Anytime I travel, I always like to visit friends if at all possible. I’m happy to go out of my way to have a coffee or lunch date with someone from my past even if we don’t talk all the time. On my trip to St. Louis a few months back, I ended up hanging out with a friend from college for a few days and had a wonderful time. When we decided to visit London for the holidays, I immediately reached out to a friend from grad school who up and married an Englishman a few years ago and I hadn’t seen her since! She’s an avid cook and baker, so luckily we’ve had enough to keep our conversation going over the past few years. As it turned out, her mom was expected at the same time we were, so it ended up being quite a day when we took a day trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon from London…
We easily caught a train from Marylebone station (also a tube stop) on the Chiltern Railways line. We had to switch trains (so easy) at Leamington Spa and the trip took a little over two hours. London was an absolute delight but after managing all the crowds out for the holidays, escaping the city was a welcome retreat for us all. We met up with my friend and her mom and began wandering around old-town Stratford-Upon-Avon (about a 5 minute walk from the station).
Though the city is most known for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, we didn’t do much “Shakespearing.” Besides the cute gift shop (photo above) where I bought a thimble to add to my collection, we largely missed out on the touristy stuff. You can catch a play at the famous Royal Shakespeare Company, however, to really get the full Stratford-Upon-Avon experience if you so desire.
There are tons of shops and restaurants to meander through – on the main roads and down side alleys. You can also walk along the River Avon where they rent boats that were reminiscent of the boats in Chocolat. Oh, Johnny Depp! Supposedly you can take the boats all the way to London, but I prefer the train trip! The town is actually a great area to walk around, so I wanted to share all the cuteness. If you have time, I highly recommend taking a day trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon from London!