500 Words – On This Day

I know.. two posts in a week! What the hell!? I decided to bring out the old #500words post idea to share a photo from this day in 2017 when I was on a road trip around England.

Where: Stratford-upon-Avon

When: 15th February 2017

“This above all: to thine own self be true”: So .. I love Shakespeare. He will always appear on my list of people dead or alive that I want to have dinner with. I think I just want to know what he was really like. I mean his plays are so vast and full of wit, love and drama – not to mention the completely gory Titus Andronicus. But my favourite play hands down would be Hamlet. I have seen this play live about 4 times as well as filmed performances but it was the Kenneth Branagh’s 1996 movie that made me fall in love with this play and especially the character of Hamlet himself.

“To be, or not to be: that is the question”: I had been planning to visit Stratford-upon-Avon pretty much as soon as started planning trips to England (long before I actually got there) but it was my road trip around England in February 2017 that afforded me a real opportunity of actually getting there. I was making my way up from London to York and was staying in the Cotswolds for a few days, in the tiny wee town of Todenham right at the top of the Cotswolds AONB. Stratford was literally 25 minutes up the road so there was no excuse not to make that one of my excursions.

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”: You know how sometimes you build a place up in your mind so much and when you actually visit it is kind of a letdown? Yeah that kind of happened to me with Stratford. I really, really wanted to like this place and I don’t know if it was because the weather was crap, there were a number of people around or it just wasn’t what I expected but the town really did not impact on me like I thought it would. There are a lot of historic buildings but the town is also very modern and I think I wasn’t really expecting that at all. I ended up leaving after only about an hour and didn’t even visit William Shakespeare’s birth place. I got back in the car and headed further north to Warwick where I visit a church my great, great aunt had also visited in the late 1930’s and that had more impact on me than Stratford-upon-Avon did.

“Words, Words, Words”: So my final thoughts on Stratford-upon-Avon are that I am glad I visited though I am not sure I feel the need to visit again. Maybe one day will see me back in that area – it is a really lovely area of England to explore, but for now I can tick off my bucket list that I visited the town made famous by some historic dude called William Shakespeare.

Have you been?
Did you have a better/worse/same experience than me?

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