The Olympics are nearly over but if you’re looking for a chance to escape the last minute rush or indeed just to get out of the city after the craziness that has been the last few weeks then we suggest heading to Stratford Upon Avon.
Just under two hours outside of London (leaving from Marylebone) Startford Upon Avon is the perfect visiting place for anyone who wants to get out of London but doesn’t want to have to travel for hours and hours just to feel like they’re getting a break from the Big Smoke.
The city is of course best known as being the home of none other than Shakespeare but it also has mile and miles of green space, a beautiful river, several riverside pubs, some amazing restaurants and bars as well as several theatres that you can enjoy on your day. Here's what you need to know...
What to stay: There are plenty of hotels and B&B's around but we suggest The Legacy Falcon a 16th century residence complete with half-timbering and a quaint Tudor feel with modern bedrooms and communal areas. This hotel has everything you'll need to make your stay an enjoyable one from open fire places for relaxing in front of with a glass of red wine or an ale to a beautiful courtyard garden and award winning restaurant. It's also in the heart of town so you're right next to everything you could ever wish to visit.
What to do: There's several pass times around Stratford but we suggest taking the hop on, hop off City Bus Tour as it's by far the quickest and easiest way of seeing everything the city has to offer in a short time. All five of Shakespeares houses are worth a visit in particular Mary Arden's Farm, a real working Tudor farm complete with falconry displays, a petting zoo, horses, goats, pigs and several other types of animal. What's more when you buy a ticket to all five houses you make a pretty big saving and tickets are valid for up to 12 months so you can return any time. Aside from the houses there's also the Stratford armories, a butterfly farm and a beautiful park to explore which regularly plays hosts to markets and music and theatre events.
Where to eat and drink: We recommend Marlowe's which claims to offer the finest food and cellar in the area. Situated in the heart of town it's the perfect spot for a bite of dinner in traditional Tudor surroundings. We suggest trying the rib eye steak which is really, really good. As for drinking there are loads of reasonably priced and very cosy pubs in the area as well as some more up market and trendy bars such as No.7, and Hole in the Wall.
For more information head over to the tourist information website which has loads of tips and tricks and places to visit in the area.