Time for some travel posts! I’ve spent the past week coming down from our UK road trip holiday as well as sorting out all the stuff we took with us – the car was packed full (we thought we might as well take everything we might possibly need since we had the space to do so!), as well as sorting out photos. And finally, I’ve got them ready to share!
So first stop of our trip was Stratford-upon-Avon in the West Midlands. Most of our journeys were broken up with interesting stops but since we know the area we were driving through from North Yorkshire down to Stratford quite well (mostly South Yorkshire and the Peak District), we decided to set off as early as we could and drive straight down there with no stops along the way.
We were staying in an Airbnb that night – our first ever one! – so we drove straight there. I wanted to write a bit more about our Airbnbs as we’d never done them before and it was such an awesome way to travel that I wanted to share. That night we stayed in the Oasis at the Garden of the Doll’s House that was on the outskirts of Stratford. Our host had planned to be out when we arrived, so we’d arranged with her that we would park up there and walk in Stratford which worked out really well. So our first adventure of our road trip was finding our way into the town! The Airbnb listing said there was a lovely walk along the river to get into town and it was true, but the walk was a bit longer than we’d expected, and the day was lovely warm, interspersed with bouts of random rain, so we arrived in Stratford a little worn out from our walk and a bit bedraggled (in our matching Lidl raincoats – oh yes, we are that cool!).
We arrived in Stratford to discover that, completely by accident, we’d chosen to visit on the day of a food festival! We’d actually planned to visit various Shakespearean locations around the town and had purchased the Town, Cottage & Farm pass, but we decided we’d start by wandering the food festival and come back to some of those locations later. In the end, the food festival was quite big and really busy, so it took us quite a while to wander through it, stopping to try various samples of food and drink including wild boar and venison sausages, American style nuts from a company called “Nuts in Ya Mouth” (which we actually bought a packet of later on) and Pimms.
In the end, we only managed to visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace out of all the locations our ticket gave us access to because we walked around Stratford and the food festival for such a long time. The birthplace was really interesting and very pretty, right in the middle of town. There were guides dotted around the house and grounds who were really helpful and willingly explained different things to us, and we were treated to a short performance of Hamlet in the gardens.
The area where the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company theatre) is located is so gorgeous that later on we ended up sitting there for a while in the sun and exploring the areas around it. We plan to visit the area again (when there isn’t a food festival on!) to see the rest of the houses and locations our ticket gave us access to.
We’d planned to eat in a local independent restaurant that evening after going back to our accommodation and getting ready, but because of the longer walk than we’d expected and the food festival meaning it was really busy, we decided to have an earlier meal at Carluccio’s – it’s a chain restaurant, but not one that we’d been to before. Plus, we’re both big fans of Antonio Carluccio! The meal was really good – I didn’t take photos, but I had a starter of prosciutto with mozzarella followed by a seafood pasta. We enjoyed it so much that we even bought a bottle of their own brand olive oil that had been on my starter – it was super yummy!
Airbnb in Stratford-upon-Avon (excuse the mess – we were repacking and planning!)
And then we strolled the long walk back to our Airbnb before it got dark – I’m glad we did have an earlier meal because the route had no lighting once you got out of the town so we would have got a bit lost! We met our host and got settled in for the night. It was our first ever Airbnb experience and we were really impressed with it. We were accommodated in what appeared to be a garage renovation that was light, spacious and airy, with a really comfortable bed, a sofa and sitting area and nicely decorated wet room. We were also provided with a yummy breakfast of pastries, fruit and yoghurt in the morning, which was exactly what we wanted to get us started on the next leg of our trip. With no prior Airbnb experience, we weren’t sure whether to expect breakfast at them or not, so we’d brought bananas and cereal bars in the car just in case, but it turned out that we didn’t even need them in the end with all the lovely breakfasts we were provided.
Tune in another day for the next stage of our UK road trip.