Best things to do in Stratford Upon Avon with kids

Are you visiting Stratford Upon Avon as part of your family trip to England?  Then you’ll want to read this guide on all the best things to do in Stratford Upon Avon with kids!

Located north of the Cotswold, Stratford Upon Avon is a medieval market town in England – famously known as William Shakespeare’s birthplace.  With plenty of kids’ activities in Stratford Upon Avon, it’s a great place to visit for the day or even a few days.

Stratford Upon Avon is two hours by car from London, so you can easily make a day trip – there are plenty of tours from London you can join.  Or if you’re travelling to the Cotswolds, Stratford Upon Avon is just a few miles north of this stunning area, so it’s a perfect stop if you’re visiting the northern Cotswolds.

Whether you plan to spend the day or a few days, this things to do Stratford Upon Avon guide will help you make the most of your trip.  The guide covers all the top attractions in Stratford Upon Avon, the best places to visit in Stratford Upon Avon, and tips on things to do near Stratford Upon Avon for families.

This Stratford Upon Avon to do guide will also provide tips on how to get there from London and suggestions on the best Stratford Upon Avon family hotels.

So let’s jump straight into it and check out all the fabulous Stratford Upon Avon attractions.

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Things to do Stratford Upon Avon Map

To help you plan your trip, check out the map below, which shows the location of all the top things to see in Stratford Upon Avon as well as the places to visit near Stratford Upon Avon.

You can zoom in and out for a better view.

Best Things to do in Stratford Upon Avon with Kids

Below we list the very best things to do and things to see Stratford Upon Avon has for families. 

Please note that all prices mentioned were correct at the time of writing and are in local currency.  To check the rate in your currency, click here.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Visiting the building where one of the world’s greatest minds was born is undoubtedly one of the most popular things to do in Stratford Upon Avon. The famous playwright Shakespeare was born here in 1564 and grew up with his parents and seven siblings between these walls.

Even after Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, aged 18, they continued to live here with his parents and later their own children, so there are decades of family tales to uncover. The in-house Famous Beyond Words Exhibition brings it all to life, so you can learn the true story of William Shakespeare and imagine how his reality inspired his very famous stories. 

The exhibition includes a collection of everyday artefacts from Tudor times. To keep everyone engaged, you can experience the birthplace through interactive video guides on your phone, so it’s easily one of the most immersive Stratford Upon Avon things to do for kids.

Allow one hour to explore this attraction where Shakespeare’s story began. 

Location: Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hours: Daily 10 am to 5 pm (last entry 4:30 pm)

Price: Adults £18 | Kids (3 to 15) £9 | Family Pass (2A+3C) £44.50 I Family Pass (1A+3C) £26.50 I Kids under 3 are free – Click here to book tickets online.

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

If you’re looking for great things to do around Stratford-Upon-Avon, don’t miss Anne Hathaway’s Cottage – the charming thatched-roof farmhouse where Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway, spent her childhood. The cottage is located in Shottery village, just 1 mile from Stratford-Upon-Avon. 

Visitors can wander around the beautiful 16th-century cottage, extensive gardens and orchards while imagining a young Shakespeare courting his future wife. 

In recent years, a beautiful sculpture trail was installed on the grounds, inspired by Shakespeare’s plays. Between the stunning grounds and fascinating cottage interior – which includes original furniture from five centuries ago – Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is one of the best places to visit around Stratford-Upon Avon for the whole family. 

You could easily spend an hour exploring the cottage and gardens. There is a lovely tearoom on site if you want to spend a bit longer enjoying the quaint and historic interior. 

Location: Cottage Lane, Shottery

Hours: Daily 10 am to 5 pm (last entry 4:30 pm) | Closes for Winter 

Price: Adults £13 | Kids (3 to 15) £6.50 | Family Pass (2A+3C) £34.50 I Family Pass (1A+3C) £21.50 I Kids under 3 are free

Shakespeare New Place

A visit to Shakespeare’s New Place is definitely one of the top things to do in Stratford Upon Avon with children, especially if anyone in the family is interested in history or literature. 

The fascinating Shakespeare’s New Place is where Shakespeare lived with his family for 19 years. Although the house was demolished in 1759, there are beautifully restored gardens to explore. 

The grounds were specifically designed to commemorate the importance of this historical site and to celebrate how Shakespeare continues to live n through the many modern plays, books, and films that continue to be inspired by his work.

Look out for the specially commissioned artworks as you stroll around the site. The artists have attempted to evoke a sense of what life may have been like for Shakespeare’s family, alongside creating sculptures inspired by his now iconic plays. 

