The RSC is holding a costume jumble sale, set to take place on Saturday 23rd September from 9am at the RSC rehearsal rooms on the corner of Arden St. It is just £3 to enter and items start from £1 each.

If you are looking for a special memento or fancy something unique for your wardrobe I am sure it will be well worth a visit. I am afraid if you are looking for somewhere to stay that weekend we do not have any availability however please feel free to send us an email and we can recommend another B&B for you.

We are very proud to announce we have again been nominated in the Coventry & Warwickshire Tourism & Culture Awards for Best B&B or Inn. This is the award we were honoured to win in 2015. It will be a couple of months before they announce the finalists so we will keep our fingers crossed and keep you posted.

Last year was the inaugural “ Awards” and they were very successful. It was fantastic to see so many of our favourite local businesses win awards. They did not have a category that we could have been nominated for, however, the good news is this year they have added many more categories ranging from ‘Best Bed & Breakfast’ and ‘Best Restaurant’ to ‘Best Tour’ or “’Most Romantic Place’. We have done our nominations and our fingers are crossed for all our favourite businesses.

If you have visited Stratford just once or you are one of our many regulars why not nominate your favourite places. It won’t take long and you do not need to give a reason for each nomination, and do not have to nominate in every category. If you would like to nominate someone please search ‘ Awards’ as for some reason the link will not add properly to this newsletter.

Those of you who know us will know we like to eat out and we always recommend good local restaurants for our guests. We are already spoilt for choice for good restaurants in Stratford however we wanted to mention a new restaurant that opened a few months ago.  Chef Paul Foster  (you might have seen him on Saturday Kitchen recently) who used to work at Michelin Starred Mallory Court runs Salt on Church St. He has brought relaxed fine dining to Stratford and it is the perfect place to go if you have something to celebrate. I would not suggest trying to go for pre-theatre, as it is best enjoyed when you can relax and take your time.  It is a very special experience and we are looking forward to going there again for my Birthday in a few weeks!

Our new online booking system is working very well and the RSC winter season for 2017 is looking very busy so if you are considering a trip to Stratford this year – get in quick before the best seats go.  Twelfth Night (2 November 2017 – 24 February 2018) with Adrian Edmondson will play Malvolio, along with A Christmas Carol (27 November 2017 – 4 February 2018) David Edgar’s new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ much-loved classic story are both looking very popular and we are full for some dates in December already.

If you would like to check availability and see what else is on please see the RSC website.  Please be aware if you are looking for somewhere to stay Avonlea is closed during February as we are away ourselves.

We look forward to welcoming many of you to Avonlea again soon.

Kind regards


We are currently in the middle of a few busy weeks, with Easter, followed by Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations followed by the May Bank Holiday bringing the Stratford Festival of Motoring – it is all go in Stratford.

The Spring Mischief Festival is set to take place in The Other Place from the 24th May till 17th June. After a 12-month building project, the new Other Place opened on 21 March 2016.

Originally built in 1973, The Other Place was home to the RSC’s developmental and new work, housing many landmark productions with RSC alumni such as Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren, and research and development of major productions such as Les Miserables and Matilda, The Musical.  The theatre closed in 2006 to make way for the temporary Courtyard Theatre, where the RSC performed during the transformation of the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres.

It includes a 200-seat flexible studio theatre, built within the external steel structure of The Courtyard Theatre, two new rehearsal rooms, and a new home for the RSC’s 40,000 piece Costume Store, giving people access to the Store for the first time via a new theatre tour. A new café bar is open throughout the year.

The month-long festival of new work features two new plays, exploring questions of responsibility and endeavour in our society, plus a series of talks and an opportunity to see our research and development works in progress. Led by Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman, the festival will include:

  • Two new plays, The Earthworks by Tom Morton-Smith, directed by Erica Whyman. And Myth by Matt Hartley and Kirsty Housley. From an original idea by Kirsty Housley and directed by Kirsty Housley.
  • Two Research & Development work-in progress sharings: Busking It and #WeAreArrested
  • Two conversations providing a deeper investigation into the themes of the festival: Our Climate Crisis and Power Play
  • Post-show talks and writer and director talks

More details on the RSC website, prices look very reasonable so why not take a look, you never know – you might even get to see the future Judi Dench or Ian McKellen.

