of Stratford-upon-Avon together, with photographs from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Royal Shakespeare Company collections on display for the first time. An online gallery will also be launching on Thursday 2nd June.

For a full programme of Jubilee weekend events in Stratford-upon-Avon click here.

Hymns and Crowns for the Queen at Holy Trinity Church

On Sunday 5th June at 5pm, Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon will host a very special service for the local community to mark the Platinum Jubilee. During the service, crowns decorated by local community groups will be presented to the Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon. The service will also include singing of the Queen’s favourite hymns and a thanks giving for her many years of service to the nation.  More information can be found here.

Lighting of the Jubilee Beacon – Stratford-upon-Avon

Head to The Obelisk, Monument Field on Stratford’s Welcombe Hills on Thursday 2nd June for the ceremonial lighting of the Queen’s Jubilee Beacon at 9.45pm. This will be followed by a Firework Display at 9.50pm – a wonderful way to kick off a weekend of Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Stratford-upon-Avon!

Travelling to Stratford-upon-Avon for the Jubilee Bank Holiday

Road closures will be in place across Stratford-upon-Avon for the Jubilee weekend so make sure to allow extra time if you are travelling by car.  You can find a list of local road closures in Stratford District here.

Stratford Park & Ride will be operating during the following times throughout the bank holiday weekend:

Thursday 2nd June – 10am – 6.45pm

Friday 3rd June – 10am – 6.45pm

Saturday 4th June – 10am – 10pm

Sunday 5th June – 10am – 7pm

The Park and Ride service offers a great opportunity to avoid the traffic, and explore Stratford on foot.

Jubilee Celebrations in Warwick

On Thursday 2nd June from 12pm until 7pm, Warwick town will celebrate the Jubilee in style with a fun-filled Jubilee event in Warwick Market Place. Families and friends are invited to bring a picnic to the event which will include live music and fun for families! Find more information here.

Children can also join in with the Jubilee fun by following a trail around Warwick town centre to find the hidden Corgis!  Corgis sponsored by individual retailers and businesses will be visible in windows across the town from Friday 27th May 2022 and throughout the Jubilee weekend. The trail is free to enjoy, trail sheets can be downloaded for free here.

Join the Jubilee Beacon Lighting in Royal Leamington Spa

A flaming jubilee beacon

Royal Leamington Spa will be joining in with the national celebrations in the lighting of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons with a traditional ceremony set to take place in the Pump Room Gardens on Thursday 2nd June.

Warwick District’s Beacon will be one of thousands to be lit across the UK to mark the start of the Jubilee celebrations. The event which will take place from 9pm will feature bagpipes and a bugler ahead of the official lighting at 9.45pm by the Chair of Warwick District Council, Mini Mangat and Mayor of Royal Leamington Spa, Nick Wilkins.

In line with a long-held tradition the Warwick Town Crier will make a public proclamation to announce the event at 2pm.

There will also be an all day Jubilee celebration with a Right Royal Picnic at the Pump Room Gardens in Leamington Spa, on Saturday 4th June from 11am to 6pm.  The event will include a Bake Off Competition, a Best-Dressed Competition, A Jubilee Colouring Competition, and a Jubilee Crochet Corgi Show.  There will be live entertainment, food stalls, and fairground rides.  Entry is free and all details are listed on the event website here.

Have a Royally Good Time in Kenilworth

On Friday 3rd June, Kenilworth will celebrate the Jubilee in royal style with a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Street Party on Warwick Road from 11am – 4pm.  Anyone attending this free event is invited to bring their own picnic, or enjoy a bite to eat from one of the fantastic vendors and local businesses.  During the festivities will be an opportunity to relax and enjoy live music from popular local artists.  More information is available here, or by emailing kentc@kenilworth.org.

Jubilee Street Parties in Warwick District

A group of people celebrating the Queen's Jubilee at a street party in Lillington, Warwickshire

New memories of traditional Jubilee street parties are set to be made for the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday across Warwick District with a whole host of street parties in the area.  Communities can come together to celebrate in true British style with a delicious picnic, traditional games, competitions and plenty of fun!  A full list of street parties and road closures in Warwick District can be found here.

Jubilee Events in Bidford on Avon

Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in Bidford on Avon from Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June, with a whole host of activities for everyone to enjoy!

The fun festivities include: A Torch relay around Bidford, a decorate your house and garden competition, a fancy dress competition, a Queen’s Jubilee concert and Bidford Show of Talent.  There will also be a lighting of the Queen’s Jubilee beacon on the evening of Thursday 2nd June, and a Street party on Bidford High Street on Sunday 5th June from 3-6pm.  Find the full programme of Jubilee events in Bidford here.

Jubilee Events in Alcester

festive red white and blue bunting to celebrate the platinum jubilee in Alcester high street

The Roman town of Alcester knows how to hold a great party, and the Platinum Jubilee is no exception!  Alcester Town Council is hosting a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacon Lighting on Thursday 2nd June. Picnics are welcome on Centenary Field, Alcester, from 6pm. Entertainment on the evening includes a fancy-dress competition and parade, complimentary Jubilee cake, Alcester Victoria Silver Band and Alcester town choirs performing the Jubilee Anthem, the beacon will be ceremoniously lit at 9.15pm.

