A Half Day Tour of Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)

During our February Half Term trip to Cornwall, we stopped off at Stratford-Upon-Avon overnight to break the journey up. I was keen to visit the town on a budget as wanted to save the majority of our cash for our trip to Cornwall.

A Quick Guide to Visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)




We arrived in Stratford-Upon-Avon at around 3pm and spent late afternoon and evening here. It's a super compact town which is very easy to walk around and somewhere I'd love to return for a short break so we can see more of what's on offer.

Where we stayed 

A Quick Guide to Visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)  - Premier Inn Waterways
Premier Inn Waterways 

We stayed in Premier Inn Waterways (affiliate link) which is just outside of the town centre by the canal. There is limited parking on site (£4) or you can park at the station car park behind the hotel for £3.

This hotel turned out to be a bit of a gem and I'd highly recommend. It was clean with friendly staff and just a 5 minute (easy) stroll into the town centre. We paid just over £50 for our room but if you're lucky, they sometimes have rooms for as little as £29.

I'm not a fan of Premier Inn breakfasts and think they've really gone downhill in the past few years. The hotel is next door to a nice McDonalds which has a small children's indoor play area too. Breakfast for the 5 of us here set us back about £18 and I'd definitely recommend visiting here instead of booking a Premier Inn breakfast. We slept really well and for those who like lazy mornings, there's a late checkout of 12noon.

A self-guided Shakespeare walking tour 

I would love to spend a full weekend in Stratford-Upon-Avon and this is something we'll definitely do soon. I think next time we'll buy a Shakespeare pass which grants you access to the main Shakespeare sites. As time and ££ was limited during this trip though, we decided to take a self-guided walking tour around the town and enjoyed spotting Shakespeare's birthplace, grave and various statues dedicated to some of the best Shakespeare characters. The kids were only half interested but as the walk was short (and flat) they didn't moan too much. Steve and I loved it.

A Quick Guide to Visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)  - Shakespeare's birthplace
Shakespeare's Birthplace
A Quick Guide to Visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)  - Shakespeare statue
Shakespeare statue 



A Quick Guide to Visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)  - Lady Macbeth
Lady Macbeth 

A Quick Guide to Visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)  - hamlet statue
Hamlet 

The canal and park 

Stratford-Upon-Avon is a beautiful place to walk around. The Tudor-style buildings are lovely to look at and the walk along the canal is beautiful. There are bridges to cross, canal boat shops/cafes to pop your head inside and swans to greet. We stumbled upon a lovely little park (known as Recreation Ground) which is home to a playground, sports pitches, paddling pool, mini golf and outdoor gym. We loved it here and spent a good half hour playing. You can also visit the Royal Shakespeare Company for free and take a guided tour or take part in a family trail. We didn't have time to do this on this occasion and only admired from afar but a visit will be at the top of our list next time.

A Quick Guide to Visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)  - canal boats

A Quick Guide to Visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)  - canal walk

A Quick Guide to Visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)  - RSC theatre

A Quick Guide to Visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)  - recreation park


Where to eat on a budget 

I really struggled with trying to find somewhere to eat on a budget. Stratford-Upon-Avon has an upmarket feel and there are lots of lovely restaurants. In the end, we just opted for Bella Italia as it had fab reviews and they were running a kids eat free offer so it was the cheapest option. Bella Italia is our go-to chain when we need something that's cheap and cheerful that the kids will love. The branch in Stratford-Upon-Avon is right in the town centre and just a short 10-minute walk from the recreation park in one direction and Premier Inn Waterways in the other. They have fab activity packs for kids (and wine for the grown-ups) and as much as I sometimes hate myself for visiting chains, Bella Italia is super convenient and we like it so why not?

Looking for other mini break ideas with kids? Check out the following posts:

I would 100% recommend a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon with kids. It's a lovely town to potter around and it can be experienced on a budget too. It's also an ideal place to break up the drive from Newcastle to Cornwall. Let me know if you've visited/fancy a trip. 

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A Quick Guide to Visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon with Kids (on a budget)








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8 comments

  1. I used to visit Startford upon Avon quite a lot when I lived in Norwich, it was only a few hours drive away and if I was at a lose end on a weekend I'd drive there just for a little adventure. I absolutely love the buildings and the Shakespeare houses give me goosebumps! Next time you go you must go and see a play, it's THE best place to see a Shakespeare - I've seen a modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet which was just incredible and was lucky enough to see David Tennant do Hamlet too! Amazing!

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    1. We really want to see a play here. The one that was showing when we were there wasn't one I think the kids would sit through but there is always next time x

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  2. Monika van den Brink12 March 2019 at 19:19

    Stratford upon Avon is a great destination with kids. As you say, it's filled with history.
    I love how is the northern gateway to the Cotswolds. If you look, there are some cool pubs around, though I'd probably choose one a little out of town.

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    1. We absolutely loved it. Can't wait to return and hopefully spend a little longer here x

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  3. It's useful to know about the park, and I know what you mean about the restaurants - they're all pretty swish. When we were in Stratford we went to Shakespeare's Birthplace, which was a surprising hit with the kids.

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    1. Next time we visit we're definitely going to stay for longer and explore some of the bigger sites x

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  4. Loved this! We are planning on a visit to Stratford on our summer road trip x

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    1. Fabulous - can't wait to see what you get up to x

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