Written by GrahamMercer on 18 Dec, 2005
Our second day of narrowboating sees us continuing upstream on the Avon River. As we approach Stratford we calculate that we have made our way through 8 locks and sailed about 14 miles, averaging about 2mph for the day! Not too bad given that this…Read More
Our second day of narrowboating sees us continuing upstream on the Avon River. As we approach Stratford we calculate that we have made our way through 8 locks and sailed about 14 miles, averaging about 2mph for the day! Not too bad given that this is really our first day (yesterday was only a couple of hours) and we were still getting used to the boat and the locks.
Our plan is to moor overnight at Bancroft Basin which is at the junction of the Stratford Canal and the Avon River, and also right in the heart of the township. The basin is separated from the river by the first lock of the canal (or the last depending on which way you are going!) and this is one lock that you really need to get right.
It is a lovely Sunday afternoon in mid September and the riverbanks are full of visitors enjoying the town and its waterways. As we approach we realise that this is not just another lock, it is also a bridge where people can cross from one side of the basin to the other and it is very busy. The sight of a narrowboat approaching rapidly swells the number of spectators, eager to see a lock in action! By the time we have nosed into shore adjacent to the lock gates to drop off the lock crew there is quite a crowd watching, so the pressure is really on! Don’t want to stuff this one up! Fortunately it all goes well and to the observers we look like we have been doing this all our lives. Whewwww! What a relief.
We motor through the lock and into Bancroft Basin, manoeuvre into a vacant mooring spot on one of the pontoons and gratefully tie up the narrowboat with a collective sigh of relief and satisfaction from a job well done.
We spend a few hours walking around the town exploring, then find a nice looking restaurant for an enjoyable, relaxing dinner. After the meal we continue to wander around the now dark town and marvel at the fabulous buildings that are so beautifully illuminated as we make our way back to the basin for a well deserved sleep.
Next day we are underway around 9am (remember to turn on the fridge!) to begin our northward journey on the Stratford Canal. While the principle is still the same we find that the locks are quite different to those on the river. Canal locks are only a single door at either end of the chamber because the canal is far narrower, so operating the locks is quicker, though the doors tend to be heavier and therefore harder to get moving – particularly for Chris who is only about 5ft tall and weighs virtually nothing. We also find that the paddle winches tend to be a bit stiffer than their river equivalents and take a bit more grunt to operate.
The canal itself is much narrower than the river, particularly in the lock chambers which are only a few inches wider than the narrowboat. There are also numerous bridges along the canal to cater for road, rail and foot traffic and some of these are quite low and very narrow. Under the bridges there is also a tow pathway, left over from when the narrowboats were towed by horses, so the actual canal width is often, again, only a couple of inches wider than the boat. This takes a bit of getting used to. Remember that the ‘skipper’ driving the boat is way down the back, some 60ft away from the bow, so learning to judge and manoeuvre through these narrow gaps takes a bit of practice. The crumbled brickwork and paint scars on many of the bridges bear silent witness to this and are a regular and sobering reminder to take it easy.
Another lesson quickly learnt is that each lock has an overflow bypass channel that diverts excess water around the lock. This channel usually flows back into the side of the canal just below the lock gate. If you forget to take this side flow into account when approaching the lock entrance you quickly find that your carefully prepared ‘arrow straight’ entry is thrown askew as the current inexorably pushes the nose of the boat to the opposite side, away from the overflow. Your planned perfect entry thus deteriorates into a ‘ping pong ball’ approach where you bounce back and forth between the narrowing brick walls of the lock entrance as you ‘rattle’ into the lock chamber. If nothing else, it is a good opportunity for the remainder of the crew to give the skipper a hard time!
A short journey up the canal from the centre of Stratford brings us to the next British Waterways water point where we take the opportunity to refill the water tank again. Four crew members showering, plus meals and drinks, consumes the water supply surprisingly quickly and topping up is virtually a daily requirement.
Locks are used to ‘step’ up and down hills and are how the waterway is kept at a navigable depth throughout its length, over terrain of varying heights. Where the terrain is particularly steep the canals utilise a series of locks in close proximity, these are called a flight of locks. About 2 miles up the canal from Stratford brings you to the ‘Wilmcote Flight’ which is a group of 11 locks, in sets of 3, 5, and 3. This flight is spread over only 1 mile of canal which equates to an average of a lock every 160 yards. As you can imagine, this keeps you busy for a while as you pass through them!