On Sunday 5th June there will be a Jubilee Street Party on Alcester high street between 1pm–4pm. Residents are invited to bring their own tables, chairs and picnic, with entertainment provided.  More information on Alcester’s festivities can be found here.

Enjoy a Jubilee Themed Day Out in Shakespeare’s England

falconers quest display at Warwick Castle

 

To really get into the Royal spirit of the Jubilee, we recommend a visit to a real-life Castle, and Shakespeare’s England boasts two of them!

At Warwick Castle there are endless activities to enjoy, from the new Zog live show which launches during May half-term holidays, and the new Zog Playland and trail, to being awed by the falconry displays at the UK’s biggest bird of prey show.  You can also take on the Horrible Histories Maze, meet the resident bowman and visit the Princess Tower.  Not forgetting the 64 acres of stunning grounds and gardens to explore. You can truly pretend to be a Royal for the day!

Meanwhile, at Kenilworth Castle, families can immerse themselves in memorable moments from English Royal history with tales of Queen Elizabeth I’s visit to Kenilworth Castle, and stories about young monarchs through history. There is also a chance to take part in sword-fighting lessons at Sword School! Find out more here.

Take the family along to a ‘Right Royal Day Out’ at the British Motor Museum which is celebrating the royal cars in its collection. A number of vehicles from the Royal household are on display including the first bespoke royal Land Rover state review car, one of the fleet of vehicles used for Queen Elizabeth II’s first Commonwealth Tour and a 1971 Rover P5B, the personal property of HM the Queen but on long-term loan to the museum.

A free Family Tour of the museum takes place each day from Saturday 28th May – Sunday 5th June at 1.30pm, where children can help ‘royal reporters’ Jim and Claire find the next scoop on their tour around the royal cars.  The kids can also get creative and will be able to make a ‘royal car’ to take home from their visit!

Buzz along to Compton Verney for their Queen’s Ju-Bee-Lee Family Fun Days with bee-themed activities celebrating the Platinum Jubilee on Tuesday 31st May and Wednesday 1st June. Inspired by the Queen’s Green Canopy – a unique tree planting initiative – the gallery will celebrate the pollinators who help to keep the planet green, with drop-in sessions across two days. Learn more here.

Dine like a Royal for the Platinum Jubilee

Jubilee afternoon tea at the rsc rooftop restaurant

With all of this excitement you will need lots of delicious food and drink to restore your energy levels, and in Shakespeare’s England you will be spoiled for choice when looking for amazing places to eat and drink!  Here is just a selection of those who have pulled out all the stops for the Platinum Jubilee!

At The Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon you can celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a delicious picnic hamper  while listening to live acoustic music from Bird & The Badman on Sunday 5th June ( performances are 1pm – 1.45pm and 2.30pm – 3.15pm). Picnics will be available from 12pm to 4pm, charged from £30 per person. Details are available here.

You might prefer to take a Platinum Afternoon Tea  which includes extra fabulousness with a glass of Veuve Cliquot Champagne for £42 per person! Book your bubbly afternoon tea treat here.

At Mallory Court Hotel and Spa, Leamington Spa you can truly dine like royalty for the Jubilee with a Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea experience which includes a glass of Champagne and canapes on arrival served in the hotel’s stunning gardens, followed by delicious traditional afternoon tea and a glass of fizz in a private dining room! The experience is charged at £60 per person and you can book here.

Alternatively, you can opt for a Platinum Picnic Afternoon Tea, which includes a glass of fizz for two, traditional afternoon tea, picnic blanket to use outdoors and a game of croquet on the lawn for two. This quintessentially British experience costs £75 for two people and can be booked here.

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will be offering a special Jubilee Afternoon Tea in its Rooftop Restaurant on Sunday 5th June between 12.15pm – 3.30pm featuring a range of seasonal savoury and sweet delicacies for £24.95 per head,  £29.95 (with a glass of Prosecco) or £34.95 (with a glass of Champagne). Bookings can be made via www.rsc.org.uk/rooftop-restaurant or by calling 01789 40344.

The Coach House, Stratford-upon-Avon have a great programme of free, live entertainment taking place throughout the Jubilee Bank holiday weekend. With Swing Jazz on the evening of Thursday 2nd June (8-10pm), Live Motown from 9pm on Friday 3rd June, local singer/songwriter Matty Coles on Saturday 4th June (9pm), and live music from 5pm on Sunday 5th June. Great food from their recently launched summer menu and a wide selection of drinks are just another reason to visit! Find them on Rother Street.

Throughout June, you can also take a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea at the quintessentially English Billesley Manor whilst enjoying the tranquil surroundings of their topiary gardens.

