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Stratford-Upon-Avon Day Trip

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In this post, we will explain some of the best reasons to take a day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to see historic landmarks and locations related to the beloved playwright William Shakespeare.

We will also cover information about how to get here from London, including travel by train, coach and organized bus tour.

 

 

Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.

OVERVIEW

While there are a lot of great reasons to visit this town, the main reason that people come here is to see where William Shakespeare once lived. 

Not only is this the site of his birth, but this is also where you will find the famous playwright’s grave. 

In addition to all of the attractions related to Shakespeare, there are also several notable sites tied to other historical figures.

 

 

Here are a handful of spots you might want to visit in Stratford-upon-Avon:

  • Shakespeare’s Birthplace
  • Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
  • Shakespeare’s New Place
  • Royal Shakespeare Theatre
  • Holy Trinity Church
  • Mary Arden’s Farm
  • Old Thatch Tavern
  • Butterfly Farm
  • MAD Museum
  • Hall’s Croft
  • And more!

There are also several fun activities available in this town, including ghost tours, hop-on-hop-off bus tours, bike tours and more.

Many of the sites and services listed above are included at a discount with the Shakespeare’s England Explorer Pass.

 


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ORGANIZED BUS TOURS TO STRATFORD-UPON-AVON

There aren’t many organized day trips from London which specifically focus on Stratford.

On the contrary, a majority of the bus tours which include this popular location also provide additional stops at sites such as Oxford, Cotswolds, Stonehenge, and Bath.

 


This photo of The Shakespeare Centre is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 

Believe it or not, day trips with multiple destinations could actually be cheaper than going on an organized bus tour to Stratford-upon-Avon alone.

If that type of outing sounds preferable, please make sure to read our section devoted to multiple destination tours which include Stratford.

That being said, there are a few tour companies that provide a day trip to only Stratford-upon-Avon, and we will cover them in this section.


Rabbie’s Small Group Tours

This option is about the same price as either a self-guided trip or the cheapest multiple-destination organized bus tour, but it focuses specifically on Stratford and not other locations.

 

 

The day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon will include stops at landmarks such as Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, as well as the location of Shakespeare’s birth and burial site.

Ticket prices depend on when they are purchased. You will save the most money if you get them at least 3 months ahead of time.

If you purchase tickets the week or month of the trip, they will be at their most expensive.

  • Tickets (3+ Months in Advance): £55/Adults | £52/Kids
  • Tickets (Week/Month of Excursion): £75/Adults | £72/Kids
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Availability:  Mon, Wed, Fri & Sun
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Golden Tours

If you’re looking to experience a bit more than just a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, there is also an organized bus tour that includes admission to sites such as Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and a free lunch.

 

 

This opportunity also includes a free lunch and photo stops at Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury and the Cotswolds.

Although tickets are a bit more expensive, they may be worth it if you want to experience more of the town.

 


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MULTIPLE DESTINATION ORGANIZED BUS TOURS

A majority of Stratford-upon-Avon day trips from London include additional stops at some of the more popular locations along the way.

These outings typically feature attractions, landmarks, and towns such as the following:

  • Warwick Castle
  • Stonehenge
  • Cotswolds
  • Oxford
  • Bath

Most of these Stratford day trips are anywhere from 10-12 hours on average, but some of them can actually take several days due to the added locations and activities.

Since these outings can take a lot more time, they are best suited for visitors who will be spending a lot of time in London.

 

 

The only problem with this option is that tour companies might spend less time in Stratford-upon-Avon when they’re trying to cover additional stops and landmarks on the same day trip. 

It’s also worth noting that these organized bus tours typically cost at least £80-£100, but there are ways to save money on this activity by using a London tourist pass.

Using one of these services, you could save over 50% on your outing, making it one of the most affordable ways to enjoy a day trip to Stratford.

Make sure to read our discounts section for more details about this opportunity.

For other multiple destination bus tours, check this list of Stratford-upon-Avon day trips.

 


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SELF-GUIDED STRATFORD-UPON-AVON DAY TRIP

There are a lot of interesting things to see and do in this historic town, but an organized bus tour will follow a very strict itinerary. 

Although those services usually give customers some free time, there’s nothing quite like setting your own schedule and exploring the area at your own pace.

If you want to take a self-guided trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, there are several ways to get there either by car, train, or coach. Each option will take about 2-3 hours from London.

TIP: If you need somewhere to store your larger bags in London while on your day trip, there are convenient storage options.