The reward for completing the Wilmcote Flight appears a couple of miles further up the canal when you arrive at the Edstone Aqueduct. The aqueduct was built in 1813 and consists of an iron trough resting on thirteen tapering brick piers. It is 28ft high and 475ft long and spans a road, a stream and a double-track railway line as well as fields populated by grazing cattle. It is impossible to adequately describe the weird sensation of cruising along in a boat and looking down on cars, trucks, trains and fields. Not to mention the expressions on the faces of surprised drivers looking up at a boat crossing a bridge above them!
After the fascination and excitement of the aqueduct it was only a short cruise up to the public moorings at Wootton Wawen where we tied up for the night, opposite the Anglo-Welsh marina. The Navigation Inn was a short walk from the mooring and we enjoyed a relaxing couple of hours there with a meal and a few drinks. We strolled back to the boat as the colour drained from the sky and the canal presented the most fabulous reflections of the pinky-purple dusk.
This was our third night on the water and tomorrow would mark the halfway point of our trip, only one more day of ‘virgin’ water for us until it was time to turn back and retrace our steps to the Evesham marina. The adventure and enjoyment was far from over though and I will detail more of the trip in another section shortly.
Written by GrahamMercer on 28 Nov, 2005
We first formed the idea of doing a narrowboat trip some years ago when we saw the magnificent Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal in Wales. This impressive span carries the canal across the River Dee valley at a height of over 100 feet and…Read More
We first formed the idea of doing a narrowboat trip some years ago when we saw the magnificent Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Llangollen Canal in Wales. This impressive span carries the canal across the River Dee valley at a height of over 100 feet and a length in excess of 1000 feet. The unusual (to say the least!) sight of a boat sailing across a bridge, high above the valley floor left a lasting impression and a growing desire to sample this ‘hidden world’ for ourselves.
The canal network of the UK is very extensive and there are many marinas from where narrowboats can be hired. After lots of research on the British Waterways travel planner website and checking with RCI for availability, we decided to book a week with Stratford Court Cruisers (enter the site and click on "BOATS" in the menu) who are based at Evesham, on the Avon River.
Don’t get too concerned about the ‘fit’ part; as long as you are mobile you will be fine. I would describe myself as healthy, but far from fit (is the passed tense of fit fat?) and I found the trip invigorating, not exhausting. There were four of us on the trip, myself, my wife and two friends.
We had originally booked to take the boat from their Stratford upon Avon marina, but in the 22 months between booking and starting, the timeshare company had ceased operating from that marina so we had to start from Evesham on the Avon River. In hindsight it was the best thing for us, as we got the opportunity to acclimatise ourselves with the boat in the relatively luxurious widths of the river before we encountered the much narrower canals.
We spent a lot of time fretting about how we would cope with operating those mysterious locks, and just how demanding the week would be, but all concerns were dispelled by the end of the first day onboard.
You begin your narrowboat education with an informative video presentation at the marina before boarding the boat for a guided tour of the equipment and a practical lesson on the river for 30 minutes or so, plenty enough to get a feel for handling and operating the boat.
Our boat ‘Gilly’ is a Duchess Class narrowboat which is 60 feet long and 7 feet wide, sort of resembles a giant matchstick! They are surprisingly well appointed with accommodation for 6 people, though four people means that you are not constantly converting the dining table into an extra bed, then back again in the mornings. There is a well-equipped galley (kitchen) with small refrigerator and sufficient space to store your provisions, particularly since you can restock in the villages along the way.
The boat comes supplied with enough diesel fuel for about 10 days so that is not a concern. You do however need to fill up the water tank every day. This is easily done at one of the many Water Points provided by British Waterways throughout the canal and river system. Electricity is supplied from batteries which are charged during the day while you are cruising. It is necessary to motor for at least 5 hours (preferably 8 hours) a day to keep the batteries topped up for the lights etc overnight. It is also best to turn the fridge off overnight to avoid draining the batteries, we just made sure that the fridge was turned up quite high during the day so that it maintained sufficient cold without power. Don’t forget to turn it back on the morning!
Then comes the big moment, casting off and beginning your adventure!
Though they will go faster, the recommended maximum speed for the boat is 4 miles per hour, or a good walking pace. Faster than this creates a damaging wake that erodes the riverbanks and upsets the fishermen. It also tends to rock other boats on their moorings which is considered ‘poor etiquette’. That pretty much sets the tone for the next week – you can’t get too stressed when everything happens at such a leisurely pace.
