Stratford upon Avon is the birthplace of the well known playwright, William Shakespeare. Whatever time of the year you visit Stratford on Avon, you'll find the place busy and full of tourists.
A trip to the theatre is a "must" and well worth while, but it is expensive so look out for " understudy" days. These work out at a fraction of the usual cost and are, as the name implies, performed by the main character understudies, with the normal remaining actors.
A "behind the scenes" tour is worthwhile. These are held fairly regularly.
The open-top-guided bus tour is excellent, it not only goes around Stratford, but also goes out of the town, to the various Shakespearean houses, a couple of miles away. You can get on and off the bus, as often as you like, paying only once, for a full day ticket. A guided walking tour is really interesting, but it does last at least two hours,, [ depending on which guide takes you round and on how many questions are asked, on the way.] There is no seating or any rest time, be warned.
Should you wish to visit several of the Shakespearean properties, then a "combined ticket" is more cost effective.
A walk along the river and a boat trip also is enjoyable. There is a large grassed area, adjacent to the river, called the "field", where you can park and enjoy a picnic. Parking there and in the whole of Stratford, isn't cheap. Free parking can be found, if you drive past the main theatre, [keeping it on your left, ] and continue along that road, bearing to the left, until you come to the church, here you can park for free, but it is a ten minute walk, back to the town area.
The Butterfly Farm, close to the river loch, is worth a visit, but the Perfume factory is extremely small and quite expensive.
Stratford has a good selection of shops, from the usual multi-national chain stores, to the small select and specialist ones. There is also a good selection of restaurants, (though they tend to be pricey) including several "authentic" old world tea rooms. I like Druckers, near the theatre.
If you've time, whilst in the area, then a short drive away, picking up theA4177, will take you to Hatton Country Village. This is an "olde worlde" craft centre, where you can find home made food produce, lovely gifts, designer discount outlets and various home and garden items. Entrance is free and the restaurant there is excellent, all home made food - but unfortunately is fairly small and there is almost always a queue.
The ferry, which takes you across the Avon from the popular Dirty Duck pub on the town side of the river to the Recreation Ground on the other, is one of the last of its kind in England - a manually powered chain-winch ferry, built in 1937. It’s very cheap, only takes a couple of minutes and will save you a 20 minute walk. The Ferryman was a mine of information and seemed to know everything there is to know about Stratford, past and present. Just be aware that there has been at least one report of a Royal Shakespeare Company actor feigning sea-sickness much to the consternation of fellow passengers!