A bottle of Shakespeare Distillery Jubilee Gin

If you are searching for the perfect way to raise a toast to Her Majesty, look no further than the limited edition Jubilee Gin from Stratford based Shakespeare Distillery.  It has a striking royal blue colour, created with Butterfly Pea flowers, and is described as a beautifully delicate and well-balanced gin that takes inspiration from a summer’s garden. We can’t wait to have a taste! The Jubilee Gin can be purchased online, from the Distillery shop, or from their shop at No.1 High Street, Stratford-upon-Avon.

The perfect place to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee

Whether you live locally to Shakespeare’s England, or you plan to visit for the Jubilee bank holiday there is a Jubilee event to entertain the whole family.  If you decide to extend your stay, you can choose from a wide selection of places to stay across South Warwickshire.

You can visit our Events and Festivals calendar for even more events, and make sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates.  You can find us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, you can also to subscribe to our mailing list below for updates.

Enjoy a visit fit for a monarch in Shakespeare’s England for the Platinum Jubilee!  We would love you to share your photos with us on social media with #MyShakespearesEngland.

 

Spring into Summer: May Half Term in Shakespeare’s England

Another school holiday is upon us and it’s going to be a busy week! As the weather brightens up (hopefully), and the UK prepares to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee there is no better time to visit Shakespeare’s England.

Whether you are visiting for the day, or spending a few nights in beautiful South Warwickshire, our helpful guide to May half term events and activities in Shakespeare’s England will help you plan your visit.

What’s On in Shakespeare’s England for May Half Term?

With Jubilee themed picnics, wonderful wildlife adventures, family friendly festivals, and arty activity days, there is something to do for everyone.

Children in mediaeval attire entering Warwick Castle
Half term fun at Warwick Castle

Visit Warwick Castle for a fun-filled day out! NEW for May Half Term is the Zog Live Show!  With theatrical puppetry, and interactive routines that will enthral all mini-dragon fans.  Explore the new Zog Playland with its winged zip rope, and train to become a fully-fledged dragon in the Quest for the Golden Star Interactive Trail.

Elsewhere at Warwick Castle you can see history come alive as you uncover the interactive Horrible Histories Maze, or delve into Warwick’s dark past in the Castle Dungeon (if you dare!).  Marvel at over 60 high-flying birds in the UK’s biggest Birds of Prey Show or enjoy a taste of Royal entertainment from years gone by with a tour of the State Rooms.  Visit the Warwick Castle website for details of all half term activities, and how to book your tickets.

Uncover the fascinating history of the world’s greatest playwright at the Shakespeare family homes.  Revisit the very place where his story began at Shakespeare’s Birthplace, and be inspired by a site that was his family home for 19 years at Shakespeare’s New Place.  Enjoy a wander through the beautiful gardens of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – the childhood home of his wife Anne, and see where their romance first blossomed.  Booking is recommended when visiting the homes, visit their website for details.

Knights and Princesses Kenilworth Castle
Kids Rule this Half term at Kenilworth Castle

Make like royalty with a visit to Kenilworth Castle, where Kids Rule this Half Term! Celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee in the great outdoors with a range of interactive activities, try your hand at sword fighting in Sword School, and hear tales of Elizabeth I and her visit to Kenilworth Castle.  Activities run from 10am-5pm daily between Saturday 28th May – Sunday 5th June.  Book in advance to save on your entry via their website.

Enjoy Jubilee Themed Half Term Fun

From Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June the UK will come together to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. Shakespeare’s England is gearing up to commemorate this memorable occasion in true royal style.

Here are some of the Jubilee events taking place over May half term.

A Royal Day Out at British Motor Museum
A Royal Day Out at the British Motor Museum

Take the family on A Royal Day Out at the British Motor Museum! Between Saturday 28th May and Sunday 5th June The British Motor Museum will take on a royal theme with costumed characters, the chance to create a ‘royal car’ to take home, and of course, there will be an opportunity to view some special vehicles from the museum collection which have royal links – including the first bespoke royal Land Rover state review car – one of the fleet of vehicles used for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s first Commonwealth Tour. Book your tickets via the museum website here.

Us Brits just love to take a risk with our weather so it wouldn’t be a proper British royal celebration without a garden party or picnic!

The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon has five days of special family events culminating in a Picnic in the Park in Bancroft Gardens on Saturday 4th June between 2pm and 6pm, with family activities including flag making and memory making crafts. Families who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere can join an accessible picnic in The Dell Forest Gardens.

Other highlights include family workshops, a Jubilee Afternoon Tea in its Rooftop Restaurant and Memories of Her Majesty exhibition at Stratford Town Hall with an online gallery. The RSC’s iconic Theatre Tower will also be lit red, white and blue from Thursday 2nd June – Saturday 4th June.

Join Compton Verney for their Jubilee Weekend Picnic in the Park. Get your friends and family together between Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th June, order one of their fabulous hampers filled with gorgeous goodies and relax in the beautiful parkland. Bookings are essential via the Compton Verney website.