Cruising gently upstream towards Stratford upon Avon (which is 15 minutes by car and a full day sailing by narrowboat!) you are quickly drawn into the romance of narrowboating. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and superb views, visited by the many swans and ducks on the river, waving and chatting to fellow narrowboaters and enjoying the lovely riverside homes and buildings as you slowly cruise by.
Having set out around 3pm it was not possible to go too far on the river on the first day, so we planned to head to the Fish & Anchor pub alongside the George Billington Lock, which would be the first lock we would encounter.
So there I am, sitting at the tiller cruising idly along the river, looking at the map of the Upper Avon Navigation and enjoying this new experience when I notice a diversion heading off the river to the left with a sign and arrow saying LOCK. 'Hmmm! That’s interesting’ I think, ‘must be a side stream that joins the river, can’t see it on the map?’ ‘Not to mind we don’t want to turn off, it is straight up the river for us anyway.’ As we draw adjacent to it there is suddenly a lot of shouting and waving from a fisherman on the bank. Oops! This is not some side stream, this is THE lock! Straight ahead is a one-way ticket to getting stuck on a weir! Lots of frantic reversing and shuffling to arrest our forward motion and jockey back to a point where we can turn into the lock channel momentarily dispelled the sense of calm and quiet. Once the heart rate had returned to something near normal and we had a chance to tie up we contemplated our next challenge – our first lock. Fortunately there was another narrowboat just going through the lock in front of us, so we took the opportunity of watching them operate the gates and paddles, which was great for reinforcing what we had learnt in the video. In the end it was ‘much ado about nothing’ (we are in Shakespeare country after all) and we found the locks very straight forward to operate.
We had hoped to moor by the Fish & Anchor pub, but the moorings were full, so we tied up adjacent to the lock. Next lesson we learnt was that ‘adjacent to the lock’ often means that you have tied up on an island, and as such we were cut off from the ‘mainland’ and couldn’t get to the pub – so near and yet so far! We spent our first night onboard cooking ourselves a yummy meal and opening a bottle of wine or two to celebrate the first day.
Bonus! Go outside in the evening and the sky is so clear, the stars seem to leap out of the heavens. Quiet contemplation of the wonder of it all (helped by the previously mentioned wine no doubt) then sleep like a log until morning.
Another point to bear in mind is that the water is heated by the engine, so it is advisable to shower either at night or during the day while cruising. Don't leave it until the morning before you get going or the water will probably be tepid at best.
There is much more to rave about on this wonderful holiday, but perhaps I will leave it here for now and add another chapter or a new section shortly.
Suffice it to say that I cannot recommend this type of holiday highly enough!
Written by Nancy on 28 Sep, 2000
We walked up to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and found it quaint as expected. No, not just quaint – the definition of quaint, fairy tale even. White stucco and dark half timbers, overhanging thatched roof trimmed like bangs around the windows. Eyebrow windows made of chips…Read More
We walked up to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and found it quaint as expected. No, not just quaint – the definition of quaint, fairy tale even. White stucco and dark half timbers, overhanging thatched roof trimmed like bangs around the windows. Eyebrow windows made of chips of glass leaded together to produce a whole pane. Hollyhocks and roses and a kitchen garden fenced in bent willow. A pheasant strutted on top of the hedge.
From the setting, I expected our guide to be a blushing young maid trussed up in 16th century garb who would put on a display of spinning or something. Instead our group gathered in the kitchen around a tiny, white-haired woman with a severe overbite. She was wearing a skirt and sensible shoes. Her hands were thrust into the big patch pockets of a pink coat under which she wore a matching pale pink blouse with the biggest bow tie collar I have ever seen. Her little narrow face was engulfed in pink rayon. She looked like someone who would be painfully shy and I wondered at her speaking in front of a group.
My expectations were proved wrong again as she revved into her presentation. First she wowed us with facts about age, history and structure of the house. This was no dry recitation but a vibrant story told in graphic, gritty detail. The wattle and daub was mixed of manure. My fairy tale evaporated.
The most memorable architectural detail I find hard to believe I heard correctly. I think she said the thatch of the roof weighs twelve tons. Twenty four thousand pounds of straw above my head! Everyone looked up, cringing slightly, wondering if we should run out the door before the thing collapsed. The beams holding it up were nowhere near straight and some of them appeared to be scarfed together out of several pieces of timber.
