2016 is a very special year for England’s most famous playwright, William Shakespeare. On 23rd April 2016, we will mark not only the Bard’s 452nd birthday, but also the 400th anniversary of his death and as you might expect, there are many plans in place to ensure that this special celebration goes off with a bang! If you haven’t yet been, 2016 is a fantastic year to make the literary pilgrimage to Stratford-upon-Avon to join in the festivities. Below, you’ll find just some of the special events, new openings and fascinating exhibitions that you can visit in Stratford upon Avon this year to celebrate the legacy of William Shakespeare.
Annual birthday celebrations
Every year, the streets of Stratford upon Avon are filled with crowds as Shakespeare-lovers from all over the world travel to celebrate his birthday on 23rd April. An extra special celebration is planned for 2016 with a grand Birthday Procession, street entertainers, theatre workshops and a Birthday Lunch.
Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall
Opening this month after major restoration work, Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall is a new insight into the life and education of William Shakespeare. This fun and interactive visitor experience will allow you to discover more about the place where Shakespeare went to school- the place where he was inspired to become a playwright.
‘Shakespeare’s Stratford Friends’ at Shakespeare’s Birthplace
New for 2016, the new material for Shakespeare’s Stratford Friends will be on show at the Famous Beyond Words exhibition at his Birthplace. Shakespeare’s Stratford Friends will explore the man behind the playwright; focusing on his circle of family and friends, introducing him as a father, son, husband and grandfather, as well as exploring his social life in Stratford upon Avon.
Shakespeare’s New Place
Scheduled to open later this year, New Place was the family home of William Shakespeare for the last 19 years of his life. This unique experience is the only heritage attraction in Stratford upon Avon which will allow you to walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps at the peak of his literary success. New Place will shed light on Shakespeare as a family man with an abundance artefacts relating to his life here on display, many of which have never been displayed before.
Royal Shakespeare Company
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2016 season will include productions of Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cymbeline and King Lear, amongst others. Their new exhibition, The Play’s The Thing, will also open in June 2016 at The Swan Theatre. Aiming to celebrate the magic of Shakespeare and the theatre, visitors can discover the secrets and stories from 100 years of the RSC with props, costumes, set designs, digital interactives and activities to get involved in.
From 23rd April until 30th October, the Royal Shakespeare Company will be running a self-guided tour for families around Stratford upon Avon called Shakespeare Steps. Follow the route to find clues that work as instructions for acting out a series of miniature plays. Discover fun facts, background stories and join in the treasure hunt challenge as you visit some of Stratford upon Avon’s best known attractions.
Book a cottage break in Stratford upon Avon
Sykes Cottages have a wide range of beautiful self-catering cottages in Stratford upon Avon for you to choose from. To browse our collection of cottages in the area please visit our website or alternatively, give our friendly reservations specialists a call on 01244 356695 and they’ll be delighted to help you plan your holiday.