2016 provides a truly inimitable opportunity to visit the heart of Shakespeare country and there’s no better place to base your playwright pilgrimage than from the comfort of the Mercure Stratford Upon Avon to soak in the atmosphere of the playwright’s hometown.
Offering guests a charming Tudor style interior complete with log fires, low beams and creaking floorboards, step back in time to old world elegance and revel in Shakespeare’s birthplace during a momentous anniversary year.
With 78 individually named guest rooms delivering an appealing combination of old and new design, each room is fully fitted with satellite TV and Wi-Fi throughout alongside warm colour schemes, wooden beams and plush upholstery. Choose between double, twin and Junior Suite room categories – the latter furnished with an impressive four-poster bed for a traditional finish.
After a full day taking in the sights and attractions of Shakespeare’s heritage, guests can indulge in a spot of culinary delight at the hotel’s resident Marco’s New York Italian restaurant. Enjoy a selection of fresh pastas, steaks, ribs, seafood, burgers and handmade pizzas before raising a toast to Britain’s most famous playwright at the hotel’s Quill Bar, offering a wide selection of beverages to suit all occasions.
No commemoration visit would be complete with out a checklist of Stratford Upon Avon’s well-known Shakespeare hotspots and the Stratford Upon Avon Hotel has all bases covered thanks to Mercure’s Local Secrets initiative. Working with Blue Badge Tourist Guides to encourage guests to stay like locals with insider knowledge on the best spots across the UK, each Mercure hotel has identified some of the most interesting, historical and entertaining attractions for guests to make the most of.
With staff on hand to educate guests about the hotel’s Local Secrets, key activities, cultural and historical sites of interest to Shakespeare enthusiasts on offer from the doorstep of the Mercure Stratford Upon Avon Hotel include:
Town Hall: In 1769 David Garrick, the most famous and glamorous actor-manager of his day, was invited to raise money to fund a statue of William Shakespeare. He had ambitious plans for play performances and social events but the event was quite literally washed away. However Stratford did get its statue – almost unnoticed over the entrance of the Town Hall.
Great Garden of New Place: This lovely peaceful oasis is hidden away behind high hedges. It has a spring flower bank herbaceous borders and statues relating to Shakespeare’s plays. Usually unmentioned in the guidebooks is the fact that the ashes of the great 20th century actress Peggy Ashcroft were scattered under the historic mulberry tree in the centre, after her death in 1992.
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage: The cottage is a personal reminder of the Hathaway family and has a delightful cottage garden in front. Often visitors don’t have time to explore the natural landscape around the cottage, where children are fascinated by a talking tree and a willow cave, and where adults can enjoy sculptures by young British and American artists scattered through woodland.
Gower Memorial: A popular statue group is that of William Shakespeare on a plinth overlooking the canal basin and the theatre. He is surrounded by four figures which represent the themes of his plays – tragedy, comedy, history and philosophy. The guidebooks don’t tell you, but if you enjoy your visit to Stratford and rub Falstaff’s (comedy) stomach while making a wish, you will return one day.
Room start from £75 on a bed only basis.