Explore the rich heritage of Shakespeare Country in the heart of England. We’ll tour a castle built to woo a queen, visit the birthplace of our country’s most famous playwright and find hidden gems in two characterful historic towns.
The Stratford Manor Hotel is located within 21 acres of beautiful Warwickshire countryside, close to Stratford-upon-Avon. The hotel offers stylish rooms with flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi access, a bar, restaurant and a leisure club with indoor pool, sauna, steam room and gym.
Single Supplements Apply
Excursion One – Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s Birthplace & New Place
We begin our holiday with a guided walking tour of Stratford-upon-Avon. We’ll delve into the world of William Shakespeare and get a glimpse into his family life away from the stage.
A visit to Shakespeare's Birthplace will give us the chance to explore the playwright’s story in the very house where he was born and raised. We also have a chance to view rare artefacts from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s world class collections.
Shakespeare’s New Place was the family home from 1597 until Shakespeare’s death in 1616. The building was demolished in 1759, but Shakespeare’s time in the house is commemorated with a beautiful garden, a new exhibition, specially commissioned sculptures and a sunken Tudor Knot Garden.
Excursion Two – Ashby de la Zouch Castle & Kirby Muxloe Castle
Our first stop is Ashby de la Zouch Castle. The property began as a medieval manor house before being turned into a castle in the 15th century by William, Lord Hastings, a favourite of Edward IV. Hasting’s descendants held the castle for King Charles during the Civil War, and it was partially demolished by the victorious Parliamentarians after its surrender. It was used as a setting in Sir Walter Scott’s historical novel Ivanhoe, and when the book was published visitors flocked here to see the ruins for themselves. We’ll learn more about the castle’s colourful history on our guided tour.
After free time for lunch in Ashby de la Zouch, we head to picturesque Kirby Muxloe Castle which will be opened exclusively for us to take a private guided tour. Like Ashby de la Zouch, Kirby Muxloe was built by Lord Hastings. Although Hastings had grand designs for this fortified manor house, he was executed without trial by the future Richard III and his work at Kirby Muxloe was never finished. The picturesque remains of the moat, gatehouse and corner tower give a tantalising glimpse of what might have been.
Excursion Three – Warwick, Lord Leycester Hospital & Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden
We start the day in the historic town of Warwick. Here we visit the Lord Leycester Hospital, a collection of superb timber-framed buildings on the town’s High Street. For nearly 200 years the buildings were home to Warwick’s medieval Guilds. In the 16th century, under the patronage of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the buildings became a place of retirement for old soldiers known as the Brethren; a legacy that continues to this day. We will be welcomed by one of the Brethren on arrival.
After lunch at leisure in Warwick, we continue on to Kenilworth Castle, which also has links with Robert Dudley. Once one of the greatest fortresses in medieval England, Elizabeth I gave the castle to Dudley, her childhood friend and favourite. We enjoy a guided tour of the beautifully recreated Elizabethan Garden which, in 2019, celebrates ten years since its re-opening, having been lost to the world for over 400 years. Afterwards we will enjoy an afternoon cream tea as we hear more about the relationship between Elizabeth and Dudley from one of English Heritage’s expert historians.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Just Go Holidays have been creating and running quality coach holidays for over 20 years now. This experience means they can negotiate the best deals with their suppliers to provide you with outstanding value holidays. They offer a great range of breaks across Britain, Europe and America and have carried over 1 million happy customers.
They offer over 500 local pick-up points with no interchange on UK mainline holidays, and if you would prefer to drive yourself to your hotel, they will simply reserve a seat on the coach for you to join the daily excursion, giving you even greater flexibility.
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