It is said that Shakespeare loved a tipple in The Falcon Inn (now cottages) and came with a team from Stratford – six miles upstream – for a drinking competition. Bidford’s revellers won and worse-for-wear William refused a return match. Today’s local inns and eateries continue to offer generous hospitality, while points of interest around town include the famous bridge built by monks 600 years ago. Another landmark, St Laurence Church, has already celebrated its 800th anniversary.
Bidford-on-Avon is a popular mooring point for canal boats heading for Stratford-upon-Avon and you can also hire boats in the village. Or simply relax, enjoy the Big Meadow and riverside walks. Find accommodation in Bidford-on-Avon.
Few historic mansions undergo such an unusual transformation as Compton Verney: from a derelict Georgian home into an inspirational gallery of international standing. Combine a look around restored Grade 1-listed buildings and new spaces, as you browse the diverse art collections. And do enjoy the Grade 2*-listed classical park landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown. Sweeping grassland, ornamental lakes and Cedars of Lebanon offer the perfect backdrop for a picnic. Pick up a grounds leaflet or borrow an audio tour from the Ticket Desk to learn more about the park’s hidden stories and history.
Immerse yourself in the grandeur of this magnificent Palladian house, family home of the Marquess and Marchioness of Hertford. It’s an unrivalled treat, from James Gibbs’ baroque plasterwork in the Great Hall to James Wyatt’s Red Saloon. A Woodland Walk snakes through the 400-acre ‘Capability’ Brown park and there’s a Rose Garden, Winter Garden and unusual Fumpary of reclaimed tree stumps and woodland planting. Crown a visit by following the distinctive Jerwood Foundation Sculpture Trail, which includes Elisabeth Frink’s Walking Man and Antony Gormley’s Insider VIII.
Enjoy a gentle outing along the course of an old railway line, now a dedicated traffic-free cyclepath/footpath. With no hills to climb, the Stratford Greenway to the village of Long Marston (5 miles there, 5 miles back) suits all ages. Set yourself up with refreshments at the start, at the Carriages Cafe at Seven Meadows Car Park on the edge of Stratford-upon-Avon, and maybe pause halfway at the picnic benches at Milcote Car Park.
Alcester was a Roman town and has been the subject of numerous archaeological digs: find out more in the fine heritage centre. Medieval buildings and street patterns remain part of today's vibrant market town, which is famous for its summer in bloom – bring your camera. This 7-mile walk sets the town into its surrounding environment with the gently flowing River Arrow and villages of Exhall, Wixford and Oversley Green.
Purity Brewing is dedicated to making a difference. We make premium quality, unique beers, and are environmentally friendly, using only natural ingredients and supporting recycling programmes. We welcome you to tour our state-of-the-art 20-barrel brew plant and visitor centre, to enjoy a farm-cooked meal and (the best bit) sample our beer.
A reputed watering hole of William Shakespeare, this 17th-century pub overflows with atmosphere – exposed beams and flagstone floors, oak furniture, open fireplaces, and of course there’s a warm welcome from Colin and Teresa. You’ll find quality pub food combined with more innovative cuisine, as well as a really good pint. Featured in Michelin’s Eating Out in Pubs Guide 2011 and The Good Pub Guide 2011.
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