Built on land owned by the Shirley family since the 12th century, this Victorian Gothic mansion is a soothing retreat for theatergoers who don't want to cope with Stratford's crowds. Opt for the main house if you like four-poster beds and antiques, or the modern wing if you prefer contemporary elegance. The oak-paneled restaurant offers extremely good Modern British cuisine. For a break, take tea or a whisky in antiques-filled public rooms, play a game of tennis, or take
a bike ride through the 40-acre grounds, which contain the ruins of a 12th-century church. The hotel is 6 miles south of town.