Trip: Stratford-Upon-Avon

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Take a trip to Warwickshire, the heart of Shakespeare country. Based at the Shakespeare Hotel in Chapel Street, explore many places associated with the great playwright in and around the town and the surrounding countryside.

On the way to Stratford, lunch at Shugborough, the ancestral home of the Earls of Lichfield, with a tour of the house and  time afterwards to visit the "living museum"; a fascinating glimpse of daily life over 100 years ago.

The next day take tours of Shakespeare's birthplace and Anne Hathaway's cottage, led by a Blue Badge guide, and spend the afternoon at Charlecote.

The following day continue guided visits of Shakespeare's houses, ending the morning at Mary Arden's farm at Wilmcote. In the afternoon visit Compton Verney, the award winning art gallery south of Stratford. Set in 120 acres of parkland, the restored mansion houses both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions.

On the final day visit Chillington Hall, an interesting family house rebuilt in the eighteenth century, which has been home of the Gifford family since 1178.