If you’re looking for historically significant Stratford Upon Avon tourist attractions, then Shakespeare New Place is well worth visiting.

Location: Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hours: Daily 10 am to 5 pm (last entry 4:30 pm) I Closes for Winter

Price: Adults £13 | Kids (3 to 15) £6.50 | Family Pass (2A+3C) £34.50 I Family Pass (1A+3C) £21.50 I Kids under 3 are free

Mary Arden’s Farm

Experiencing what it would have been like to work on a real Tudor farm is definitely one of the best things to do with kids in Stratford upon Avon

Mary Arden’s Farm is believed to be the childhood home of Mary Arden, the mother of William Shakespeare. So alongside imagining what it would be like to work on a 16th-century farm, you can also learn about the traditional lives of Shakespeare’s ancestry.

Aside from exploring the historical grounds, there are loads of immersive activities that the kids will love, from craft and falconry demonstrations to quill writing and meeting the farm animals.

The fantastic guides help bring the past to life by dressing in authentic costumes and staying in character, all while sharing their expert knowledge of Tudor history. Exploring the living quarters really feels like stepping back in time – don’t miss learning about Tudor table manners and watching the cooks prepare a typical meal over the open stove!

Visiting Mary Arden’s Farm is a wonderful option for family days out in Stratford upon Avon that will keep the kids entertained for hours – certainly one of the fun things to do in Stratford Upon Avon for kids.

Location: Station Road, Wilmcote

Hours: Open to the general public outside of school terms – check the website for updated information.

Halls Croft

One of the places of interest near Stratford upon Avon is Hall’s Croft – the beautiful Jacobean home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her husband. 

As you explore the beautifully furnished interior of Hall’s Croft, you’ll see stunning historical furniture. Look out for the impressive replica tester bed, 16th-century decorative children’s high chairs, and a 1673 Warwickshire Press Cupboard, among other interesting items. These spectacular furnishings were both functional and showed the family’s wealth and status. 

However, the gardens are among the most interesting things to see at Hall’s Croft. Susanna’s husband, John Hall, was a physician, and while exploring the walled garden, you’ll see the fragrant medicinal herbs Hall would have used to treat his patients. 

At the time, astrology or blood-letting was popular for treating patients. However, Hall specifically made his treatments and remedies from plants, herbs, animal extracts, and rocks. His case notes were published in 1657 and became a popular doctor textbook for many years. Hall was regarded as a compassionate and diligent doctor who would treat patients of all religions and classes.

Seeing these herbs for yourself – in a tranquil setting – is a really unique way for kids to learn about medicine and for us all to appreciate how much healthcare has changed over the years.

Location: Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hours: At the time of writing, this attraction was temporarily closed, so check the website for updated information.

Holy Trinity Church and Shakespeare’s Tomb

Visiting Holy Trinity Church should be on your list if you’re looking for free things to do in Stratford upon Avon.  Shakespeare was buried in the local parish church following his death in 1616. 

Famously, Shakespeare was both born and died on the 23rd of April. The famous playwright passed away on the day he turned 52. This was a grand old age in Tudor times, when the life expectancy was only 35, primarily due to the risk of illness, childbirth, and poor diets.

Visiting Shakespeare’s grave is a reflective experience, but it’s also one of the most unusual things to do in Stratford upon Avon because Shakespeare chose to write a curse on his own gravestone! Yes, you read that right! 

The playwright was afraid that relic hunters might dig up his bones due to his immense fame, so he left a curse on his gravestone to ward them away! Thankfully, it worked, and Shakespeare has rested peacefully within Holy Trinity Church since his death.

Keep in mind that Shakespeare’s Tomb is inside the church – so be sure to visit at a time the church is open.

Location: Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hours: Monday 10 am to 4 pm | Tuesday to Saturday 10 am to 5 pm | Sunday 1 pm to 3:30 pm

Price: Free

Tudor World

Tudor World is a brilliant living history museum and one of the best things to do Stratford upon Avon kids will love!

The fascinating museum is dedicated to Tudor history, the fascinating period of English history from 1485 to 1603. During the Tudor period, many of England’s most notorious monarchs reigned, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I (Henry VIII’s daughter with Anne Boleyn). As a result, the Tudor times are regarded as one of the most fun and scandalous historical periods!

Tudor World is set within a historic 16th-century building, so you’ll be immersed in the culture and history of the Tudor period from the offset. While the museum suits all ages, parents should warn young children that some exhibits include mildly frightening figures and atmospheric lighting. It’s all to add to the fun and enhance the experience of imagining what life was like, all those centuries ago!

