Today I went on a school trip with my English class to visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace and 2 other houses linked with Shakespeare’s family, in Stratford upon Avon. I was kinda dreading this day, for other reasons other than it being educational, but it actually ended up being a pretty good day!
The first house we visited was Shakespeare’s birthplace but to get to the house, you had to walk through Stratford’s town. Well… whilst walking through the town, I happened to get rather distracted by this shop that sold everything to do with Christmas and ended up being behind the others, making my teacher stop to tell me to hurry up. She actually said: “I knew someone would get distracted by the Christmas shop” but I mean, come on, who wouldn’t?!
|LOOK HOW PRETTY IT IS!!!|
After being dragged away from the Christmas shop, we entered Shakespeare’s Birthplace. It wasn’t the most amazing thing I have saw, because let’s face it, a house can’t be that interesting. However, it was pretty cool to see what it was like to grow up in the 1500s and how the houses actually looked back then. The floorboards were very crooked and the windows very fragile but it was a pretty cool experience. We then went outside in the courtyard at the back, losing everybody else in the process, and watched the performance which was ongoing. It was really good to hear random pieces of Shakespeare’s work being performed and to get a feel of the Elizabethan days.
|Outside Shakespeare’s Birthplace|
|The bed where Shakespeare was actually born!|
|A picture of the actors performing parts of Shakespeare’s works.|
We then went on to visit the second house of the day: Nash’s House and New Place. This was where Shakespeare’s granddaughter Elizabeth and her husband Thomas Nash lived. This house was quite small with only two bedrooms but it did have a dressing up area where I placed it upon myself to go try one of the crowns on and feel like royalty. It was pretty damn awesome. It also had the most breathtaking gardens out the back with beautiful flowers and mulberry trees. There was also a big white tent situated on the grass which you could hire for weddings etc and I thought how beautiful it would be to have your wedding there. Hopeless romantic here :’)
|One of the bedrooms.|
|Feeling like royalty. “How do you do, peasants” 😉|
After visiting house number 2, we were allowed to have nearly 2 hours of free time to explore the town. My ‘friends’ went to Mcdonalds, and I tagged along, casually eating my ham sandwich. When we got to Mcdonalds, I needed the toilet and had a rather weird encounter. Standing outside the toilet door was this girl so I thought there was only one toilet and stood to queue. After waiting 10 minutes, a girl from my class walked out and the girl in front walked in. I then stood there for an extra 10 minutes and when the girl in front walked out, wearing quite a big smile on her face, I happened to go in and find that there were 4 toilets and not bloody one!! I was quite angry as I was absolutely bursting for the toilet but I did have to stifle a giggle at how stupid I actually was for not checking it out in the first place.
Then we went to visit the sweet shop which was really old and cute! I bought some mint chocolate chip fudge and some rhubarb sweet things. We all wanted to then get an ice cream because we saw them earlier on and got quite excited. I had a mint chocolate chip ice cream and it was absolutely beautiful! I guess you could say I have had a thing for mint chocolate chip today!
|Had to take a picture with my ice cream, it was so gooood!|
After being the last ones to arrive at the meeting spot, (we got a little carried away), we went to visit the final house of the day: Hall’s Croft. This house was lived in by Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her husband, Dr John Hall. It was the wealthiest house of all and really spacious and big compared to the other two. It was fascinating to learn that back in those days, the most expensive thing of the house was the windows and when you moved house, you took your windows with you! As soon as the lady from the talk said that, all I could picture was a little old man dressed in a cloak walking away from the house holding a window, it was kinda funny: in my head that is.
Whilst heading towards the mini bus to take us back home, we took a detour around by the canal. On the way towards the canal, we happened to see 2 churches on the other side of the road and walking on the path were the smallest, cutest little children ever! They were all wearing matching outfits, straw bonnets, holding hands and they were in age order, going from the smallest to the oldest. I have never ever seen anything so cute. My teacher cried as she found it that cute! Haha.
The canal was really nice and beautiful, and I even saw a barge with my mom’s name on it! Many people stopped off to get another ice cream because they loved the first, I did not by the way, and then we headed back to the leisure center where the mini bus was waiting.
I had an amazing day and I don’t know why I did even dread it. It was great to have a day off school to visit such a beautiful place and to feel part of the Elizabethan world for a change. I feel like I know a lot more about Shakespeare and his life now and would definitely go back!