When you purchase your tickets at least a few weeks in advance, train and coach tickets could cost as little as £12-£15 with return.

 

 

One of the advantages to an organized bus tour is that they also cover charges at some popular locations in Stratford. 

If you’re planning to visit landmarks such as Shakespeare’s birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage or Warwick Castle, you may want to consider getting a tourist pass to save some money.

At £30 for a 1-day pass, it could cost less than £50 total to visit Stratford-upon-Avon and see all of the major sites on a self-guided trip. Needless to say, this is a great option for anyone working with a budget.

Please read our discount section for more details about this opportunity.

 


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STRATFORD-UPON-AVON DAY TRIP DISCOUNTS

There are a few different discount opportunities to discuss when it comes to Stratford day trips.

This section will cover two different types of tourist pass and how you can use them to save money on your outing.

We will also provide information about additional deals that may be worth considering.


iVenture Card

While most tourist passes focus primarily on attractions in London, this service is the only one that includes a day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon.

This is just one of several activities included on the iVenture Card, which is a flex pass that allows you to pay one flat price for 3, 5, 7 or 10 different attractions.

 

 

Although you’ll save the most money per attraction by getting a 10-ticket pass, even the 3-ticket option may be worth it just for this activity.

Here’s an explanation of how much money you could save with the iVenture Card:

  • 3 Attraction Flexi Pass: £69/Adults | £59/Children
  • Price per attraction: £24/Adults | £20.67/Children
  • Stratford Day Trip Price: £79/Adults | £71/Children

As you can see, even if you only use your pass for this one activity, you’ll still save a few pounds on the day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon.

 

London iVenture Card

 

That said, there are several additional attractions you can add to this pass such as the Tower of London, London Zoo, HMS Belfast and more.

Here’s an example itinerary to show just how much money you could save:

3 Attraction Adult Flexi Pass | £69

  • Stratford-upon-Avon Day Trip: £79 value
  • Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour: £34 value
  • View from the Shard: £30.95 value
  • Total Pass Value: £143.95
  • Savings: £74.95 (52% off)

If we’re being honest, the day trips included with this pass are definitely the most valuable service they provide. Everything else they offer is valued at between £15-£30 per ticket.

Unless you’re planning to use the iVenture Card for an organized bus tour to Stratford-upon-Avon or another popular day trip destination, we recommend going with a different tourist pass.

For more details about this and other discount services, make sure to read our post covering London tourist passes.


Shakespeare’s England Explorer Pass

If you choose to take a self-guided day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, you may want to consider getting this tourist pass to save a few pounds on some of the most popular activities in town.

 

Shakespeare's England Explorer Pass

 

This service includes access to 17 notable locations for 1, 2, or 3 consecutive days at one flat price.

As long as you plan to use the pass for at least 5-6 different attractions, you should be able to save some money.

Here are just a few of the attractions you can visit with the Shakespeare’s England Explorer Pass:

  • Shakespeare’s Birthplace
  • Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
  • Shakespeare’s New Place
  • Mary Arden’s Farm
  • Hill Close Garden
  • Warwick Castle
  • Avon Boating
  • Hall’s Croft
  • And more!

Admission to most of these locations is already very affordable, but depending on which activities you choose, you could save up to 45% off regular prices.

Here are the pass options you can choose from:

1-Day Pass: £39/Adults | £25/Children

2-Day Pass: £50/Adults | £30/Children

3-Day Pass: £60/Adults | £35/Children

Ultimately, it won’t make sense to purchase this pass if you take an organized bus tour to Stratford, because your time in this historic town will be based upon the itinerary of your chosen tour company.

Some organized day trips also include admission to one or more of these locations, so you may not even need to use this service.

With that being said, anyone who wants to take their time and explore Stratford-upon-Avon at their own pace could benefit from using Shakespeare’s England Explorer Pass to save some money.


Discount Sites

Aside from tourist passes, this is one of the best ways to save money on day trips to Stratford-upon-Avon and/or attractions in the area.

There are several discount sites such as Groupon and Discount London which frequently offer deals on both organized bus tours and various tours/activities in Stratford.

In addition to the discounts they offer to begin with, they also provide coupon codes every now and then which could help you save another 10% - 20% off a variety of local activities.

Make sure to check for banners with coupons at the top and bottom of both sites before making a purchase!

 


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About The Author

Margaret

An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries.
Updated: October 12th, 2021
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