Enjoy a Platinum Jubilee Afternoon tea at the Arden Hotel

On Sunday 5th June, why not join Karma Salford Hall for their Queen’s Jubilee Garden Party?

Another Great British past time is a traditional afternoon tea and our hotels have pulled out all the stops to create special Platinum Jubilee themed feasts for their guests!  Throughout June, you can take a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea at the quintessentially English Billesley Manor.

At the Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon you can join the celebrations at their Platinum Jubilee Picnic on Sunday 5th June from 12pm until 4pm with a delicious hamper and live music to enjoy.  You can also take Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea at the Arden Hotel until 30th June – details to book both options are available via their website here.

Mallory Court Country Hotel and Spa are offering two special Afternoon Tea experiences for the Jubilee.  A picnic Afternoon Tea for 2, to include a picnic and a game of croquet. OR a Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea to include Champagne and canapes in the stunning private dining room.  More details on both options are available here.

Crafty Half Term Events in Shakespeare’s England

A selection of art and craft materials on a table at Coventry Transport Museum
Arts and Crafts at Coventry Transport Museum

Get creative this half term with a choice of excellent art workshops in Shakespeare’s England.  Learn how to paint a Spectacular Self Portrait at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum on Saturday 28th, Monday 30th & Tuesday 31st May,

Budding designers will love Compton Verney’s Print Makers Holiday Camp on Tuesday 31st May, or they can get creative while learning about re-fashioning and upcycling clothes at the Re-Fashion Makers Camp on Wednesday 1st June.

Coventry Transport Museum is inviting little learners to get hands on with two car and engineering themed craft sessions, This Makes That with These, and Make & Play Engineers – Crazy Colourful Experiments on Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st June respectively.

Get Back to Nature in Shakespeare’s England for Half Term

Boy with butterfly
Mini-Beast Handling Sessions Stratford Butterfly Farm

Rediscover our natural world with several nature themed events during half term. From Saturday 28th May – Wednesday 1st June, the Stratford Butterfly Farm will host its popular Meet the Mini-Beast handling sessions as well as Snake demonstrations and Butterfly & Beetle Life Cycle demonstrations daily in the Discovery Zone.

Elsewhere, prepare to go apiary at Compton Verney for their brilliant, Ju-Bee-Lee family fun days from Monday 30th May to Wednesday 1st June.  And on Thursday 2nd June, there is a Boggling Bugs Family Workshop at Hill Close Gardens in Warwick.

In Kenilworth, mini nature lovers can join the Kenilworth Nature Watch Week!  A week long series of outdoor activities for children and families to celebrate and learn about the nature and wildlife in Kenilworth and the local area. Activities include a Children’s Bat Walk, Mini Beast Hunt, and Stream Dipping. Find the full programme of events here.

Half Term Family Festivals in Shakespeare’s England

A dog enjoying Dogfest at Ragley Hall
Dogfest is coming to Ragley Hall

Festivals have returned for 2022 and there are some great events to enjoy in Shakespeare’s England! Dog Fest at Ragley Hall, Park and Gardens is a must for all canine fans, and the much-loved Midlands Air Festival returns to Ragley over the Jubilee weekend from Thursday 2nd to Saturday 4th June.

At Coombe Abbey, why not jump back in time and enjoy one of three nostalgic film classics at their Open Air Cinema weekend?  Dirty Dancing, Sing-a-Long Grease, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show will be showing respectively from Friday 27th – Sunday 29th May.

Fantastic Fairy Tales for Half Term in Shakespeare’s England

Alice in Wonderland attraction at Magic alley
Wonderland at Magic Alley!

Step Through the Looking Glass into the fantastical new Wonderland event at Magic Alley in Stratford-upon-Avon to find out Who Stole the Tarts?!  Or treat your little ones to the mystical Once upon a Unicorn event at Fairytale Farm from Saturday 28th May – Sunday 5th June (there’s a prize for anyone who visits in anything unicorn related!)

Places to Stay for Half Term in Shakespeare’s England

How can you possibly fit all of this excitement into one day?  Why not escape for an extended stay and spend a few days here in Shakespeare’s England for the half term holidays?  You can find a whole host of accommodation on our website here.

How to keep up to date with half term events in Shakespeare’s England?

There is so much happening in Shakespeare’s England for this very special half term holiday that it is impossible to include everything in one place!  Visit our Events and Festivals calendar for even more events, and make sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates.  You can find us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to our mailing list below for updates.

Have a royally exciting time in Shakespeare’s England this Half Term!  Don’t forget to your share your photos with us on social media with #MyShakespearesEngland.

Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations 2022: What’s On in Stratford-upon-Avon

This April, the annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations will be taking place ‘live’ in Stratford-upon-Avon for the first time since 2019.  Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the birthday celebrations were cancelled in 2020 and held online in 2021 so this year there is much excitement around their planned return to the town!

Below is a round up of the Shakespeare Birthday celebrations that will be taking place at various locations around the town, along with links to book tickets for some events and access information to help you plan your visit.

The Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations and Parade

 

Friday 22nd April

A particular highlight of this year’s celebration will take place on Friday 22nd April when the recently restored statue of William Shakespeare, which was presented to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1769 by David Garrick will be formally unveiled by RSC favourites Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh outside Stratford Town Hall!

Saturday 23rd April

The annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Parade will take place around the streets of Stratford-upon-Avon, and will include the traditional and flag unfurling ceremony.

The parade will begin at 10.30am from Bancroft Gardens on Waterside and take in Sheep Street, High Street and Bridge Street.  The flag unfurling ceremony will take place at 11am.  The flag poles are positioned at various locations on High Street, Henley Street and Bridge Street.

At 11.05am the formal parade will move off from Bridge Street via High Street to Holy Trinity Church.  Other spectators wishing to lay flowers at Shakespeare’s Grave are invited to join the rear of the Civic Parade.

The parade will conclude at 11.50am at Holy Trinity Church.

Sunday 24th April

Following an invitation only Civic Reception at the Town Hall at 10am, there will be a traditional procession and church service as follows:

Mr Shakespeare will arrive at the Town Hall to ceremoniously offer the Quill to the King Edward VI School Head Boy.  From 10.50am, a Procession will lead from the Town Hall to Holy Trinity Church via Chapel Street, Church Street, Old Town, led by the ATC Band.

From 11.15am, the annual Shakespeare Service will take place in Holy Trinity Church, where the Quill will be received and placed in the hand of Shakespeare above his grave.  The service will conclude at 12.30pm.

You can find a full, detailed programme of the Birthday parades and ceremonies on 23rd and 24th April (with full timings) here.

Access information for visitors and viewing the parade can be found here.

Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

To mark the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s 458th birthday, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has planned a special weekend of celebrations in honour of Stratford’s most famous son and the world’s greatest playwright, with a vibrant mix of performances and workshops. The free, family-friendly programme will take place on Henley Street, right in front of the very house where Shakespeare was born (Shakespeare’s Birthplace) and at New Place, his final home.

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 April 2022, 10am – 5pm
Free entry to Shakespeare’s Family Homes for CV37 residents
In celebration of Shakespeare’s 458th birthday, Stratford-upon-Avon (CV37) residents can enjoy free entry to Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Shakespeare’s New Place during the weekend 23 and 24 April, 10am – 5pm. Simply present your proof of address at the ticket desk.

Friday 22 April 2022, 4.30pm
Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture – Shakespeare in a Changing Climate
Professor Sir Jonathan Bate CBE, Professor of Environmental Humanities (Literature), Arizona State University, presents this year’s Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture on the subject of Shakespeare in a Changing Climate.

Living through the Little Ice Age, Shakespeare knew all about what he called “rough weather.” From the Forest of Arden to the storms of King Lear and The Tempest, the elements play a major role in several of his plays. And he inherited a series of ancient beliefs about the relationship between climate and national character, geographic origin and human behaviour. How, then, does Shakespeare speak to our own age of climate crisis? Co-hosted by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, this year’s lecture will take place online. Tickets £10.

Book Signing:
On Friday 22 April, Professor Sir Jonathan Bate will be signing copies of his new memoir Mad About Shakespeare: From Classroom to Theatre to Emergency Room in the Shakespeare Bookshop, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon from 2.30- 3pm. Signed copies of the book will also be available to order online from shop.shakespeare.org.uk.

Saturday 23 April 2022
Musical performance by K’antu Ensemble
Throughout the morning, K’antu Ensemble will perform an eclectic musical performance outside Shakespeare’s Birthplace on Henley Street. This versatile, intriguing and multi-talented vocal/instrumental ensemble are known for the uniqueness of their sound, combining elements of folk and world music with historically-informed techniques.

K’antu Ensemble will also deliver free interactive performances and workshops during the afternoon in the garden of Shakespeare’s New Place. Free entry for CV37 residents.

Sunday 24 April 2022
Welcombe Hills Walk – Shakespeare and Wildlife
Join a guided walk across the Welcombe Hills led by guides from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Part of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Sustainable Shakespeare programme, the walk offers an opportunity to explore Shakespeare’s connection to this landscape and the role it played as a likely source of inspiration for his works. Learn about the site’s rich history, and the current conservation efforts that seek to protect and preserve the varied wildlife and habitats of this special place.

The walk starts at Rowley Fields and lasts around 2hrs. Tickets cost £10 and available soon at www.shakespeare.org.uk/whatson.

Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations with the RSC

Saturday 23 April

Join the RSC for free activities and performances to celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday.

  • Join actors and members of the creative team for Unwrapped in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
    (10.15-11.15am, tickets £5 – £8, Suitable for ages 12 years up, book online here.)
  • A free performance of Out of the Deep Blue, by Autin Dance Theatre featuring a 13-foot-tall puppet (4-4.30pm, no booking required)
  • Room for the Soul, an art installation in the RSC’s new Dell Forest Garden. (12-3.30pm, next to the Holy Trinity Church, no booking required)
  • See the final two parts of Henry VI trilogy, Henry VI: Rebellion (1.15pm) and Wars of the Roses (7.15pm)
  • Be part of the live audience for an edition of the popular podcast, The Guilty Feminist on Sunday 24 April. (Tickets from £12.50, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Sunday 24 April 2022, 7:30pm, book tickets here.)

