I must say, at first I didn’t actually fancy driving a bit out of the city of Stratford, around 15 minute drive by car, or about 20 minutes on a train, but as it usually happens to me, I came, I saw, I loved it.
Mary Arden’s Farm or House is Shakespeare’s mother’s childhood home, this farm is a must-feel experience if you’re just a bit like me – in love with England and Shakespeare. You will be transported (not literally, unfortunately) back in time, to the good old days of the 1570s. The official webpage off the Visit Stratford website says you will “step back in time for all the sights, smells and sounds of a real Tudor farm and explore the house where Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, grew up.”
So if you’re a sucker for English history and/or way of living, this is a great place to experience that life as if you were Mary Arden’s family member. This farm is great for kids or for people who feel like kids (me!) because you can play a few Tudor games.
As you see, I’m a pro at throwing things on sticks.
The farm itself is located in the Wilmcote village, that’s just outside Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, and it has been a real working Tudor farm for centuries. It was bought by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in 1930.
If you are in Stratford for Shakespeare, like I was, I really recommend buying the Five House Pass, which now sounds like something out of a Game of Thrones books/series, you will save a lot of money by doing so, plus all the house tickets are valid for 12 months, which is great if you plan on returning.
The farm invites you to experience the daily routine and crafts that the young Will would have experienced from his visits to grandparents in the 1570s.
When you’re there at the right time (check with the website), you can watch the farmer’s wife prepare and cook her dinner/lunch with home-grown produce in the kitchen, or just outside the main house, and learn about some Tudor table manners.
I have seen the lady of the house prepare and cook food (everything real, nothing fake). I remember running outside to smell the fresh veggies cooking in the big type of fireplace and see it all being laid out on the wooden table. While you’re waiting to see the real falcon play (after lunch), you can play dress-up.
After you’ve done played conkers, squares, and skittles, come outside and look at the beautiful and mysterious owls and other noble birds.
This chick was as surprised as I was to make an acquaintance with us.
Your visit is likely to last more than two hours, as there’s a lot to see, so plan everything in advance.
And of course, don’t miss the chance to take a photo in front of Mary Arden’s house, even if it rains, like it did that day in April.
If you’re driving here like we did, type in CV37 9UN postcode into your satnav. And after that go for dinner at the Vintner’s (not sponsored)
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Thank you for reading x