Also this spring sees The Complete Works of Shakespeare By Jess Borgeson, Daniel Singer and Adam Long come to the wonderful Attic Theatre. Just the other side of the footbridge The Attic is a wonderful “fringe” theatre and this year they are bringing this fast-paced roller coaster of a show. It is anything but dull as you groove to the Othello Rap, indulge in Titus Andronicus – The Cooking Show, and try to keep up with Hamlet backwards. 37 Plays, 154 sonnets, 3 men performed in 97 minutes, a not to be missed production suitable for all haters and lovers of the Bard.

The Summer sees the return for the RSC outdoor theatre, The Dell Avon, The Dell will play host to a range of lively student, community and semi-professional productions.  Performances kick off on Saturday 3 June, and continue until Sunday 27 August. A great little add on to a stay you might already have booked.

Finally, I’d like to introduce you all to a new website I have been introduced to by one of our guests. Before Shakespeare It’s a project about the world Shakespeare moved to when he went to London, asking how and why playhouses happened. I thought it might interest some of our readers so I hope you enjoy.

That is all from Avonlea this time hopefully I will be in touch again soon. Spring and summer at Avonlea is filling up fast so click though to our site to contact us to make a booking, we look forward to welcome many of you to Stratford soon.


Firstly, we would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and give you the opportunity to WIN a two-night stay at Avonlea. Those who have received our Christmas e-mail before will know that each year rather than weighing down the posties bag we send an e-mail instead and make a donation to a charity with the money we would have spent on cards, presents and postage.

We have once again decided to choose Shakespeare Puppies as our chosen charity. Shakespeare Puppies is a group of volunteers for Guide Dogs. Most of them are ‘Puppy Walkers’ – they have Guide Dog puppies living with them from 7 weeks old, until they go into training.

After our donation last year we decided another fantastic way we could help would be to home one of the Guide Dogs stud dogs. The national breeding centre is based in Leamington Spa and they are always looking for homes to look after their stud dogs, brood bitches and puppies in training. So in May this year, Murphy moved into Avonlea.

Murphy is a black Labrador and in now 19 months old. He is full of character and energy and gets on really well with Ben our other dog. People who do not like dogs might like to know that they do not live in the public areas of the B&B but if you are ever visiting and would like to meet them just ask – they are always excited to say hello to a friendly face.

Now to the bit where you can WIN two nights at Avonlea. We have set up a JustGiving page and for everyone who is kind enough to make a donation to Guide Dogs via this page, we will enter you into a prize draw to win a night at Avonlea. We would like a minimum donation of £2 and for each multiple of £2 you will get another entry into the draw. So if you donated £10 you would get 5 entries. Please click here to enter the draw.

Last year we raised a fantastic £450 so would love to top that his year.

We hope you do not find this request for a donation rude. We just feel that it is a fun way to raise some money for a fantastic cause

Last entries for the draw will be 31st December 2016 and we will announce the winner in the January Avonlea newsletter.

Good luck and once again Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Rob & Clare

It has been yet another busy month in Stratford with the build-up to the Shakespeare birthday celebrations really getting going. There are some great events to look forward to if you are staying in Stratford in 2016. This month we have decided to highlight what Compton Verney has to offer.

Compton Verney is an independent national art gallery and ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped park located nine miles from Stratford-upon-Avon and this year they are joining in the Bards birthday celebrations with Shakespeare in Art: Tempests, Tyrants and Tragedy. On display from 19th March until 19th June 2016

Already hailed as one of 2016’s must see exhibitions, Shakespeare in Art: Tempests, Tyrants and Tragedy is a landmark collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company commemorating the 400th anniversary of the bard’s death.

Boydell’s Vision: The Shakespeare Gallery in the 18th Century, Created in conjunction with Shakespeare in Art: Tempests, Tyrants and Tragedy, this pendant exhibition at Compton Verney traces the history of John Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery which opened in 1789 on London’s Pall Mall. Using Shakespeare as a vehicle for the development of a national form of history painting, the print publisher John Boydell commissioned prominent painters, sculptors and printmakers of the day, including George Romney, Henry Fuseli and James Northcote, to produce works depicting scenes from all of Shakespeare’s plays. The Shakespeare Gallery was Britain’s first ever thematic public exhibition and distinguished itself from the recently formed Royal Academy of Arts in its commitment to a modern and patriotic mode of painting that embodied the sensibilities of Shakespeare and his compatriots, past and present.