Interactive experiences at Tudor World include touchscreen video guides, practising your best quill writing skills, sitting at a Tudor feast or becoming a king and sitting on the regal Tudor throne. If you’re brave enough, try out the Tudor smells, participate in a written witch trial, or take a turn in the stocks. 

Tudor World is one of the more fun family things to do in Stratford upon Avon; it’s a good place to give the kids a break from all that formal learning – although they’ll no doubt learn a thing or two here as well. So definitely include Tudor World on your Stratford upon Avon sightseeing list.

Location: Sheep Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hours: Daily 10:30 am – 5:30 pm

Price: Adults £7 | Kids (6 to 15) £4 | Family Pass (2A+2C) £18.50 I Kids under 6 are free

Magical Alley

If your kid’s imaginations haven’t already been sparked, then they’ll be enchanted by Magical Alley! From the moment they walk inside, children will be enraptured by the fantastic magical books, crystal balls, dragons, spells, and other curious objects packed inside.

But Magical Alley is more than a retail store; the site regularly holds interactive quests and events where local wizards magically transform the building into a performance venue. During such events, you can meet spellbinding storytellers, clairvoyants, magicians, and travelling theatre troupes.

While events require tickets, the store is one of the many cool things to do in Stratford upon Avon for free.

Location: Bell Court, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hours: Daily 10 am to 5 pm

Price: Free

Stratford Butterfly Farm

Visiting Stratford Butterfly Farm is undoubtedly one of the best Stratford upon Avon places to visit for families! This is the UK’s largest butterfly paradise, where you’ll see hundreds of magical and colourful butterflies fluttering around you.

As you weave around greenhouses, you’ll pass fish ponds, artificial waterfalls, and a unique rainforest environment. The ancient Maya civilisation inspired the tropical setting, with replica Mata artefacts scattered around the site. 

Alongside seeing hundreds of butterfly species from around the world, you’ll also see iguanas, frogs, birds, and other fascinating miniature creatures.

Allow 60 to 90 minutes to fully explore the self-guided route around the greenhouses. There is a ‘Nature-inspired’ onsite gift shop to pick up an interesting souvenir or just stop by for a chilled drink and a snack. 

Location: Swan’s Nest Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hours: Daily 10 am to 4:30 pm

Price: Adults £8.95 | Kids (3 to 16) £7.95 | Family Pass (2A+2C OR 1A+3C) £27.50 I Kids under 3 are free

The MAD Museum

One of the best Stratford upon Avon family activities you shouldn’t miss is the MAD Museum! 

Also known as the Mechanical Art and Design Museum, this is where you’ll find over 70 interactive exhibits and hands-on displays, all under one roof. The kids will be entertained for hours by all the tempting buttons, gears, handles, lights, robotics and sound effects.

The clever and imaginative museum is filled with mechanical art, especially kinetic art and automata – from beautifully crafted moving sculptures to witty robotics and entertaining puzzles! If you can remember the machines creatively used in children’s movies like Wallace and Gromit, that will give you an idea of what you’ll find here! 

Best of all, it’s a great recess from the historical museums filled with ‘do not touch’ signs. At the MAD Museum, kids (and big kids!) are encouraged to touch and interact with everything!

Aside from all the puzzles and games, it’s a wonderful way to introduce young kids to activities relating to STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) and Art and Design – without them even realising the activities are as educational as they are fun!

Visiting the MAD Museum and releasing your inner inventor is one of the most memorable children’s activities Stratford upon Avon offers and definitely worth visiting during your time here.

Allow at least an hour to explore this attraction – but you could spend hours here depending on how hands on your kids like to get.

Location: Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hours: Weekdays 10:30 am to 4:30 pm I Weekends 10:00 am to 5:30 pm

Price:  Adults £8.80 | Kids (5 to 15) £6.00 | Family Pass (2A+2C £25.00 I Kids under 6 are free

Shakespeare Distillery

While a visit to Shakespeare Distillery is more of a treat for the big kids of the family, children aged 8 to 17 are welcome to join a tour and will, of course, be given a soft drink instead of alcohol. 

Visiting Shakespeare Distillery allows visitors to take a tour around Stratford-upon-Avon’s only working distillery. You’ll learn how artisan gin is produced, distilled, bottled, labelled, and distributed while seeing how much the workers truly care for their craft.

Finally, you’ll be invited to a tutored tasting session of three award-winning spirits, followed by your choice of a refreshing gin and tonic. 

