Stratford’s Christmas Shop
By Ann Evans
Photos courtesy of Rob Tysall and Shakespeare's England.
Stratford-upon-Avon is such a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year, but at Christmas time there's an even more magical feel in the air. There is so much to do, see and enjoy in Stratford and the surrounding towns, with something to appeal to the whole family.
There are festive plays, carol concerts, candlelit tours, craft fairs, Christmas markets, a Royal
Shakespeare Company performance of Wendy and Peter Pan and the chance to see the spectacular
Shakespeare Birthplace lightshow. And of course plenty of opportunities to see Father Christmas himself.
Illuminating Shakespeare – artists impression
Don't miss the brand new productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Wendy & Peter Pan runs
until 31st January in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. This spectacular production played to packed
houses in 2013 and will be revived with the original set and costumes.
In the Swan Theatre Helen Edmundson's gripping new play Queen Anne runs until 23rd January and
focuses on the relationship between Queen Anne and the Duchess of Marlborough.
And William Congreve's glorious restoration comedy of mischief, money and madness Love for Love runs until 22nd January. Performed for the first time by the RSC at the Swan Theatre.
Watch The Three Musketeers at Playbox Theatre, Warwick on selected dates in December
and January. Be transported to the studios and lavish world of film making in the 1930s for a fabulous
extravaganza set in the 17th century. It's “All for one, one for all” with swashbuckling fights, romance and treachery. The cost is £14 standard and £8 concessions.
Stratford ArtsHouse will play host to their first professional pantomime this year as the magical tale of
Cinderella is brought to the stage. The ArtsHouse will welcome a professional cast, plus children from
two local dance schools Tap ‘n’ Groove and Sarah Cooke’s School of Dance. Cinderella runs from 19th - 27th December.
Watch Jack and the Beanstalk at the Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, from 5th December - 2nd
January. Take the family to see if Jack can save the day, retrieve the harp and win the heart of the
Princess. With spectacular scenery, stupendous costumes, hilarious slapstick and bags of audience participation, Jack and the Beanstalk promises to be a treat for all the family!
Join the internationally acclaimed Orchestra of the Swan for a programme of festive favourites! The
concert which takes place on 12 December at 7:30pm includes music by Vivaldi, Poulenc, Rutter and
many other seasonal favourites set within the beautiful Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Tickets from £15.50.
Listen to Christmas carols at the Church Street Townhouse in Stratford-upon-Avon every Tuesday in
December from 7 - 8pm. Enjoy mince pies, mulled wine and festive beers whilst savouring the festive
Learn all about Christmas in those bygone days with Tudor Christmas talks very day from 21 -24
December at Shakespeare's Birthplace. At Anne Hathaway’s Cottage you can play traditional parlour
games, listen to festive readings, make a Christmas cracker and foam wreath, join carol singers and meet Victorian costumed guides. Halls Croft has a display contrasting a Christmas spent at home in the first
World War and Christmas spent on the battlefield. And Harvard House will be recreating Christmas as it would have been at a 17th Century Tudor merchants house.
By the way, you can see Shakespeare’s Birthplace in a whole new light as the Tudor walls are illuminated up until 19th December. Wander into the garden to experience a magical interactive illumination - all
Enjoy ‘Christmas at the Castle’ at Kenilworth Castle on the 12th and 13th December.
See the gatehouse decorated from greenery from around the Castle, enjoy crafts, storytelling and meet a
very special guest in his grotto.
Stratford upon Avon
If you love a Christmas market make a note that you'll find one in Bridge Street, Stratford upon Avon
until 17th December and there are Yuletide Fayres in Leamington every Sunday until 20th December.
The Christmas season at Warwick Castle runs until 3rd January. Treat little ones to Breakfast with Santa - included in Castle entry on selected dates – with games, carols, a special gift and the
chance to meet Father Christmas. Enjoy The Princess Tower and join other guests on a stunning
Torch-Lit Tour, or head to the State Rooms for Stories with Santa.
Savour a traditional menu at a Great Hall Mediaeval Banquet or journey through the Mediaeval, Georgian and Victorian eras experiencing sword fighting and a pistol duel at the Great Hall Dine Through Time.
Celebrate in style at the Great Hall Christmas Ball with a 3-course dinner, disco and entertainment. And welcome 2016 with The New Year’s Eve Great Hall Banquet, an evening of entertainment from some of
the Castle’s best-loved characters.
MORE CHRISTMASSY FUN
Visit Batsford Arboretum for your Christmas trees and decorations. On Boxing Day enjoy a stroll
followed by mulled wine and hot drinks in the café.
Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum will have a visit from Santa on Saturday 12th December.
Receive a special gift, take part in craft activities, enjoy refreshments and listen to the Coventry
Philharmonic Choir sing favourite carols. Free, drop in event suitable for the whole family.
Visit Hanbury Hall and see Father Christmas each weekend in December along with children’s crafts
activities. The house and gardens will be decorated using a traditional Christmas song theme.
Shakespeare’s England has all the magical ingredients you need this Christmas.