Next our guide described daily life in the Hathaway household and how Will would have courted Anne here in the kitchen sitting on a particular settle. It did not sound terribly romantic. Using a trencher – a square wooden plate with two circular dents carved in it – she pantomimed the meal the lovebirds would have enjoyed. The big dent was for the meat. The little dent was for the salt. When the food was gone, you would take a piece of bread and mop up all the juices, then eat the bread. Last, you washed the trencher. She stuck her tongue out full length and showed us how with several long, enthusiastic, pretend licks along the wooden surface. And then she put the plate back on the shelf with a cool comment about the provenance of the condition known as trench mouth. Everyone cringed again.
Before sending us off to test our scalps against the beams overhanging the winding ladder, she gave us one or two details of household maintenance. The fireplace figured large in daily life, and, of course, the chimney would need cleaning. Now how did they approach that task in Will’s day? They went up on the roof and "let the chicken do a bungie jump."
Written by Joy S on 04 Nov, 2008
* Crowds of tourists over run Stratford during the summer. However, the throngs dwindle in autumn and winter, so while we were there on this visit, we discovered you could walk on the streets easily and seek out the places of genuine historic…Read More
* Crowds of tourists over run Stratford during the summer. However, the throngs dwindle in autumn and winter, so while we were there on this visit, we discovered you could walk on the streets easily and seek out the places of genuine historic interest without crowds of others doing the same.* Stratford is England's most popular tourist destination outside of London and even in autumn there are plenty of people around. Arrive early, before the large tour coaches arrive and you will get to the front of the queue at many of the attractions.* By car, Stratford is, traffic permitting, only a short journey from the M40 motorway. However, parking on the streets is limited to 20 minutes and the multi-storey car parks can be expensive. A good option for those day-trippers arriving by car, is to use the Park and Ride scheme that provides regular bus services into the town. It is easy to find, well signposted, and has lots of parking spaces. The buses are also plentiful - we didn't have to wait long.* Stratford Upon Avon itself, is very easy to get around since the town is laid out in a grid pattern. There are also plenty of distinctive landmarks. You can walk everywhere in the town, however to get to Anne Hathaway's cottage and Mary Arden's house, you need to use a car, or do as we did and take the open-top bus tour. These buses run frequently. You can hop on and off as you please, but be aware, the buses charge for the ride only and entry to the sites is extra. We bought the tour ticket combined with entry to 3 properties and found it to be good value. The first bus we used had a tour guide, the others had guided commentary which you listened to on ear phones. They even had a kids channel with commentary suited to children - it was very interesting.* Book Cadbury World in advance on www.cadburyworld.co.uk. They have a limited number of people allowed in at timed intervals throughout the day, so to be sure you can gain entry when you wnat, book in advance on-line.* Allow yourself time after Cadbury World (or before) to stroll around the suburb of Bournville - beautiful and a fascinating place.* At Drayton Manor Park, save yourself money by booking tickets on-line in advance. As well as being cheaper, you will save yourself time by not having to queue at the entrance. Tickets for adults cost £19.50 on-line and £23.00 at the gate. Children's ticket price is £19.00 on the gate and £16.20 on-line.* Do the biggest rides in the first hour the park is open or at lunchtime to beat the queues. Also do the wettest rides at the end of the day in case you don't dry out before you leave - more than likely with the unpredictable British weather. Close
We spent our son's autumn half-term break from school in the Heart of England. Situated, as its name suggests, in the thick of England, this region is a great place to go for a short break. It comprises a number of different counties…Read More
We spent our son's autumn half-term break from school in the Heart of England. Situated, as its name suggests, in the thick of England, this region is a great place to go for a short break. It comprises a number of different counties and from theme parks to world class Shakespeare, there really is something for everyone.The region is individual, and the real bonus is that it is at the hub of Britain's road network, so exploring (if you have a car) is made very easy.There is beautiful countryside to explore, rolling fields, winding canals, thriving cities and quaint villages.We took in a bit of all of this, but our highlights were as follows:* A visit to Cadbury World in Bournville, a suburb of Birmingham. This is full of fun for all ages. Half a million chocolate lovers visit each year, discovering the history of chocolate, finding out more about Cadbury and how they make their chocolate and seeing how it is made. It really is chocolate heaven.* Drayton Manor Park in Staffordshire, where we visited the brand new Thomas the Tank Engine land. This is more for quite young children - our son adored it, with rides and attractions based on the famous childrens story. The rest of the park is 280 acres and does have white knuckle rides for older thrill seekers.* A day in Stratford Upon Avon - the birthplace of Shakespeare, where you can find museums, sites, events, festivals, attractions and tours all celebrating the world's most renowned and influential playwright of all time. As well as all that however, Stratford is an exceptionally pretty and scenic place to visit.* Sudbury Hall in Utoexeter - another great place to visit. This is a National Trust property, and has beautiful gardens, an interesting old hall and a wonderful, brand new Museum of Childhood which has fascinating and fun hands-on exhibits. Close
Written by JudithCarole on 06 Feb, 2006
Stratford is a market town that dates back to the Roman occupation. There are still millennia-old Roman ruins to be seen in and around the town. Most are open to the public and free of charge.History lovers and Shakespeare fans will both enjoy Nash’s House…Read More
Stratford is a market town that dates back to the Roman occupation. There are still millennia-old Roman ruins to be seen in and around the town. Most are open to the public and free of charge.History lovers and Shakespeare fans will both enjoy Nash’s House on Chapel Street. There the history buff can tour the exhibits of 16th-century period rooms while the Shakespeare fan can roam the adjoining garden. This garden was the site of New Place, where Shakespeare retired in 1610 and died on his birthday in 1616. The foundations of New Place are still there, so is a mulberry tree said to have been planted from a cutting of a mulberry tree planted by Shakespeare. Admission costs are around $2 for adults and under $1 for children.
