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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Feb-March 2012
24 | www.probussouthpacific.org tRAveL inteRnAtionAL he had carved out a place for himself as a successful playwright and was, at the time, the largest home in Stratford. Hall’s Croft, which was owned by Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna Hall and her husband Dr John Hall, has a very different feel. It boasts a beautiful collection of 16th and 17th century furniture and paintings, and the walled garden is a treasure. For a different experience again, a visit to Mary Arden’s Farm is reccommended. It’s the place where Shakespeare’s mother grew up and is now a working Tudor farm, showcasing daily farm life in those days. The cute animals are great for children but adults love the farm too for the basket weaving and cooking demonstrations. Stately homes England is famous for its great houses, halls and mansions, and there are plenty in this area. The Victorian stately home Charlecote Park, a 75-hectare property that once hosted Queen Elizabeth I, is less than 10km from Stratford. Built in the 16th century by magistrate Sir Thomas Lucy and passed down within the Lucy family, the house is now open to the public and under the administration of the National Trust. The grounds and deer park were designed by the famous Capability Brown and the house contains many treasures collected by the Lucy family. Like Charlecote Park, Baddesley Clinton is run by the National Trust. A smaller but wildly atmospheric medieval property surrounded by a moat, Baddesley Clinton will fascinate visitors with its Elizabethan Great Hall and hidden priests’ holes. Once a retreat for Catholic priests escaping persecution, Baddesley Hall is now a visitor’s delight, offering lake walks, relaxing gardens with ‘stewponds’ (a far prettier sight then they sound!) and an educational vegetable garden. Nearby Packwood House has one of my current favourite gardens in England. The house itself was built in the 16th century and restored in the interwar years, creating a fascinating 20th century interpretation of Tudor design, and it contains an extensive collection of 16th century textiles and furnishings. In summer, the garden features stunningly colourful herbaceous borders along a raised walkway, leading to a wonderful topiary garden. Once you start exploring you could spend weeks wandering the homes and gardens of this area, so tell your friends not to be alarmed if you don’t come home as planned! •• WALk yoUR socks off England is made for walking, with a vast network of tracks and public access footpaths. These are fun, with stiles to climb over, ‘kissing gates’ that allow people through but keep livestock contained, and fields to cross. Walking around Stratford- upon-Avon is the best way to see the sights and the walk along the banks of the river to Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried is a lovely experience. The Birthplace house and centre, Nash's House and New Place, and Hall's Croft are all within easy five to 10 minute walks of each other. You could also walk to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, just under 5km from Stratford, in about half an hour. One ticket allows access to all the properties, as well as Mary Arden’s Farm. The town is also home to great guided walks, including the Town Walk that takes place every day and the Stratford Town Ghost Walk. Stratford-upon-Avon has many old and atmospheric buildings including, it is said, a haunted tearoom. E A walk alongside the water in Stratford-Upon-Avon is an opportunity to check out the barges. Thinkstock
Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2012
Active Retirees April-May 2012