There was one thing clear in my mind when we were planning our trip to London. There was no way that I would go there and not go to Shakespeare’s house at Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford University. After a little research, we did find a day tour that would take us to Warwick Castle, Stratford-upon-Avon, Cotswolds, and Oxfordshire.
We set out in the morning around 7.30 am to the designated spot for our all-day bus tour. Our first stop, a bit of a drive away, was Warwick Castle in the countryside of Warwickshire. The more said about European palaces and castles, the less it will be. It is a medieval castle and the splendor of it is something that can only be experienced in person. We did not take a guided tour of the palace, instead we preferred to walk around at our leisure and see/read our way through the castle. (A part of Warwick was also getting ready for a wedding!)
After Warwick Castle, our next stop was Stratford-upon-Avon! I was SO excited for this part of my day where I would be able to go and see William Shakespeare’s house! I’ve grown up reading his plays (they were a major part of our high school English curriculum) and I still love seeing Shakespeare’s plays. Visiting the home of the greatest playwright in the world was unreal for a literature lover like me! It is a house built in the 16th century and has been restored for the public. It has a lovely tour that takes you through each room. You get to see Shakespeare’s father’s leather workshop, beds, clothes, dining space, and household objects. The little town of Stratford-upon-Avon was delightful to say the least! But I was so engrossed in Shakespeare’s house itself that I spent most of my time there. Outside the house, in the courtyard, actors would enact scenes from his plays and were also taking requests from visitors who wished to hear something specific.
The last stop for the day was Oxford at Oxfordshire. We drove through the countryside of Cotswold and our bus tour guide had us entertained in his sarcastic sense of humor and narration. Upon reaching Oxford, we walked around a bit in the University town. It was December so the buildings were closed but our guide took us to in and around the entire place showing us the main buildings, the Bodleian library, narrating stories (one was of the ‘Christmas Truce’), the Sheldonian, and the different colleges (including Trinity College). This place was even more important for me to see and experience since some of my family members attended Oxford. It made me so proud!
The architecture of this place has to be one of my favorites! I could spend hours, days, and weeks walking around on the cobbled roads and solely experiencing Oxford.
The tour ended at 6 pm sharp when we got dropped off near our hotel (almost!) and we had the rest of the evening to ourselves. Our London food experience will be on a whole other post altogether. But let’s just say, with the kind of day we just had, our hearts were full to the brim!