By Ann Evans


Photos: Rob Tysall. Tysall’s Photography.



Shakespeare’s England has launched a new Explorer Pass for visitors wanting to see more of the area’s wonderful attractions. Ann Evans went along to the official launch at Kenilworth Castle.



Warwickshire has the most beautiful places to visit – magnificent castles and stately homes that are steeped in history; museums, gardens and parkland, plus of course it’s the home of the Bard himself, William Shakespeare.


With so many wonderful places to see and explore, Shakespeare’s England have introduced a new Explorer Pass – a first for the region. Visitors can buy a 1, 2 or 3 day pass to visit up to 19 different attractions, offering exceptional value for money. Visitors simply purchase their pass in advance of their trip and then show it at the admission desk or payment point at each attraction to gain free entry.


The participating attractions include Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Shakespeare’s New Place, Hall’s Croft, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Mary Arden’s Farm, Royal Shakespeare Company The Play’s The Thing exhibition, Warwick Castle, Ragley Hall, Compton Verney, Avon Boating, Kenilworth Castle, St Mary’s Church, Lord Leycester Hospital, Stoneleigh Abbey, Hill Close Gardens, British Motor Museum, The MAD Museum, Magic Alley and Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall. The Explorer Pass also includes some fantastic discounts at shops, hotels, and restaurants.


Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England said “We are delighted to launch our new Explorer Pass which offers both domestic and overseas visitors all-in-one access to leading attractions as well as a variety of added value benefits and discounts. We want to encourage visitors

to explore further afield seeing attractions they may not have thought to visit, as well as staying longer to experience the very best that our region has to offer.”


The official launch took place at Kenilworth Castle, and who should  pop by was none other than Queen Elizabeth I herself – alias Alice Wilkinson, Historic Property Manager at Kenilworth

Castle. The last time Queen Elizabeth I visited was back in 1575 when Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, created a beautiful garden with fountains, sculptures, even an aviary filled with exotic birds, in her honour.


The gardens were reconstructed in 2009 working from a long letter written by Robert Langley. He was an official at that time who peeked into the garden one day while the queen was out hunting and wrote a very detailed and eloquent description of how it looked. Visitors can see the results for themselves, as well as exploring the castle ruins, and of course the many other attractions that Warwickshire has to offer.


The cost for an adult Explorer Pass is £49 for the 1 day pass, £65 for the 2 day pass and £75 for the 3 day pass. Child passes are also available to purchase. The pass will be available to purchase through the VisitBritain Shop, Visitor Information Centre’s in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick and Royal Leamington Spa and a wide range of distribution partners, both on and offline.


The Explorer Pass has been part funded by a Grant from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).


Full details of participating attractions and businesses can be found in the Explorer Guide which accompanies the pass as well as on the Explorer Pass website which can be found at: or