Merrie Olde England

Stratford-upon-Avon.  We start walking tomorrow morning, 10.5 miles to Mickleton.

As for Stratford, well, let’s just say that Helen GA does a more convincing Elizabethan village. And it’s faux Swiss.

I mean, a Subway right down from Shakespeare’s house???? You’d have thought that the town fathers (and mothers?) would have gone to any length to have preserved this place just like Will left it.

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So we abandoned downtown and hiked over to Anne Hathaway’s cottage, stopping on the way at The Bell pub for a Ruddles County ale.  Both were superb.  As we were finishing, the pub keeper sat down for a chat and directions to the Cottage, which turns out to be about a quarter mile away. The Bell met my test for a great local establishment: I may have heard one other American voice in the place.

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Rick Steves had recommended Anne’s house as an antidote to the hyper-touristy downtown, and it is lovely. The garden is in full bloom and the woods are invested with garden fairies.  Did I mention that Ruddles is an excellent ale? That, and some kind of kids festival from over the weekend.

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