Stratford days

Drawing Ann C Holland

We live within 15 miles from Stratford on Avon in a village to the south.

On our latest outing, our first destination was to visit the Royal Shakespeare Theatres (again). I doubt if there is a Shakespeare play which we haven’t seen. It’s not just Shakespeare but musicals such as ‘Matilda’ and the recent ‘Magician’s Elephant ‘, which we saw last month.

Apart from the drama, Stratford has a great array of interesting buildings such as Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare lies or the King Edwards Grammar School still with medieval structures. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage or Mary Arden ‘s House are exquisite especially in Spring.

Aside from the town, Stratford has its countryside alongside the river with plenty of walks, including the canal footpath, which is good for walking or the nearby village of Chipping Campden. This is one of the most sought after places in the Cotswolds with a great school, which was a challenger to my old school.

Fairly close is the magnificent Hidcote Gardens in North Gloucestershire where I have volunteered helping with children and their parents.

Hidcote was created by Major Lawrence Johnston, an American who spent most of his life in England. High on the hill, his first task was to plant hedges to shelter the wind 

Picture Ann Holland

I have given talks about the garden since 2014, which is very enjoyable. A very popular garden with visitors from every continent, which at present is obviously not bringing in the numbers who have visited in the past.

Stratford will always be a honeypot for people even in the Pandemic. An Open Air theatre has been set up ready for the summer.

Meanwhile, Stratford4 Europe still aims to rejoin the EU. Since 2018 we have never given up. Last month we had our first post-pandemic stall to let people tell us their views on six questions to answer.

I Hope we get back in. If not for me, for our children.

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