I spent a small amount of time in Stratford while a friend had a working meeting there, a perfect excuse to go exploring (top tip: get the train into Warwick if coming from London, not to Stratford! It took so much longer than expected/it should have done!). You can't grow up in the Midlands like I did and not be dragged to Stratford numerous times on various school trips into Shakespeare's House, Anne Hathaway's Cottage or to see something put on by the RSC. In fact, the last time I went to Stratford was indeed to see The Winters Tale, which we'd been studying in sixth form. A fair while ago. I hadn't been back since. I'd forgotten how pretty Stratford itself was and couldn't help but think about what it would have been like had Shakespeare not been born there. Would it all have been bulldozed in the 1960s to make way for a concrete shopping centre? Even the local branch of HSBC was Shakespeare related. Stratford is one of those places that tourists from overseas actually bother with that isn't London or Oxford, and as a result you do have to work a bit harder to avoid the tourist traps and the queues. Worth it though.