Heritage and History

Warwickshire is steeped in rich history that is waiting to be explored. Where tales of literary legends, secret royal romances, and jousting knights combine to paint a fascinating picture of Warwickshire's past.

The Life & Times of William Shakespeare

This is Shakespeare’s England, the birthplace and home of playwright William Shakespeare and his family. A walk through the town of Stratford-upon-Avon will take you from his Birthplace, via his former schoolroom, past New Place - the site of his final home in the town, to his grave at the Holy Trinity Church. This route is a pilgrimage for Shakespeare lovers across the globe. Join Stratford Town Walk for one of their public guided walks every day of the year to hear fascinating tales of the life and times of the playwright, as well as an insight into what life would have been like in an Elizabethan market town.  

On the outskirts of Stratford-upon-Avon experience the charms of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife tucked away in a peaceful corner of the village of Shottery. Built over 500 years ago, much of the original cottage survives including pieces of family furniture. 

Historic Tales & Medieval Castles

Stretching back into life before Shakespeare’s times is the majestic Kenilworth Castle whose walls hold the tales of more than 900 years of fascinating events including epic sieges, battles for power, and royal love stories. Learn about the real-life romance between Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and Queen Elizabeth I, take in the views from the Queen’s private quarters and stroll through the quaint Elizabethan Garden which was created in her honour.

In the historic town of Warwick, the story of Robert Dudley continues. Visit his tomb in the Beauchamp Chapel at St Mary’s Church in the centre of the town. The church itself dates back to 1123 and is one of the largest in England. Wander through the ancient streets of Warwick built in the shadow of Warwick Castle, and feel yourself transported through centuries of history.

At the heart of Warwick stands its magnificent castle with over 1000 years of history between its walls, that is waiting to be unleashed. Climb the majestic Guys Tower and take in magnificent views across Warwick. Explore the State Rooms which have played host to many special guests, including royalty and chronicle the castle’s history from the 16th century up to 1978.

Uncover 700 years of power, propaganda and partying at Coventry’s St Mary’s Guildhall in the heart of Coventry's historic cathedral quarter. As one of the only remaining mediaeval buildings in the city it is an undiscovered gem at the heart of the modern city centre.

Legendary British Heritage

Visit the birthplace of Rugby in the town that also bears its name to see the hallowed turf of Rugby School where William Webb Ellis first took a ball and ran with it. Head to the Rugby Art Gallery & Museum to learn the history of the game and how it has evolved since its conception.

Take a journey back through British motoring history at the British Motor Museum. Home to the world’s largest collection of British cars, the museum is packed with nostalgia and insights into the UK’s unique manufacturing heritage. There are activities all around the museum that are geared towards all ages, and you are almost guaranteed to spot a much-loved car during your visit. 

Discover heritage and history in Shakespeare’s England. Use our Things to Do listings to start planning your visit today.

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