Location: Drayton Manor Drive, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hours: Wednesday to Thursday 10 am to 5 pm | Closed Mondays and Tuesdays

Price: Adults from £12.50 | Kids (8 to 17) I Children under 8 not permitted – Click here to book tickets online.

Shakespeare’s Schoolroom

Are you brave enough to test your smarts in a Tudor classroom? On this immersive tour, you’ll sit in the same schoolroom where a young Shakespeare sat as a student in 1570!  The 15th-century building was restored so visitors could learn about Shakespeare’s formative years. 

The authentic Shakespeare’s Schoolroom experience includes a Tudor lesson with Master Thomas Jenkins. Families can learn what subjects Shakespeare would have studied and have an amusing insight into how much teaching methods have changed over the past few centuries! 

Adding to the theatrics of the experience, kids will get to dress up in a Tudor costume before getting a lesson from the Tudor schoolmaster. Thankfully, his lesson will be as entertaining as it is educational and historical. You’ll also practise quill writing as you try to get into the mindset of one of the world’s greatest writers.

Visiting the historical schoolroom is one of the best things to see in Stratford upon Avon for kids and adults, especially if you’re looking for something fun to do as a family.

Location: Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hours: Daily 10 am to 5 pm 

Price: Adults from £12.50 | Kids (5 to 16) £7.50 | Family Pass (2A+2C) £33.00 I Kids under 5 are free – Click here to book tickets online.

Cruise the Avon River

What could be better than exploring all the fascinating attractions around Stratford upon Avon with a relaxing cruise along the Avon River?

Join an Avon River Cruise and relax along the river with an informative and entertaining commentary about Stratford’s history and culture. You’ll also be treated to an unrivalled view of the riverside attractions with some great hosts who want to ensure the whole family has a good time. 

If you and the kids prefer more hands-on and fun activities in Stratford upon Avon, take control of your own river journey and rent a rowing boat! While you won’t get the historical and cultural commentary, you’ll have the amusement of trying to steer your own boat – and letting the kids have a go too.

Location: River Avon, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hours: Daily

See a Shakespeare Play

If you have any young theatre lovers in the family, especially teenagers and young adults, then there’s nothing quite like watching a play in Stratford-upon-Avon. Seeing a Shakespeare play in Shakespeare’s hometown isn’t just one of the top 10 things to do in Stratford upon Avon; it’s one of the leading theatre experiences worldwide.

The RSC is one of the world’s most prestigious theatre companies and brings historical plays to life using contemporary theatre techniques and breathtaking set designs. You’ll experience the magic of Shakespearean language through some of the world’s best emerging and prestigious actors. 

Aside from Shakespeare’s plays, the theatre program also includes a lot of contemporary and family-friendly theatre – for example, the RSC premiered the critically-acclaimed Matilda the Musical in 2010 – so it’s worth checking their calendar to see what exciting shows are playing in Stratford during your visit. 

For any budding writers, performers, or creators, watching a play by the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Company is a truly transformative experience. This is one of the things to see at Stratford upon Avon that theatre lovers cannot miss.

Location: Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon

Price: Ticket prices start from £16 or register online for £10 tickets for 14-25-year-olds.

Best Things to do near Stratford Upon Avon with kids

As well as the places to visit Stratford Upon Avon has, if you have your own vehicle, there are also several places close by worth visiting.

British Motor Museum

For a colourful insight into the British motor industry, including some great kid-friendly exhibits, why not visit the British Motor Museum during your family day out in Stratford upon Avon?

The motor industry has been a vital part of the economy in the Midlands since its early days. At the museum, you won’t just learn about the cars produced, but you’ll also be inspired by the skills and creativity of the locals who designed and built them. 

You can see over 400 classic British cars in the vehicle collection, but if you’re travelling as a family, the displays are best explored by participating in one of the museum’s themed family trails. Lookout for the engaging touchscreen exhibits and the Interactive Zone, where kids (and adults!) can learn how a car works.

And if you’re still wondering what to do with kids in Stratford upon Avon, why not join one of the British Motor Museum’s costumed guided tours? With a family-friendly cafe, outdoor play area, and free parking, the museum has thought of everything to make it one of the most convenient places to go in Stratford upon Avon for the whole family. 

Location: Banbury Road, Gaydon, Warwick

Hours: Daily 10 am to 5 pm 

Price: Adults from £16 | Kids (5 to 16) £10 I  Family Pass (various options available) from £40 I Children under 5 go free – Click here to book tickets online.

