Romantic things to do in Shakespeare's England

Romantic things to do in Shakespeare's England

This year marks 450 years since renowned romanticist and playwright William Shakespeare was born. His work remains alive today in the places he visited – all of which are must-sees for literary lovers

Tragedies, comedies, histories. Shakespeare touched the world with his words, igniting excitement, passion and romance in the most hard-hearted of lovers. And with the 450th anniversary of his birth coming up this April, the opportunity to keep the fire burning in your relationship by visiting his birthplace and workplace is ripe.

Stratford-upon-Avon

The quaint Stratford-upon-Avon will be bursting with celebrations this year, paying homage to its most famous resident: Shakespeare. So what better place to get down on one knee, or simply enjoy a romantic break? If you're feeling bold, why not recite a sonnet or two? There's not a woman alive who wouldn't melt upon hearing 'Let me not to the marriage of true minds…' - the well-known Sonnet 116.

The chance for both of you to delve into the English writer's life is on offer all year round, but one of the best times to visit will be during Shakespeare Week. Organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the event is primarily geared towards children - great if you and your partner already have a family - but is also celebrated in the town's historic sites. Head to Henley Street, where the author was born, grew up and played, and find out where his story began. Or discover where the teenage Will Shakespeare wooed his future bride Anne Hathaway at her picturesque family home. See all of the Shakespeare houses for just £22.50pp with the Shakespeare Five House Pass.

London's Globe Theatre

Just a few hundred yards from its original site stands the reconstructed Globe Theatre, a glimpse into what the venue was like centuries ago. First opened in 1997, this incarnation of the original building offers exhibitions and tours, all to learn more about this unique, circular theatre and its most illustrious playwright. It chronicles the life of Shakespeare, the London where he lived, and the theatre for which he wrote - which, back then, was the epicentre of the city's most notorious entertainment district.

The Globe is open all year round but opening times vary. For a full list of times see the website. Entry is £13.50 per adult.

Royal Shakespeare Company

And if you didn't get your fill of theatrics at The Globe, whisk your partner back to Stratford-upon-Avon to see a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). The RSC may be a bit more modern than the other Shakespeare sights, but it holds just as much historical significance. Its productions are heavily influenced by the writer's works and the cast and crew strive to connect audiences with each story.

Plus, it's a good excuse to have a romantic, candlelit dinner before a show. Why not try one of Shakespeare's best historical works - Henry IV Part I - running from 18 March to 6 September. See infamous comic knight Falstaff preparing for the onset of war before being thrust into the brutality of the battlefield. Tickets start from £12pp.

Image courtesy of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

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