With picturesque old streets, a beautiful river, and popular historical sites, Stratford-upon-Avon is one of the most romantic city breaks in the UK.
With the Cotswolds to the south and Birmingham to the north, Stratford-upon-Avon is well located for a weekend getaway or a longer holiday exploring this part of the UK.
From visiting the birthplace of William Shakespeare to having a night out at the RSC Theatre, check out these best things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon for couples.
1. Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace
Stratford-upon-Avon is well-known by many people for being the birthplace of world-famous playwright William Shakespeare.
In the middle of the town, you can find the home he grew up in still preserved and appearing almost exactly like it did in the 1600s.
Walking the corridors and exploring the rooms that Shakespeare grew up in is one of the must-do activities in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Top tip: Time your visit to Stratford-upon-Avon to coincide with Shakespeare Week and you’ll be able to attend unique events and workshops around the town, including at Shakespeare’s birthplace. When we visited, we learnt stage combat and sword fighting from RSC actors!
2. Explore Shakespeare’s New Place
If you’ve not got your fix of all things Shakespeare after visiting his birthplace, head a few streets over to Shakespeare’s New Place.
This was his family home from 1597 until his death in 1616, and there’s a lot to learn from exploring the reimagined site of this fascinating home.
The tranquil gardens here are also one of the most romantic spots in Stratford-upon-Avon, so don’t pass up on the chance to see them.
3. Go to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
Take a walk out from the centre of the town and you can visit the cottage where Anne Hathaway, wife of William Shakespeare, was born and grew up.
The uneven floors and low ceilings of this 500-year-old cottage contain much of the original furniture.
With beautiful gardens, as well as a popular photo spot outside, heading to Anne Hathaway’s cottage is one of the best things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon for couples.
4. Walk along the river
The River Avon flows through the town, passing by popular sites like the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Holy Trinity Church.
On warm days, the banks of the river come alive with people having picnic, sitting with drinks, and playing games, so that’s always a great option if you want to spend some time relaxing when the sun’s out.
If you want to stretch your legs, however, take a scenic stroll along the Avon. We recommend heading south and west to Stannells Bridge where you can either head back along the other side of the river or up the footpath that follows an old railway line.
5. See the Holy Trinity Church
As the oldest building in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Holy Trinity Church is well worth a visit, especially if you’re interested in history.
It’s also the location where Shakespeare was baptised, married Anne Hathaway, and was buried, so it’s also a popular spot to stop by for fans of the bard.
The impressive stained-glass windows are also worth seeing, so if you’re passing by don’t forget to take a look inside.
6. Spend time on the river
Getting on the water is one of the most romantic things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon for couples, especially when the weather is warm and dry.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options for different vessels to hire, including small rowing boats, motor boats, and pedalos, if you want a more intimate experience on the river.
You can also book on to public river cruises for a guided tour up and down the Avon.
7. Head to the Butterfly Farm
Stratford-upon-Avon is home to the UK’s largest tropical butterfly paradise, so spending an hour or two at Butterfly Farm should be on your itinerary when visiting the town.
Stepping into the flight area, where the butterflies are free to flutter around, is one of the most unique things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon.
If you’re lucky, they might even land on you, which is a very special experience!
8. See a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Not only is Stratford-upon-Avon home to many historical sites related to William Shakespeare, but you’ll also find the Royal Shakespeare Theatre where plays are still performed.
Take a trip to this beautiful theatre to catch a matinee or as part of a romantic date night in Stratford-upon-Avon and you won’t be disappointed.
They don’t only put on performances of Shakespeare plays either, as they often have plays from his contemporaries and more modern playwrights too, so check what’s on before you plan your visit to the town.
9. Try the best restaurants in town
There are many brilliant places to eat in Stratford-upon-Avon, so make sure to try out a few options and see what appeals most.
We recommend heading to the One Elm, a gastropub just around the corner from Shakespeare’s Birthplace, where you can have a memorable date night with some of the best food and drink in the town.
Or, if you fancy pizza or pasta, make sure to reserve a table at Osteria Da Gino, one of the best Italian restaurants in Stratford-upon-Avon.
10. Plan a day trip out
Because of its location, one of the best couples’ activities is simply exploring what’s around this part of the country.
Here are our favourite day trips out from Stratford-upon-Avon.
Warwick Castle is one of the most popular attractions in the UK, and fortunately it’s only a short drive from Stratford-upon-Avon.
It’s easy to spend a whole day exploring the impressive castle, the fascinating rooms inside, and the beautiful grounds.
To the south of Stratford-upon-Avon, the Cotswolds contains many picturesque villages and places for scenic walks through its rolling green hills.
It’s impossible to explore everything in one day, so make sure to plan ahead to cover what interests you the most. For more ideas, read our blog on the best things to do in the Cotswolds for couples.
One of the most romantic locations in the Cotswolds is Bourton-on-the-Water, a picturesque village with a beautiful river running through the centre of it.
It’s a great place to bring a picnic before having a stroll along the river, or you can even have afternoon tea in one of its idyllic tea rooms.
Things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon for couples FAQs
Where are the most romantic photo opportunities in Stratford-upon-Avon?
Take a trip to Anne Hathaway’s cottage on the edge of Stratford-upon-Avon to find the most romantic photo opportunity in the town. A circular wicker structure with a bench in the middle has been placed to perfectly frame the picturesque cottage behind it, so you can sit there and get a perfect photo.
Alternatively, spend some time by the river which shines beautifully in the sunlight, especially towards sunset, providing many great spots for taking memorable photos.
What are the best free things for couples to do in Stratford-upon-Avon?
While many of the most popular tourist attractions in Stratford-upon-Avon are paid, the River Avon itself offers the perfect setting for couples to spend some time together and relax without paying a penny.
On a warm day, there are plenty of green spaces to sit and unwind by the river, including some great spots for a picnic. You can also take a walk alongside the river, following the footpaths on its banks.
Are there romantic countryside walks near Stratford-upon-Avon?
Stratford-upon-Avon is surrounded by beautiful countryside, offering numerous opportunities for romantic walks. You can explore the stunning Cotswolds, visit the nearby Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, or take a walk down the scenic River Avon.