Some roads in Stratford-upon-Avon will be closed from 8am to 12.30pm – please allow extra time for your journey.

Shakespeare Birthday Lunch 2022 with the RSC

Saturday 23 April, 2022

Pragnell is delighted to have the honour of organising Shakespeare’s 458th Birthday Lunch.

Hosted by actor and presenter Alexander Armstrong, attendees will enjoy a three-course luncheon, accompanied by fine wine and the event will feature performances from the Royal Shakespeare Company, a newly commissioned spoken word piece, along with special guests.

The Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award, which will be given at the luncheon, celebrates individuals who have significantly furthered society’s understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the Bard’s work. The illustrious roster of winners includes Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh.

For more information, please contact ShakespeareBirthdayLuncheon@Pragnell.co.uk

Tickets for the lunch can be booked here.

Road Closures in Stratford-upon-Avon, 23rd and 24th April

Saturday 23rd April

Roads in Stratford-upon-Avon will be closed from 7am to 1.30pm on Saturday 23rd April – please allow extra time for your journey.

The roads which are subject to the Road Closures are as follows:

  • Bridge Street
  • Waterside
  • Sheep Street
  • Union Street
  • High Street
  • Chapel Street
  • Church Street
  • Old Town
  • Southern Lane
  • Wood Street
  • Henley Street
  • Meer Street
  • Chestnut Walk

The road closures are designed to keep traffic away from the main parade route, but individual street closures will be lifted as soon as possible after the Parade has passed.

Sunday 24th April

Waterside will be closed on Sunday 24 April for the regular up market

The following roads will be closed between 10:00am and 1:00pm to allow the Civic procession to march safely from the Town Hall to and from Holy Trinity Church:

  • Sheep Street
  • Chapel Street
  • Church Street
  • Old Town
  • High Street

Other roads leading into the parade route may be affected for a short time, but disruption will be kept to a minimum.  The most likely roads to be affected are:

  • Chapel Lane
  • Chestnut Walk
  • Bull Street
  • College Street
  • Southern Lane
  • Scholars Lane
  • Ely Street

All affected roads throughout Stratford town centre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will re-open as soon as possible, and when safe to do so; During the early part of the morning of Sunday 24 April, much of the town centre will be closed to accommodate those running in the Shakespeare Rotary Marathon.

 

Have an eggs-cellent Easter in Shakespeare’s England

Spring has arrived and there’s a long bank holiday weekend to look forward to!  Whether you are travelling with family, friends, or seeking a romantic escape this Easter, there is something in Shakespeare’s England for you to enjoy.

What’s on in Shakespeare’s England this Easter?

You can eggs-pect Easter trails, guided tours, historic houses, delicious seasonal menus, breakfast with the Easter Bunny and much more!

Use this helpful guide to help you decide what to do and where to stay when you visit Shakespeare’s England this Easter (for eggs-tra fun, count how many egg-related puns we have managed to squeeze in!)

Easter Family Fun

Visit the brand-new Zog Playland at Warwick Castle! Whizz down the zip wire and slides, wriggle your fingers in the sand pit, embark on a Golden Star quest and meet everyone’s favourite dragon. Plus, the biggest bird of prey show is back and lots more family entertainment too. Visit the Warwick Castle website for information on how to book.

Embark on an Easter Adventure Quest at Kenilworth Castle (2-24 April). Families can eggs-plore the historic site for clues and challenges, discover traditional Easter games like egg rolling and the egg and spoon race and track down the Easter eggs to win a chocolate treat and an adventurer’s certificate. Find more details here.

children hunting for Easter eggs in front of a Mini car

It wouldn’t be Easter without an egg hunt, and if you visit the British Motor Museum over the Easter weekend (15-18 April)  you will find an egg hunt with a bit of a Mini twist! Collect the eggs around the museum to claim your reward!

From 9-24 April, the British Motor Museum is also hosting a ‘Mini Madness’ event with a ‘Road Map’ family trail, a family tour with the museum’s own Mini factory costumed characters and you can even design your very own Mini with air-drying clay!  For information on all of their Easter holiday activities click here.

Compton Verney has a cracking programme of Easter holiday activities. Play detective on the Easter Trail that roams inside the galleries and around the stunning parkland, or book the kids onto one of the unique all-day holiday camps which include an Adventure Art Camp (12 April) and a four day Animation Camp (19-22 April, 9.30am-4pm).

Visit Shakespeare this Easter

On 23 April, Shakespeare’s England will celebrate the birthday of the world-renowned playwright William Shakespeare, and in the run up to this over the Easter break, there are plenty of places to visit and learn more about Shakespeare’s life in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace will be open seven days a week this Easter with an introductory exhibition, Famous Beyond Words, which shines a spotlight on Shakespeare’s early life in the town as costumed guides show visitors around the house. Book here.

At Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Gardens – marvel at some of the original features and furniture of the 500-year-old Hathaway family home where Shakespeare courted his bride-to-be, and wander around the pretty spring gardens. Booking is recommended here.

At Shakespeare’s New Place, you can walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps and be inspired at the site that was his grand family home from 1597 – 1616. Explore the beautifully restored gardens and sculptures inspired by Shakespeare’s family life and works. The House Next Door exhibition brings to life the story of the building and the personal life of Shakespeare himself. Book your visit here.

Young people writing with quills in a traditional school room

Even though you are on a break from the school run, we recommend a visit to Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall where you can sit in the 600-year-old building where a young Shakespeare would have been taught and experience a lesson by a Tudor schoolmaster. Families can try their hand at quill writing, dress up in Tudor clothing, and enjoy some traditional games.  The schoolroom is open daily throughout the holidays, and there will be a special Easter challenge from 15-18 April. Pick up the Schoolroom’s newly launched Family Trail that will take you around Stratford, picking key highlights from Shakespeare’s childhood. Find more information here.

If you prefer a guided walking tour, why not book onto a two-hour family-friendly tour with Stratford Town Walk?  It starts at 11am from Sunday to Friday, and 11am or 2pm on Saturdays.  The tour takes in all of Stratford’s well-known sites with fascinating stories of Shakespeare’s life through fire, flood and plague!  (Advance booking is necessary on 07855760377).

Easter Activities for Art Lovers

Why not unleash your creative side with a host of art-based activities in Shakespeare’s England over the Easter holidays?

The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry have three family-friendly arts workshops to choose from. You are the Art – Living Sculptures (9-23 April) is a drop-in workshop where children can transform themselves into colourful living sculptures and walk along the runway in extravagant junk modelled outfits, using recyclable materials, and make textured art pieces to take home.  Make a collaborative costume art piece with globally renowned artist Daniel Lismore and have your work displayed at the Herbert at the Art Masterclass: Living Sculptures (14 April) or bring your ideas to life through cross stitching at the Art Masterclass: Cross Stitch & Textile Art (21 April).

You are never too young to get creative, and at the Lunt Roman Fort, Baginton, near Coventry, your little ones can learn about the ancient artform of mosaic making this Easter!  They will be able to create an artwork, which will become part of a giant 4-metre-long frieze within the museum’s permanent collection.

Easter Inspired Food and Drink

Calling all G&T lovers!  Join the first River Avon Gin Tasting Cruise of the year on Easter Saturday  (16 April). A 60-minute cruise on the beautiful River Avon through Stratford-upon-Avon taking in riverside sights including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church. Enjoy a tutored tasting of the eggs-quisite craft gins produced by Shakespeare Distillery – finish with a souvenir glass of Gin & Tonic – perfect! Book your tickets here.

At the Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon, indulge in delicious fish dishes for a traditional Good Friday Supper (15 April), or bring family and friends for a eggs-cellent Easter Sunday Lunch on 17 April, with an Easter egg for the whole party. Book here.

Would you like to have breakfast with the Easter Bunny? At Fairytale Farm over the Bank holiday weekend, you and your little ones can enjoy a freshly cooked breakfast with a VIP visit from the Easter Bunny which includes an Easter tale and a chocolate egg! (Places are limited, book here)  Throughout the holidays you can also visit to play Easter Egg Bingo, try your hand at some Easter-themed crafts, and enjoy a cuddle with some super-cute real-life rabbits and guinea pigs!

Where to stay in Shakespeare’s England this Easter

Mallory Court Hotel front view

With so much to see and do in Shakespeare’s England this Easter, it makes sense to extend your visit, and there is a whole host of eggs-traordinary places to stay with hotels, spa escapes, family-run guest houses, self-catered accommodation, or glamping sites to choose from.

Award-winning historic country house hotel, Mallory Court Hotel and Spa in Leamington Spa, has an Easter Escape offering four nights for the price of three on a Bed & Breakfast basis. Or ideal for visiting friends or family is their Simple Stay offer.  Stay in a standard room in the Knight’s Suite, which includes an overnight stay, Nespresso machine and continental breakfast.

Enjoy a family Easter getaway at Coombe Abbey Hotel (including bed and breakfast in a family room, child-friendly menu in the Garden Room Restaurant, Coombe choc box and Coombe crowns).

Why not eggs-tend your Easter weekend at The Arden Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon? Their Extend the Weekend offer is available for Sunday and Monday night stays and includes an overnight stay with B&B, a complimentary room upgrade, and a bottle of house wine in your room on arrival! (Available over the Easter bank holiday).

You can browse for accommodation in Shakespeare’s England here.