Kenilworth Castle

There’s no better way to bring history to life than visiting a real castle. With so many winding pathways and small corners to explore, kids’ imaginations can run wild at Kenilworth Castle. The magnificent stronghold is undoubtedly one of the best places to go near Stratford upon Avon for curious kids who love to learn at their own pace.

Once a formidable fortress, the castle was later converted into one of the country’s most spectacular Elizabethan palaces by Robert Dudley. Dudley was a statesman and one of Queen Elizabeth I’s closest confidants, who transformed the castle to impress her. You can uncover the truth about their suspected romance while exploring the fortress and try to imagine what Elizabeth I would have been thinking about as you admire the views from her private rooms. 

Once the kids have explored the medieval keep and climbed the Tudor towers, the family can relax by strolling through the beautifully maintained Elizabethan garden. There’s also a family-friendly exhibition to learn about the fascinating sieges and scandals that took place between the towering fortress walls. 

There’s nothing better than watching the kids play-act through medieval battles and historic fairytales while exploring Kenilworth Castle – it’s definitely one of the best places to visit near Stratford upon Avon for families.

Location: Castle Green, Kenilworth

Hours: Wednesdays to Sundays, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm | Closed Mondays and Tuesdays

Price: Adults £14.20 | Kids (5 to 17) £8.50 I Family Pass (2A+3C) £36.90 I Family Pass (1A+3C) £22.70 I Children under 5 go free

Stoneleigh Abbey

Exploring the extensive grounds and woodlands at Stoneleigh Abbey is a great way to kick back and relax with the kids. Stroll along the River Avon as it winds through the grounds and explore the landscaped gardens. 

If there are any history enthusiasts in the family, you can also take a guided tour through Stoneleigh Abbey, where you can learn about the 900 years of history that live between the walls.

Location: Stoneleigh, Kenilworth

Hours: Sundays to Thursdays 11 am to 5 pm | Closed Fridays and Saturdays

Price: Adults from £7 | Kids (4 to 16) £1.50 I Children under 5 go free

Warwick Castle

Just a 15 minute drive from Stratford Upon Avon is Warwick Castle – a medieval castle built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror.  The castle has a long and varied history, serving as a royal palace, fortification, and private residence. 

There is a range of activities, tours and shows to see at the castle – so I recommend making a bit of a plan as soon as you get there so you don’t miss anything you want to do.  Don’t miss a tour of the castle which includes interactive exhibits, so you’ll learn about the people who once lived there as you go.  You can take a guided tour or wander through on your own.

Walking along the castle’s defensive walls is also a lot of fun.  The kids can use their imagination – checking for invaders, while parents can enjoy the stunning views.

There are frequent shows and demonstrations throughout the day so the kids can learn about medieval activities.  You can see birds of prey, bowman shows, watch things being catapulted far distances and live shows where actors really bring to life what once went on in the castle.

There is also a great playground on site for the young ones and a maze and cafe for lunch.

No matter how old your kids are, there really is something for everyone at Warwick Castle – it makes for a fabulous day out.

Location: Warwick Castle, Warwick, Warwickshire

Hours: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm

Price: £37 per person | Under 3s are free – click here to purchase tickets online

Hill Close Gardens

If you’re looking for the best things to see near Stratford upon Avon on a sunny day, you’ll find plenty outdoors at the Hill Close Gardens. The restored Victorian leisure gardens include sixteen charming garden plots, a Victorian-style glasshouse, and eight historic Victorian summerhouses. 

There’s also an onsite cafe with a DIY coffee machine and snacks if you want a casual tea break. 

Location: Bread and Meat Close, Warwick

Hours: Summer Daily 11 am to 5 pm | Winter – Tuesdays to Saturdays 11 am to 4 pm

Price: Adults from £5 | Kids (5 to 17) £1 I Children under 5 go free

Blenheim Palace

Another one of the places of interest near Stratford Upon Avon is Blenheim Palace.  This large country house is located in Woodstock, just a 50 minute drive from town and is an excellent attraction for families with a range of activities for the kids to enjoy.

Most famously known as being the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill, today Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was originally built in the early 18th century as a gift from Queen Anne to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, in recognition of his military victories over the French. 

The palace is set within 2,000 acres of parkland and formal gardens and is surrounded by a lake. It is considered one of the finest examples of English Baroque architecture and is known for its grand interiors and impressive art collection.

A tour of the palace is a must – kids will learn about the palace’s history and how people once lived here.  On display are photographs, letters and diary entries that provide a glimpse into a world so long ago.

