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Alternative Things to do in Stratford That Are Not About Shakespeare
When searching for things to do in Stratford, it is difficult to find things that aren’t to do with Shakespeare.
We have come up with two things to do that don’t mention the great man and one thing to do that is part of the Shakespeare story, but has only been open a few months and if you don’t live in the town you may not be aware of it. There are also three Treasure Trails around Stratford upon Avon to try as well.
Our favourite fun attraction in Stratford is the MAD Museum. Whilst it is billed as a museum, it's more like a fun factory with a whole variety of working exhibits. MAD stands for Mechanical Art and Design and it is the only specialist attraction of its kind in the UK - quite a claim to fame.
With over 60 pieces of kinetic art and automata, the museum has buttons to press, handles to turn, lights, colour and weird sounds for the kids to muck about on. It has gorgeous handcrafted pieces of imaginative art to admire for the grownups. In a town renowned for its Shakespearean links, it's great fun to find something else to enjoy there. We loved it and the friends we recommended went to it did too. They said, “we loved the Mad museum, as did M & D. So thank you for telling us about it, we all had lots of fun in it, amazing!”
Walk it off
Chatting to a local recently, they told us they had never walked along the canal in Stratford upon Avon. We were really surprised which is why we’ve included a walk along the tow path as one of our hidden treasures.
The Stratford-upon-Avon canal connects the Worcester and Birmingham Canal at Kings Norton to the River Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon. Along the 25.5-mile (41 km) route of the canal, there are a total of 54 narrow locks and lots of pretty Warwickshire villages. Self drive day hire canal boats are a great way to get some fresh air with friends or family. To do the whole canal at Stratford you would need two to three days. Definitely one for our bucket list.
But back to walking - the whole canal tow path route can be walked although we think walking there and back could be a stretch too far! You can also cycle the section from Stratford to Wilmcote if that’s your preferred method of travel - and best of all, its impossible to get lost when walking along a canal!
Newest Stratford Attraction
We must admit we haven’t actually been into Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall, but when fixing a broken clue in the town we came across it and had a long conversation with the gentleman on the door about this latest attraction. He told us it provides the opportunity to visit rarely-seen places of Shakespeare’s early life, and provides the missing chapter in the story of his time in Stratford: his education and his inspiration. Be careful how you ‘sell’ the idea of a visit to children. Whilst exploring the classroom where he studied between the ages of 7 and 14 might be interesting, trying out some Tudor homework and taking part in a live Tudor lesson under the watchful eye of a ‘master’ might not be their idea of a fun thing to do!
Of course you could just do the Shakespeare’s Stratford Trail and just walk past it like I did!