Shakespeare Country in 2013: what’s going on?

Date Posted: 13/12/2012

Mary Arden's Farm Shakespeare Country - Ideal for Group Travel Trips

Pictured: Mary Arden's Farm will be marking its 500th anniversary with activities reflecting everyday life and celebrations in Tudor times.

With a wealth of heritage, theatre, arts, festivals and glorious gardens, there’s much for groups to experience in Shakespeare Country in 2013.

Take in a world renowned play by the Royal Shakespeare Company, enjoy the famous Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations, experience beautiful and historic gardens and take part in exciting new tours that bring to life the magic of Shakespeare Country, covering Warwickshire and the Cotswolds.

Summer season at the RSC

The summer season at the Royal Shakespeare Company builds on the legacy of the World Shakespeare Festival and the RSC's winter programme in Stratford-upon-Avon, which examines the rest of the world in Shakespeare's lifetime.

Throughout the year, enjoy performances of Hamlet which runs from the 14th March to 28th  September, and As You Like It playing from 12th April to 28th September, both at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Titus Andronicus runs from 16th May to 26th October at the Swan Theatre.

Group theatre-goers can take advantage of discounted ticket prices and a range of group packages.

Milestone anniversary year for the Shakespeare Houses

The Shakespeare Houses will host a number of exciting new events and exhibitions in 2013, in celebration of this milestone anniversary year.

A new exhibition entitled Trust Treasures will take place in the Shakespeare Room from April, displaying a selection of rare and precious items from the Trust's library and archive – reportedly the world's largest Shakespeare-related collection.

Hall's Croft will be celebrating its 400th birthday with group events throughout the year, while Mary Arden's Farm will be marking its 500th anniversary with activities reflecting everyday life and celebrations in Tudor times.

Additional festivals in Stratford range from Twelfth Night revels in January, through to the annual Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations in April, poetry, literary, music and river festivals in the summer and harvest-themed events in autumn. Plus the second annual Shakespeare Film Festival will take place in October.

A group trip to Shakespeare's Birthplace.

Pictured: Plan a group trip to Shakespeare's Birthplace. (Photo credit: Amy Murrell).

Gardener’s world

For the first time next year, Hill Close Gardens will open every day to provide more flexibility for group travel organisers. From Monday to Friday visitors can access all 16 hedged gardens and their summerhouses from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

The cafe and visitor centre will also be open on Friday and Sunday afternoons and all day on Saturdays. Special snowdrop openings are being arranged from the 4th to 22nd February during the week with guided tours on request. 

Ragley Hall will be celebrating the seasonal transformation of its beautiful gardens with a Walk and Talk series starting at the end of January.

Wander the gardens at your leisure and enjoy a presentation by the head gardener with a forum for gardening Questions & Answers.

Guided tours for groups

The Falstaff Experience Tudor World is launching two exciting new tours in 2013.

Bard on the Busses will take in the historic sights of Stratford-upon-Avon including Shakespeare's Birthplace, The Three Tunns Tavern (Shakespeare’s old local), Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Halls Croft, Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Mary Arden's Farm.

If your groups are more interested in spooky happenings then join Buster's Spooky Tour, a family-friendly ghost tour of the museum guided by renowned ghost hunter Dr. G. Buster.

For literary groups, Stoneleigh Abbey will be offering special Jane Austen Tours followed by afternoon tea in the Orangery Tea Room overlooking the river Avon from Easter.

The Abbey will also be launching a new Ladies Tour which will look at women's lives at the Abbey from the 1500s to the 1800s, covering topics such as marriage, divorce, childbirth, interests and rights.

Warwickshire Tapestry Festival

As part of the year-long Warwickshire Tapestry Festival, groups can join in a host of events taking place to celebrate the return of the newly-conserved Sheldon Tapestry to the the Warwickshire Museum.

No Hold's Bard tour at the Falstaff Experience Tudor World.

Pictured: The Falstaff Experience Tudor World will be hosting new 'No Holds Bard' group tours next year.

The Sheldon Tapestry Map of Warwickshire was woven in the 1590s and was one of a set of four tapestry maps made to hang in Ralph Sheldon's house in south Warwickshire.

This rare and wonderful pictorial representation of Elizabethan Warwickshire has recently returned to the Warwickshire Museum following extensive conservation and a display in the British Museum's exhibition Shakespeare: Staging the World.

Motoring heritage for special-interest groups

The Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon will be celebrating its 20th birthday in 2013.

Home to what is reportedly the world's largest collection of historic British vehicles, the Heritage Motor Centre is planning a host of special anniversary events.

Highlights are set include a centenary exhibition on ‘Morris the Man’ - the founder of the Morris Car factory in 1913; the Aston Martin - 100 years of Craftsmanship exhibition, plus birthday celebrations throughout May.

Vehicle show events will include the UK Slot Car Festival on 12th May and the Gaydon Mini Show on 7th July.

Groups of motoring enthusiasts can also enjoy Stratford’s very first Festival of Motoring. The Stratford Festival of Motoring will be held on paved areas throughout the town centre and will be free to the public.

In its first year, the number of vehicle entries is being limited to around 150 cars, including up to 30 Supercars plus Microcars and a great array of vintage and classic vehicles and vintage motorcycles.

Useful contact:

Shakespeare Country:
0871-978 0800

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