Families can also take a long walk wandering through the 150 acres of formal gardens.  There are some beautiful gardens to explore, such as the Lavender Garden, the Secret Garden, the Water Terrace and most importantly for kids – the Walled Garden.  The Pleasure Garden has a Butterfly House, maze and playground.  There is a cafe here too.

Other activities include hiring a rowing boat, taking a ride on the miniature train and exploring the various special exhibitions.

Location: Woodstock OX20 1PP

Hours: Hours change for different attractions and seasons – so best to check directly

Price: Adults £43 | Child £28 (3-16) | Kids under 3 free | Family Pass (2A+2C) £98

Cotswold Farm Park

Just a 40 minute drive from Stratford Upon Avon is Cotswold Farm Park – a working farm home to various animals, including cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens.  It’s a great place to take the kids where they can learn about farm life and the animals there.

The popular family attraction was founded by farmer and television presenter Adam Henson and is known for its commitment to conservation and sustainability. The farm is home to a range of rare and endangered breeds of farm animals, which families can learn about during their visit.

The kids will love meeting the farm animals at the Animal barn and the Discovery Barn.  The Discovery Barn is home to the farm’s smallest animals, such as baby chickens, guinea pigs, piglets and more.  Grab some snacks and check out the rare breeds in the paddocks.

The Adventure Barn has a huge indoor sandpit, a soft play area, ride on toys and more.  There’s a cafe here too so the parents can also have a break.  Other play areas include the outdoor playground, the muddy kitchen and bouncy pillows.

Location: Guiting Power, Cheltenham 

Hours: Daily 9.30 am to 3 pm  – although seasonal, so best to be checked before arriving

Price: Adults £12.50 | Child £12 (4-15) | Child £7.5 (2-3) | Kids under 2 free 

Sudeley Castle

Just a 45 minute drive from Stratford Upon Avon is Sudley Castle, another fabulous attraction to take the kids to.  The castle dates back to the 10th century and offers a range of activities and attractions for families.

The Castle has a long and varied history, having served as a royal palace, a fortification, and a private residence and linked to some of the most famous English monarchs, including Edward IV, Richard III, Henry VIII, Lady Jane Grey, Katherine Parr, Elizabeth I and Charles I. 

While visiting Sudeley, a tour of the Castle is a must!  You can tour the castle’s west wing, home to several rooms and special exhibitions with a range of items of historical significance on display. 

Families are also encouraged to explore the castle’s 10 award winning gardens, including a playground for the kids.  Other interesting places to explore include St Mary’s Church, where Katherine Parr – the last wife of Henry VIII, is buried.

Location: Sudeley Castle & Gardens GL54 5LP

Hours: Daily 11 am to 4 pm from Spring to October

Price: Adults £19.50 | Child £8.75 (3-15) | Kids under 3 are free | Family Pass (2A+2C) £48 

Broadway Tower

Broadway Tower is a castle-like folly built in the 18th century as a summerhouse for the Earl of Coventry.  It is set within a large estate surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland and is just a 25 minute drive from Stratford Upon Avon.

Families visiting the tower will explore a range of historic rooms and exhibits with the help of a multi media guide.  Through stories, you’ll learn about the daily life of the people that once lived and worked at the tower.  Then, you’ll enjoy stunning views across the countryside from the top of the tower.

Also on the grounds of the Broadway Tower is a bunker, fifteen feet below the ground from the Cold War.  On certain days you can take a 45 minute guided tour into the bunker, restored to what it would have been during the 1980s.  Only children 10+ are allowed into the bunker.

There is a cafe on site for lunch and snacks too.

Location: Middle Hill, Broadway WR12 7LB

Hours: Generally daily from 10 am to 5 pm – but does change during seasons

Price: Adults £5 | Child £3 (10-14) | Kids under 10 free | Family Pass (2A+2C) £14 

Visit Bourton on the Water

Bourton on the Water is one of the most popular villages in the Cotswolds.  It is a small village known for its beautiful setting, historic buildings, and picturesque river which runs through the centre.  Just a short drive from Stow on the Wold, it is the perfect place for a day trip with the family.

Popular things to do for families include visiting the Cotswold Motor Museum, exploring the Model Village, visiting the Bird Wildlife Park, getting lost at the Dragonfly Maze and simply exploring the picturesque village.

Click here for our detailed guide on things to do in Bourton on the Water.

Visit Cirencester

An hour’s drive from Stratford Upon Avon is Cirencester, one of Cotswold’s largest market towns.  It is a beautiful town with gorgeous stone buildings and links to medieval times and the Romans.

