Is there anyone in the world who needs an introduction to the Shakespeare Country?   The little market town of Stratford-on-Avon is famous worldwide as the birthplace of the "Bard of Avon",  where his father's house still stands, where he grew up, where you can still walk over the fields where he went to meet Anne Hathaway who became his wife.  There is Holy Trinity Church where he was baptised at the beginning of his life & buried at the end. Other houses associated with his family, still exist in or near Stratford.  The great Royal Shakespeare Theatre is now re-opened, so it & its Siamese twin, the Swan,  will soon be back in business,  but you can still see a play in the acclaimed Courtyard Theatre,  the temporary "rusty shed"  near the Avon.

Equally near to the top of the list of the Countries' tourist attractions is Warwick Castle.  In spite of changing hands several times & losing many of its most famous artefacts,  it is still a magnificent place to visit.  Ancient stones, associations with Creçy & Poitiers, Old Master paintings, weapons & armour, exhibitions of waxworks, demonstrations of skills from former times, the Archer & the Ratcatcher, even the Trebuchet, which fires huge stone balls,  there is certainly enough to fill a day with interest.

You may be exhausted but the interests of Warwick are not.   St Mary's Church contains tombs of the famous Earls of Warwick, one of them bearing the second most glorious effigy (after The Black Prince) in the country. Nearby stands Lord Leycester's Hospital, a refuge for former men & women of the services, foundedRuined Kenilworth by Queen Elizabeth's favourite,  Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester,  & still in use for its original purpose.   The Queen gave her "sweet Robin"   Kenilworth Castle & in 1575,  came on a visit.   For her pleasure,  he had had built a magnificent garden, on a theme of Love,  hoping she would soften & marry him.  She never did, & her garden has now been reconstructed to the original plan in the original spot, in the grounds of the Castle.   And Warwickshire still has castles, gardens, market towns, battlefields, moated manors & the most beautiful countryside in the region.

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