Join our Stratford-upon-Avon tours and begin a journey of stunning scenery and historic cities. This small-group tour starts explores some of England's finest sights and the first stop is the historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare.
William Shakespeare, the world's most famous playwright, is one of the most studied and quoted writers in history. Born in Stratford he moved to London where he became known in the theatre, showcasing his writing ability which includes plays such as Macbeth, Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet. He is known as one of the greatest writers in history, so join our Stratford-upon-Avon tours to find out more about this remarkable man...
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon on the 23rd April 1564...probably. With no official records there's no way to be certain the exact date Shakespeare was born. However, we do know he was baptised on the 26th April, and in the 16th century, a baptism would take place two or three days after birth. It is logical to associate the 23rd April as the birthdate of Shakespeare, and this is also an important date in England: St George's day.
The son of John Shakespeare, a glove-maker, and Mary Arden, a farmers daughter, William Shakespeare had two older sisters and three younger brothers. He grew up in Stratford and attended the local grammar school, where he studied a variety of subjects. At the age of 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway and six months later their daughter Susanna was born. Only two years later they had twins, but sadly their son Hamnet died aged 11.
For seven years following the birth of the twins, we do not know where William Shakespeare went, or what he did. This period now known as the 'Lost Years', saw Shakespeare re-appear only in 1592 in London. It's thought he'd been working in London's theatre disctrict for several years and is highly likely that he was already embarking on a career that would make him one of the most famous writers of all time.
It is thought that William Shakespeare started his work in the theatre as an actor, but with theatres closing due to plague, wrote poetry to make an income. In the 1590's he became a partner in the successful theatre group the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later the King's Men, a company that went on to build the Globe Theatre. By this point Shakespeare was already an established playwright, and his reputation only growing.
By the late 1590's he had already written numerous plays, but throughout his life, the style and tone of his works certainly changed, from his early histories, to comedies to tragedies and later to tragi-comedies. He is responsible for some of the most famous plays ever written, and was uniqley able to capture the range of human emotions. He retired to Stratford a wealthy man, but at the age of 52 he became ill and passed away on 23rd April 1616.
In total, William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets and 38 plays. He is estimated to have contributed over 2,000 words to the English language and his works are among the most quoted in the world. Theories exist that suggest Shakespeare was not behind the works he is now famous for. However, amongst most scholars there is little doubt that a man called William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon is one of the greatest writers in history.
If you would like to discover the story of Shakespeare, why not join us on our small-group Stratford-upon-Avon tours. Our five-day adventures include the services of our professional Tour Leaders who are experts on the all of the places you'll visit, full transportation and four-nights accommodation. Tours start and finish in central London.
Find out more about our Stratford-upon-Avon tours and start your adventure now!