Soon after moving to the UK I called my granny to tell her how things were going, and she recommended that we visit Stratford-upon-Avon.  I’m so glad we took her advice early on and braved the backwards British roads on our first road trip!  Though the UK is full of history at every turn, the people of Stratford-upon-Avon have taken much pride for centuries in their most famous resident, William Shakespeare.  Son of a whittawer (leather worker) who was elected as the chief magistrate of the town council, Shakespeare was born into a prominent family.  This coupled with the fame he realized early in his career mean that his homes and belongings have been well taken care of.  It is a lovely town to spend a weekend in, with loads of history to learn at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust homes, cozy pubs like The White Swan where Shakespeare was known to enjoy a pint, and you can top off the night with a bit of culture at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre which is modeled after the Globe.

Hidcote Manor Garden is a national trust site on the edge of the Cotswold region of England.  Created by the American turned British soldier Lawrence Johnston over 100 years ago, he took inspiration from his travels into his designs.  Hidcote gardens are rated in the top 10 most beautiful gardens in England, and its hard not to imagine yourself at the turn of the 20th century exploring the secret gardens amid the towering hedges.

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