Stratford upon Avon Railway Station
The southern terminus of the Shakespeare Line.
Stratford upon Avon is known and famous throughout the world as William Shakespeare's Birthplace. Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist.
Shakespeare's Birthplace remains in the town and is open to visitors, as is Anne Hathaway's Cottage, located in nearby Shottery and whom Shakespeare married when he was 18 years old. William Shakespeare was baptised in April 1564 and died on 23 April 1616.
The town celebrates Shakespeare's birthday in April every year with the unfurling of national flags from around the world and also a procession to his tomb at the Holy Trinity Church. The town is also home to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, situated adjacent to the River Avon. Here Shakespeare's plays are performed throughout the year.
Stratford upon Avon is also a market town serving South Warwickshire's communities that border the North Cotswolds and Vale of Evesham. The town dates from Anglo Saxon times, with King Richard I granting a charter to hold a weekly market.
More recently, the town was well known for Flowers Brewery. Stratford is also home to the Headquarters of NFU Mutual Insurance.
The railway first arrived at Stratford upon Avon in 1859, with the Great Western Railway opening the town's current station in 1863.
In 1908 the Great Western Railway built its last mainline connecting Birmingham Snow Hill via Shirley and Henley in Arden with Cheltenham and Gloucester. The route became extremely popular, and after World War II, there were direct express services between Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Stratford upon Avon and Cardiff, Swansea, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance. The most famous was the Wolverhampton - Penzance service named 'The Cornishman'.
A reorganisation of British Railways in 1962 spelt near disaster for Stratford upon Avon as the London Midland Region took over what was a previous "Western Region" are to the south of Birmingham. They ran down services and tried to close the railway line entirely to and from Stratford upon Avon via Henley-in- Arden. British Rail was thwarted by a vigorous local campaign that succeeded at the eleventh hour, leading to a High Court Injunction preventing closure.
In 1976 the through route south with Cheltenham, South Wales and the South West was closed. In 1984 British Rail tried to close the railway again between Henley in Arden and Bearley, and also, the attempt was fought off by strong local opposition.
In 2018/19, Stratford upon Avon exceeded over one million rail passenger journeys.
The Shakespeare Houses; Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Holy Trinity Church; City Sightseeing Stratford Tour; Stratford Town Walk; River Avon; plus a wide range of other things to see and do. The Shakespeare Express.
Stratford upon Avon Railway Station, Brunel Way, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6PL