One of the best things to do in Cirencester is to visit the Corinium Museum, where the kids can learn more about Roman ties.  The museum has a collection of artifacts and exhibits related to the history of the Cotswold region, including Roman and Iron Age objects.

Other worthwhile places to visit in Cirencester include visiting Chedworth Roman Villa – one of the most complete and well preserved Roman villas in Britain, Cirencester Park, which is home to a playground, lake and wildlife, as well as simply strolling through the Market Place seeing the historic buildings and exploring the various stores.

Click here for our detailed guide on things to do in Cirencester.

Visit Bibury

Bibury is a small village just outside Cirencester in the County of Gloucestershire. The village is considered one of the most beautiful in the Cotswold due to its row of 14th century postcard perfect cottages, famously known as Arlington Row.

While wandering around the picturesque town along the banks of the River Coln is one of the Bibury attractions in itself, other things to do Bibury offers include visiting the trout farm and enjoying a tasty lunch in an old pub, walking along the river and crossing the old footbridge.

Click here for our detailed guide on things to do in Bibury. 

Visit Tewkesbury

Tewkesbury is a medieval market town in the North of Gloucestershire.  Famous for its medieval black and white streetscape with half timbered buildings, narrow alleyways and beautifully carved doorways, most of the town lies in a conversation area and has over 350 buildings listed as having historical interest.

Thanks to its fascinating medieval history – there are some interesting things to do Tewkesbury has for families.  While getting lost exploring the alleyways is one of the Tewkesbury attractions in itself, other Tewkesbury things to do include visiting one of the several museums, visiting the Tewkesbury Abbey, taking a self guided tour to explore the town and historic buildings and shopping in the various boutiques. 

Click here for our detailed guide on things to do in Tewkesbury

Visit Upper Slaughter

Upper Slaughter is a village just a short drive north of Bourton on the Water – so close that you could even walk there – in fact, many people do.  The small village is known for its charming, traditional stone houses and narrow, winding streets, which give the village a quintessentially English feel.

People come to Upper Slaughter to visit historic landmarks, such as the 13th-century St. Peter’s Church and the Square.  You can also have a meal or afternoon tea at Lords of the Manor.

Click here for our detailed guide on things to do in Upper and Lower Slaughter. 

Visit Lower Slaughter

Lower Slaughter is between Upper Slaughter and Bourton on the Water, another gorgeous village with charming, traditional stone houses and narrow, winding streets.  Like Upper Slaughter, people tend to visit the area on foot from Bourton on the Water, given its close proximity.

The village is home to several historic landmarks, including the 18th-century Lower Slaughter Manor and the St. Mary’s Church, which dates back to the 12th century.  People also come to see Copsehill Road – considered the most romantic street in Britain.  The Old Mill Museum is worth visiting with the kids too.

Click here for our detailed guide on things to do in Upper and Lower Slaughter. 

Visit Stow on the Wold

Stow on the Wold is a market town in Gloucestershire on the top of an 800 foot hill – the highest town in the Cotswolds.  Once home to a booming wool industry, Stow on the Wold was famous for its huge annual fairs where up to 20,000 sheep were sold at any time.  

These days, people visit Stow on the Wold for its charming streetscape, old pubs, boutiques and its rumoured links to Lord of the Rings.  

Click here for our detailed guide on things to do in Stow on the Wold.

Explorer Pass

To make the most of your time exploring all the best things to do for families in Stratford upon Avon, it’s well worth getting the Shakespeare’s England Explorer Pass. You can choose a pass valid for 1, 2, or 3 days. The pass includes entry to 10 attractions, tours and museums!

There are loads of top Stratford upon Avon visitor attractions included in the pass, including Shakespeare’s Schoolroom, the Stratford Butterfly Farm, Kenilworth Castle, Stoneleigh Anney, the British Motor Museum, the MAD Museum, a River Avon cruise and more.

One advantage of the Explorer Pass is that you can save money on admission prices. You’ll also save time – skipping queueing for tickets is great when you’ve got kids in tow. 

Prices start at £39 for adults and £25 for children for the 1-day pass, up to £60 for adults and £35 for children for the 3-day pass. 

How much you save will depend on how many attractions you explore and which pass you choose. Still, a quick example is that if you got the 2-day pass and visited Kenilworth Castle and Stoneleigh Abbey on the first day and then visited Shakespeare’s Schoolroom, the Butterfly Farm, Shakespeare Distillery, and Avon Boating on the second day, you would save at least £15 per person. 