Plan your Easter visit to Shakespeare’s England

There is so much happening in Shakespeare’s England this Easter that it is impossible to include everything in one place!  Visit our Events and Festivals calendar for even more events, and make sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates.  You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and make sure to subscribe to our mailing list for updates.

Have an eggs-citing time in Shakespeare’s England this Easter!  Don’t forget to your share your photos with us on social media with #MyShakespearesEngland.

Plan your bumper February half term in South Warwickshire

Whatever their interest, you’ll find plenty of fun activities for the whole family at places across South Warwickshire this February half term.

If you’re looking for fast lane fun…

  • It’s all about Formula 1 fun at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon from February 19 – 27 with a host of exciting racing-themed activities from designing a Lego Formula 1 car to build and race to taking part in a live Science show learning the secret science of speed.
  • Coventry Transport Museum is championing diversity with a new interactive family-friendly exhibition, Women in Motorsport, as part of Coventry City of Culture. A range of motorsport companies, individuals, organisations and heritage partners have come together to celebrate the aspirational achievements and historical perspectives on motor racing, as well as current developments such as grass-roots and pro-racing.
Coventry Transport Museum

Get Arty…

  • The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum is running a range of half term art masterclasses, workshops and drop-in sessions for children and young people of all ages. Try some cartoon weaving, sensory play or see the latest exhibitions.
  • Rugby Museum & Art Gallery have a free ‘I Spy’ hunt running through the holiday as well as some play sessions for a small fee. Join Sensory Splat, Open Play or a Sculptures themed session. There’s also a special relaxed session planned.

Experience live theatre…

  • A new futuristic production of Shakespeare’s witty romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing is running throughout half term at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Starring Michael Balogun and Akiya Henry as Benedick and Beatrice, it features music by Nigerian-born British guitarist and MOBO award-nominated musician Femi Temowo whose past collaborators include Amy Winehouse and The Roots. Directed by Roy Alexander Weise, joint artistic director of Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, the set has been designed by the award-winning Jemima Robinson with costumes by Melissa Simon-Hartman, who has designed for Beyoncé and Notting Hill Carnival.
  • Belgrade Theatre, Coventry have lots of different productions to see from David Walliam’s Billionaire Boy, to afternoon tea followed by a screening of The Lion King in the brand-new Screen Room. Older teens aged 14+ should head to B2 for Kerbs, the debut play from Michael Southan exploring taboos around sex, romance and disability (Feb 26 – March 2), and there’s a new adaptation of Dan Brown’s international best-seller The Da Vinci Code (Feb 22 – 26).

 

Got closer to nature…

  • Anyone who visits the Stratford Butterfly Farm this half term from Feb 19 – 27 will receive a complimentary marble heart to either keep or give to a loved one. In return the Farm asks visitors make a green action promise to help protect the environment.
  • Compton Verney have a range of workshops including Wild Wednesday!

Adventures through time:

  • An Explorer Quest runs at Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden from Feb 19 – 27 whereby families can roam around the grounds to find games and activities inspired by Queen Elizabeth, soldiers, and servants.
  • Heritage and Culture Warwickshire will have their resident Anglo-Saxon warrior answering questions, are hosting an exciting Escape Room experience and are calling on Arty Tots to get creative.
  • History is unleashed as a two-week Festival of Archery returns to Warwick Castle this half term. The castle’s resident archers will unleash a host of exhilarating performance for visitors, providing epic displays of talent as they tackle a range of trials before going head-to-head in a very special tournament. Guests can crown their visit with an overnight stay at one of Warwick Castle’s medieval lodges in the Knight’s Village.

Something a bit different

  • Magic Alley have a Magical Fairytale Trail running. You’ll enter a fantasy world of knights and princesses, unicorns and dragons. This event is based on a fairytale written specifically for this event. There will be puzzles and riddles to solve and things to find as well as activities such as having a sword fight (soft swords obviously)! It’s recommended age 6 but over 4s are welcome – little ones just might need extra help with the reading elements.
  • Enjoy a family day out or half term break staying in one of the family-friendly rooms at Coombe Abbey Hotel, combining a visit to Go Ape. Within the grounds there’s also the brand-new 50s-inspired Sundae Club dessert diner for a waffle, ice-cream or milkshake.
  • This half term, Go Cotswolds will be running their best-selling and family-friendly Cotswolds in a Day tours on  19,  23 and 26 Feb for anyone wishing to explore the towns, villages and hidden gems of his beautiful region. Highlights for children include running wild and spotting the sheep at Dover’s Hill, the excellent playground in Chipping Campden, and pretending to be giants at Bourton-on-the-Water’s model village (most adults secretly enjoy this too!). Reduced tickets are available as part of the National Lottery Days Out scheme, with £25 off bookings.
  • Spectacle of Light at Compton Verney (Feb 11 – March 6) will be available to book for half term. The landscaped park and woodland will be transformed by night-time light installations to music, creating a magical illuminated trail under the stars.

Phew! That’s quite a lot but we’ve even more on our events page.

Have a fantastic half term and do share your photos with us on social media with #MyShakespearesEngland.