It’s probably stretching it a bit if I describe myself as a massive Shakespeare fan. But, I do like quoting the Bard from time to time so a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon; his hometown was an opportunity I couldn’t miss.
Before we set off I was a tad concerned about accessibility in Stratford-upon-Avon because it’s an old town; in fact, a very old town with a history dating back to 1196.
After spending a couple of days there, I needn’t have worried because it’s surprisingly easy to get around in a wheelchair. If anything; it’s by far the most wheelchair friendly town we’ve visited.
So, without further ado here’s what we got up to in Stratford-upon-Avon
We were invited by Travelodge to review one of their accessible rooms. Their Stratford-upon-Avon hotel has been given a makeover and is very close to the town centre so we were happy to oblige!
If you’re looking for a comfortable, convenient and affordable place to stay in Stratford-upon-Avon the Travelodge is a good option. Read our review here
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
No trip to Stratford-upon-Avon would be complete without visiting the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. We were lucky enough to see Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”. If you haven’t seen it yet I’d recommend it although the production moves to London soon so you better be quick.
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre was extensively refurbished and reopened in 2010. Whilst keeping many original features of the Grade II listed building the Royal Shakespeare Company have made it a truly accessible experience – read our review: Royal Shakespeare Theatre
As I said in my introduction I was a bit worried about getting around an old town. In reality, the town centre is very accessible; as are all the main touristy areas and attractions.
There are dropped kerbs everywhere including on the cobbled streets; talking about cobbles they’re mainly flat as well which was fantastic!
When we attended the theatre and went exploring in the town we parked outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. There is a handful of disabled parking spaces but they fill up fast; especially when the show is on!
I noticed plenty of disabled parking spaces around the town. From what I could see, disabled parking is free as long as you display your blue badge and clock but do check first.
This is an opportune moment to introduce you to an invaluable guide and map from Accessible Stratford-upon-Avon, the guide has been put together by Elizabeth Dixon who’s a disability advisor. You can download the guide here
You can also get access information from the Visit Stratford-upon-Avon website or in the visitor centre which is conveniently located at Bridge Foot which is close to the theatre and shopping area.
We didn’t use any public transport but the buses I saw all had wheelchair ramp access. And, to be honest if you’re spending the day in and around the town centre you won’t need a bus because it’s all fairly compact.
We didn’t encounter any access issues as we wandered around and we got to see all of this:
Holy Trinity Church
I’ll be writing a whole post about Holy Trinity Church so here’s a few photos to wet your appetite!
Tudor Buildings in Stratford-upon-Avon
There’s simply too many buildings to show here so here’s the highlights. If you would like more information about William Shakespeare the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is a fantastic resource.
These photos don’t even come close to how stunning these buildings are. You can literally feel the history when you stand next to them and nothing I can say does them justice; you really need to see them!
The Canal Basin
After a cream tea, it was time to bimble down to the canal basin. If you need a rest this is the place to take it …
Without being rude, the whole town is a tourist attraction. It’s chocolate box gorgeous; everywhere you look there’s something of interest, if you sit for a moment you’re transported back in time, it’s like walking through a film set.
I’m definitely not a romantic but I fell in love with the place. At one point, I announced to Bridget “if we win the lottery we’re moving to Stratford-upon–Avon”.
Clearly access for all is high on the town’s agenda. The town council and everyone who’s had an input into making it accessible should be congratulated and thanked for their efforts; so – thank you from The Bimblers.
I’m not mentioning any names but we’ve abandoned visits in other old towns because it was too stressful. Not Stratford-upon-Avon, it was a pleasure to spend a couple of days there.
If you want a truly magical, mysterious and surreal experience; visit Stratford-upon-Avon you won’t regret or forget it!
If you enjoyed our visit to Stratford upon Avon, you might also enjoy Wheelchair Friendly Destinations