Hall’s Croft is another house that appeals to Shakespeare fans and others. This half-timbered house, located on Old Town Street, is a fine example of Tudor architecture with a beautiful walled garden. It is furnished in the style of a middle-class Tudor home. Originally owned by Dr. John Hall and his wife Susanna, the house has many exhibits showing what medical practice was like in the 16th and 17th centuries. Susanna Hall, by the way, was Shakespeare’s oldest daughter. Visitors are also welcome to have morning coffee, lunch, or afternoon tea at the Hall’s Croft Club next door. The cost for touring Hall’s Croft and the gardens is also $2 for adults and just under $1 for children.
For around $1.50, Harvard House is a must-see. This Elizabethan townhouse on High Street is the most ornate building in Stratford. It has an American connection as well. Harvard House was once the home of Katherine Rogers, mother of John Harvard, founder of Harvard University. The rooms are filled with 16th-century furnishings, and the floors, made of local flagstone, are authentic. Harvard House is open Monday through Saturday during the spring and summer months only.
Two museums, which have little or nothing to do with Shakespeare, also should not be missed. At 19 Greenhill Street is the quirky little Teddy Bear Museum. It is exactly what it says it is, a museum showing the evolution of the teddy bear. Guarded by a 7-foot-tall stuffed guardsman bear, the museum houses examples of Victorian bears, Paddington Bear, and Winnie the Pooh, among others. There are also books, posters, and bears for sale. Be sure to look at the book "The Teddy Bear History of the World." Admission to this museum is free.
The other museum is the Stratford-Upon-Avon Motor Museum on Shakespeare Street. An internationally known race driver started this small museum in 1974. The cost to tour this museum is a little over $3. The exhibits consist of British automobiles from the 1920s, including Rolls Royces and Jaguars. Books on vintage cars are available in the bookshop.
Another not-to-be-missed attraction is the Butterfly Farm. Located on Swan’s Nest Lane, this farm has hundreds of unusual butterflies and exotic insects on display. As you wander through this miniature rain forest, you will find tropical plants, waterfalls, and hundreds of beautiful butterflies in their natural habitats. In over 40 exhibits you will see insects, spiders, and scorpions. The admission is around $6 for adults, less for seniors and children. Children under 3 are admitted free. If you love inexpensive, vicarious thrills, this is the place to be.
Speaking of bookshops, Stratford is a book-lover’s delight. The best is Robert Vaughan on Chapel Street. There is a large stock of secondhand books at very reasonable prices. There is also a good selection of books on Shakespeare and the theater.
Shopping is a big deal in Stratford. On almost every street is a least one shop catering to the souvenir hunter. Fortunately, they are usually very low-key and do not detract from the atmosphere of Stratford. For the serious shopper, there is a small pedestrian shopping street between Henley and Wood Streets called Bard’s Walk. There is a tea shop there where a ham-and-cheese toastie and a jacket potato make a tasty and inexpensive lunch. Try to find a table on the terrace. Here is also a shop called Once Upon a Tree that sells animal figurines, bowls, and other items made from sustainable wood sources.
