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After finishing the Stratford Town Walk and visiting Shakespeare’s Birthplace, I walked back to the YHA Stratford-Upon-Avon hostel. I won’t lie, it was a bit of a walk, but after the amount of food and alcohol I had ingested at my friend’s wedding, I needed the exercise. It was about a 2-mile walk that took me 40 minutes.

Gower Memorial Statue

Gower Memorial Statue

On my way out of the center of Stratford, I came upon the Gower Memorial. There really should be a drinking game. Every time you see a Shakespeare you take a gulp. This memorial was more of interest to me than others I had seen. The Gower Memorial is very well done, but also because it focused on some of the most memorable Shakespearian characters (Prince Hal, Lady Macbeth, Falstaff, and Hamlet).

YHA Stratford-upon-Avon Hostel

“In 1769, Garrick’s Stratford Jubilee Festival in honor of William Shakespeare started a growing public appreciation of the Bard in Stratford-upon-Avon, an appreciation which is reflected in the grandeur of this memorial statue. Given to the town in 1888, it is the work of Lord Ronald Gower who spent ten years sculpting it and funded much of the work from his personal fortune.

Hamlet represents Philosophy with ivy and cypress; Lady Macbeth is Tragedy with poppies and peonies; Comedy is represented by Falstaff with hops and roses, and History is represented by Prince Hall with English roses and French lilies.”

The nerd in me saw Prince Hal and immediately thought of Tom Hiddleston in The Hollow Crown….#sorrynotsorry

Prince Hal

Downton Abbey in Stratford

Moving along from this lovely memorial, I came upon what I can only describe as a Downton Abbey moment. Literally, I was dumbstruck by this enchanting place, the photos really don’t do it justice. Much like the Crawley family abode, the YHA Stratford-upon-Avon hostel has it’s home in a lovely Georgian mansion. For those who want the Downton Abbey experience on a budget, I would strongly recommend this hostel. The elegant building has its own name, Hemmingford House. As far as Stratford Upon Avon Accommodation, you can’t get much better!

Hemmingford House was originally built in 1784 and became the home of YHA in 1947. It was a private residence until WWII when it was commandeered by the British Iron and Steel Corporation. YHA bought the property and turned it into the lovely hostel is it today. An extension was added in 1975 to add a new dining room and extra bedrooms. It is on a 3.5-acre site which includes stables and coach houses.

Stratford Upon Avon Accommodation

YHA Stratford Upon Avon Accommodation

Look at this photo, this place is gorgeous! I felt as if I was walking through time as I made my way to my room. It was immaculate! I hung out in my room for the night as I was exhausted and had a huge travel day the following morning. That bed was the best thing in the world to me that night. So comfy and just what the doctor ordered after my long day of walking. I thoroughly enjoyed the hot shower I had. The entire room was very clean. My room overlooked the St. James’ Church as well as part of the estate. I couldn’t have asked for a better room!

Stratford Upon Avon Accommodation

As per the YHA usual, everything was in perfect working order. The only comment I have is that when I tried to use the payphone early the next morning to get a taxi, for some reason I could hear who I was calling but they couldn’t hear me. Wound up using my cell phone, but other than that I have no negative comments. I would highly recommend staying at the YHA Stratford-upon-Avon hostel. I just wish I could have stayed longer than one night!

If you book your next YHA stay more than 90 days in advance, they’ll give you 15% off the price of your stay. Simply use the code below when you book online.

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Michelle Jensen is a twenty-something traveler, occasionally solo, you’ll find road tripping across the U.S. or hostel-hopping in Europe. Currently residing in Los Angeles, CA with a day job in Television.

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