Eager not to spend a nice Saturday alone in London, I boarded a train to Stratford upon Avon in Warwickshire, a town most famed for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, arguably the world’s greatest English writer. Being no literature buff, the main appeal of the town is lost on me. Outside of a few lines in “Hamlet”, and (roughly) the main story of “Romeo & Juliet”, I don’t really know much about the writer, nor did I have any strong urge to change that.
But I guess that’s the whole point with travelling- to learn more.
While it remains as a quintessential quaint English town, it is clear tourism drives the heartbeat. The main attractions, despite being quite expensive, felt forced. Marked as the “William Shakespeare’s trial”, visitors are ushered to the many residences of the writer (including his wife’s, grand daughter’s, and his final burial ground in the church) without shedding much light about his works, or in fact, anything about the writer at all. There was even an active archaeological for visit, but not enough to sustain my interest for too long.
The ‘quaint’ part of the town is slightly more interesting. The town is built upon the river Avon (thus its name), which it shares with many other in the Warwickshire region. There isn’t anything terribly exciting, but the walk along the river was quite delightful.
I went away not knowing anything more about Shakespeare, but I guess it beats doing nothing in a pleasant Saturday in London.