The more attractions you visit, the bigger the saving!

Click here for more information about the passes and to buy online.

How to get to Stratford Upon Avon from London

The easiest and fastest way for families to get to Stratford upon Avon from London is to take the train. Trains depart from London Marylebone every 60 minutes. The journey usually takes from 2 to 2.5 hours. While there are a few direct trains daily, most journeys require one change at either Leamington Spa, Dorridge, or Birmingham Moor Street.

For a cheaper option, you can also take a bus from Victoria Coach Station; however, these journeys last around three hours and are subject to traffic. Taking the train is more comfortable if you have any kids with travel sickness issues. 

For travellers with their own transport, driving from London to Stratford-upon-Avon is possible. However, the traffic to get out of London city by car often makes it only worth the effort if you will be continuing on a longer road trip after getting to Stratford.

All things considered, I would recommend taking the train from London to Stratford-upon-Avon if you’re travelling with the family. It’s definitely one of the best day trips from London, so you want to make sure you have time and energy to explore all the amazing things to do with children in Stratford upon Avon once you arrive.

You can also join various guided tours from London to Stratford Upon Avon, often these include stops at other popular nearby destinations.  Click here to see what’s available.

Getting Around Stratford Upon Avon

It’s possible to get around most of the main places of interest in Stratford upon Avon on foot. Most of the attractions specific to William Shakespeare are all close together, so you can easily walk around them. 

However, places to visit outside the town centre – such as Warwick Castle and Kenilworth Castle – can be reached by bus, taxi, or train. 

If you want a convenient way to get around all the best attractions around Stratford upon Avon, another option is to take a hop-on hop-off bus tour. This is a great option if you want to relax and enjoy the historic and countryside scenery between visiting all the main attractions.

Click here for more information about the hop-on hop-off bus tour and to buy online.

Best Stratford Upon Avon Family Hotels

Looking for the best hotels Stratford Upon Avon has for families?  Below, we’ve covered our top three recommendations.  These accommodation options offer great value for money and are in excellent locations for sightseeing around town.

Click here for our more detailed guide on family hotels in Stratford Upon Avon.

Guild Street Townhouse

Guild Street Townhouse is a 2-bedroom townhouse almost in the city centre – just a couple of hundred metres away. It is also directly across the road from Shakespeare’s Birthplace museum; you can actually see it from the windows – so you can be first in line when it opens.

The two bedrooms are on the top floor of this 2-storey townhouse. One bedroom has a double bed for the adults and the other has two single beds, so the kids don’t need to share. 

The fully equipped kitchen comes with all the essential appliances to prepare meals for the entire family and there is a small dining table to eat simple meals. 

There is free Wi-Fi provided at the townhouse, although there is no parking provided.

Click here for more information and to check the current price.

The Queens Head

There’s nothing like staying in the UK above a pub – and that’s what The Queens Head has to offer. A family room in the centre of town above a pub – but don’t worry, it closes by 9 pm most days (if not earlier), so it won’t get too noisy late into the night.

The rooms are simple and come with a double bed and a sofa bed to accommodate families of up to 4. Whilst the room has no kitchen facilities, you are above the restaurant, which serves sandwiches at lunch and a Mexican feast for dinner – at reasonable prices. Alternatively, the Queen’s Head is in the centre of town – so you have loads of eateries at your doorstep.

This affordable accommodation also includes free parking and free Wi-Fi.

Click here for more information and to check the current price

Avonbank Apartment

The Avonbank Apartment is in a residential area, around a 500 metre walk into town. Being a residential area – there’s little on your doorstep – but a short walk and you’re in the centre of town with all the attractions, cafes and shops.

The 2-bedroom apartment is comfortable and spacious, sleeping families of 4 with a double bed in each room. 

The apartment has a kitchen featuring an oven, stovetop, microwave, fridge, toaster, kettle and dishwasher. There is a lovely large dining area with a good-sized table to share family meals and the lounge area is of a decent size too.  Also included is a washing machine.

One of the major drawcards of Avonbank Apartment is the large outdoor communal garden. You can enjoy the grassed area with seating on a sunny day – let the littlies run around and burn off some energy whilst adults enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

On the downside – the apartment is located up a couple of flights of stairs – like many places throughout the Cotswold – so keep this in mind if stairs are an issue for your family.

Click here for more information and to check the current price.


Hopefully you found this guide to things to do in Stratford Upon Avon helpful. Other great guides which you may also find helpful include things to do in London with kids and the best London hotels for families

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