Theaters are also a big draw to Stratford. The Royal Shakespeare Theater runs five of Shakespeare’s plays every season, with the season running from early April to late January. Tickets are from $8 to $45 per person. The Swan Theater has five plays per season by Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, and other Restoration and later writers. Performances cost between $13 and $35. Then there is The Other Place. This theater offers experimental and avant-garde works. All three are open for tours besides the time of performances.
Shakespeare Center on Henley Street has a costume display from BBC productions. Most of these are costumes from Shakespearean plays but are still interesting for television aficionados.
Gardeners and flower lovers in general will appreciate the gardens surrounding Shakespeare’s birthplace. They will like the walk along the River Avon and the Bancroft Gardens even more. The Bancroft Gardens lie at the junction of the Stratford Canal and the River Avon. Many people stop at the McDonald's on Henley Street on their way and share their lunches with the swans on the river.Other places of interest are the Cage on High Street, a 15th-century prison that is now a store; the Guild Chapel on Church Street, built in 1496; and, across Church Street from the Guild Chapel, the chancel wall, with a painting of the Last Judgement, painted around 1500.
Stratford-Upon-Avon is for everyone. If none of the places mentioned appeal to you, there is still more Stratford to explore. If you get a chance, enjoy this small town and make it your own.
Written by Amanda on 28 Aug, 2000
The RSC has three theatres in Stratford - the RST, the Swan, and the Other Place. The last of these is the smallest, and usually has modern, fringe, or experimental plays showing. The other two are mainly Shakespeare, or other established plays, and are much…Read More
The RSC has three theatres in Stratford - the RST, the Swan, and the Other Place. The last of these is the smallest, and usually has modern, fringe, or experimental plays showing. The other two are mainly Shakespeare, or other established plays, and are much larger.
The RSC is a great company - they can pick from the best actors, and put on well thought-out, cleverly staged plays you can lose yourself in for the duration, and emerge suprised you are in the 21st century! Shakespeare is their speciality, so if you're only seeing one, see one of the classic plays, such as Othello, Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, or Henry V. You won't regret it! If you're here longer, their non-Shakespeare plays are also very good indeed.
When I was studying for English A level, I used to come here 3 or 4 times a year for a weekend, and see three plays in 2 days - an orgy of drama I loved! If you want total submersion in plays, this is the place to do it.
You can book tickets on-line - I've done it and the site is good. The address is http://www.rsc.org.uk/ Close
Written by Arline760 on 27 Sep, 2003
The English love to garden. If you like to garden (like we do), there are so many exciting gardens to see and things to learn. One good resource was The Garden Lover's Guide to Britain by Patrick Taylor, which was the basis for…Read More
The English love to garden. If you like to garden (like we do), there are so many exciting gardens to see and things to learn. One good resource was The Garden Lover's Guide to Britain by Patrick Taylor, which was the basis for planning our trip. The following are "must see gardens" with links to their websites.
and many more, which I may add later.
Written by PStreet1 on 02 May, 2001
There is a track a few miles from Stratford town center and an afternoon at the races is really fun. The bookies are located under umbrellas in the area right in front of the stands (standing room only with 'leaning rests' in front of…Read More
There is a track a few miles from Stratford town center and an afternoon at the races is really fun. The bookies are located under umbrellas in the area right in front of the stands (standing room only with 'leaning rests' in front of you). Each bookie has different odds so placing a bet is a matter of searching out the best odds for the horse you have chosen to bet on. If you want a look at the horses before placing the bet, simply stand by the area where they enter the track; you'll have time to place a bet after you've picked your winner. Races are quite short so you'll have a number of opportunities to test your skill at judging the horses and riders. Close
At the bank in Stratford we got two recommendations for places to have tea. One was Hathaway's Tea Room. The other Drucker's was described as very expensive and fancy, the kind of place you go for your birthday.
We tried Hathaway's and found it full so…Read More
At the bank in Stratford we got two recommendations for places to have tea. One was Hathaway's Tea Room. The other Drucker's was described as very expensive and fancy, the kind of place you go for your birthday.
We tried Hathaway's and found it full so we asked another shopkeeper where we could have tea. She pointed across the street to Pizza Hut. Puzzled we thanked her and wandered on.
The menus posted outside the pubs didn't excite anyone so we decided to head for the expensive place. It proved to be a cafeteria. We could get a baguette, a pasta salad, soup, or espresso. Not a cucumber sandwich in sight.
Again and again we asked for tea. Again and again we were directed to places that served fish and chips, pizza and burgers.
In our low blood sugar stupor it took forever for the truth to finally dawn on us that tea simply meant lunch.