A half-timber house typical of its time, the playwright's birthplace is a much-visited shrine that has been altered and restored since he lived here. Passing through the modern visitor center, you are immersed in the world of Shakespeare through an exhibition that displays the First Folio, deeds to his properties, what is thought to be his signet ring, busts, and other memorabilia. The house itself is across the garden from the visitor center. Colorful wall decorations and the furnishings reflect comfortable, middle-class Elizabethan domestic life. Shakespeare's father, John, a glove maker and wool dealer, purchased the house; a reconstructed workshop shows the tools of the glover's trade. Mark Twain and Charles Dickens were both pilgrims here, and you can see the signatures of Thomas Carlyle and Walter Scott scratched into Shakespeare's windowpanes. In the garden, actors present excerpts from the plays. There's also a café and bookshop on the grounds.
Henley St., Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6QW, England