Stratford-upon-Avon and the Heart of England: Places to Explore


  • Bewdley

    In Bewdley, an exceptionally attractive Severn Valley town, tall, narrow-front Georgian buildings cluster around the river bridge. You can take a scenic train or boat ride from here to appreciate the rural... Read more

  • Birmingham

    Though not the U.K.’s most visually appealing city—thanks to decline of heavy industry, bombing during World War II and some drab civic architecture in the decades afterwards—21st-century Birmingham is... Read more

  • Chester

    Cheshire's thriving center is Chester, a city similar in some ways to Shrewsbury, though it has many more black-and-white half-timber buildings (some built in Georgian and Victorian times), and its medieval... Read more

  • Coventry

    Coventry, which thrived in medieval times as a center for the cloth and dyeing industries, is where, according to lore, a naked Lady Godiva allegedly rode through the streets in the 11th century to protest... Read more

  • Great Malvern

    Great Malvern feels a bit like a seaside resort, though instead of the ocean your eyes plunge into an expanse of green meadows rolling away into the Vale of Evesham. Off the A449, this attractive Victorian... Read more

  • Henley-in-Arden

    A brief drive out of Stratford will take you under the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal aqueduct to pretty Henley-in-Arden, whose wide main street is an architectural pageant of many periods. This area was once... Read more

  • Hereford

    Before 1066 Hereford was the capital of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia and, earlier still, the site of Roman, Celtic, and Iron Age settlements. Today people come primarily to see the massive Norman... Read more

  • Ironbridge Gorge

    The River Severn and its tree-cloaked banks make an attractive backdrop to this cluster of villages; within a mile of the graceful span of the world's first iron bridge are a cluster of fascinating museums... Read more

  • Kenilworth Castle

  • Ledbury

    Among the black-and-white half-timber buildings that make up the market town of Ledbury, take special note of two late-16th-century ones: the Feathers Hotel and the Talbot Inn. The cobbled Church Lane... Read more

  • Ludlow

    Medieval, Georgian, and Victorian buildings jostle for attention in pretty Ludlow, which has a finer display of black-and-white half-timber buildings than even Shrewsbury. Dominating the center is the... Read more

  • Much Wenlock

    Much Wenlock, a town on A458, is full of half-timber buildings, including a 16th-century guildhall. Nearby are popular places to walk; ask the tourist office for information. The town has held the Wenlock... Read more

  • Ross-on-Wye

    Perched high above the River Wye in the Malvern Hills, Ross-on-Wye seems oblivious to modern-day intrusions and remains at heart a small market town. Its steep streets come alive on Thursday and Saturday—market... Read more

  • Shrewsbury

    One of England's most important medieval towns, Shrewsbury (pronounced shrose-bury), the county seat of Shropshire, lies within a great horseshoe loop of the Severn. It has numerous 16th-century half-timber... Read more

  • Stratford-upon-Avon

    Even under the weight of busloads of visitors, Stratford, on the banks of the slow-flowing River Avon, has somehow hung on to much of its ancient character and can, on a good day, still feel like an English... Read more

  • Warwick

    Most famous for Warwick Castle—that vision out of the feudal ages—the town of Warwick (pronounced war-ick) is an interesting architectural mix of Georgian redbrick and Elizabethan half-timbering.... Read more