So if you’re a theatre lover or an art lover, then why not come and stay in Stratford and pay a visit to Compton Verney and after a morning viewing the wonderful works there, you can enjoy a “CapabiliTEA” (afternoon tea) before returning to Stratford for an evening at the RSC.

If you would like to come to visit Compton Verney we are offering £5 off per night for all new bookings of two or more nights for stays until 28th April 2016. Many dates are filling up fast so please feel free to e-mail us about availability.

We look forward to welcoming you to Avonlea soon.

Rob & Clare

It has been a busy start to the year both here at Avonlea and in Stratford itself. With young Will making an appearance, the train station finishing it’s access improvements and here at Avonlea we have finished 3 more bathrooms. We are all ready for a busy year celebrating 400 years of the Bard’s legacy.

Last week we were surprised and delighted to receive a letter from the House of Commons informing us that we have been nominated for Stratford Upon Avon’s Independent Shop Awards held by our local MP Nadhim Zahawi. We have been nominated in the “Best Hotel or B&B” category and part of the judging is based on the number of nominations received. If you feel that we deserve your nomination or there is shop, restaurant or pub in Stratford that does please follow the link and click on the blue button to ‘have your say’. Voting closes on 18th of March so be quick to help celebrate the best of what Stratford has to offer.


For the last few weeks, there has been a small section of the Bancroft Gardens cordoned off whilst they have prepared a space for Young Will. Created by sculptor and former Broadway actor, Lawrence Holofcener.

Holofcener has kindly donated the statue to the people of Stratford Upon Avon and it marks the start of the year of celebrations commemorating 400 years of the Bard’s legacy.  It has also been announced that David Tennant will be returning to Stratford on the birthday weekend to host the celebrations being held at the RSC. It looks like the town is already fully booked for this weekend but don’t worry the BBC are televising many of the celebrations.

Across town at the train station they have finally completed the new bridge so now wheelchair users and people with heavy bags can easily get from platform 2 and exit the station via the newly installed lifts.

Here at Avonlea, we have updated 3 more bathrooms taking the total up to 5. All of these bathrooms are now looking more modern and have larger showers for guests’ comfort. They also benefit from our new toiletries called Mischief. With Eucalyptus and Frankincense, the mischievous aroma invigorates mind and body. Relax and feel empowered by this fabulous creation by H2K of Harrogate. Here is just one of the new bathrooms and the website gallery will be updated very soon with new pictures taken by the wonderful photographer Sally Crane.

Bookings are now coming in for the RSC winter 2016 season and many dates are filling up fast. Why not pop over to the page and see what is on. We are open until December 17th this year before we close down until the end of January so we can complete the final phase of the bathroom refurbishments.

We look forward to welcoming you to Avonlea soon and don’t forget we are still running 10% off bookings for February and March.

Rob & Clare

We have just reopened after our winter break and you can certainly tell the RSC has released the schedule for winter 2016. We have just spent the last hour juggling phone calls and e-mails fitting everyone in.

Highlights from the RSC

  • King Lear directed by Gregory Doran, with Antony Sher in the title role, David Troughton as Gloucester and Paapa Essiedu as Edmund
  • Cymbeline directed by Melly Still, extends its run in repertoire with King Lear
  • The Tempest directed by Gregory Doran, with Simon Russell Beale as Prospero, conjuring Prospero’s magical island in an innovative new staging, in collaboration with Intel and in association with The Imaginarium Studios, as the RSC’s family show for 2016

If you are visiting Stratford for one of the RSC or Swan Theatre productions Avonlea is the perfect place to stay. We are just ½ a mile from both theatres.

If your idea of a good time is keeping fit rather than what the RSC has to offer parkrun has come to Stratford Upon Avon and yet again Avonlea is the perfect location.

We are less than ½ a mile from the start on the recreational ground next to the river and we have lovely comfy rooms where you can get a good night sleep before a morning of exercise.

We will be able to offer you a lovely porridge or full English breakfast at 8am before you take the 5 min walk to the start.

Whatever your reason is for visiting Stratford-Upon-Avon, we look forward to welcoming you to Avonlea soon.

Last month we gave you the opportunity to donate towards a fantastic local charity – Shakespeare Puppies, in return we entered all the kind donors into a raffle to win a night with us at Avonlea.

We are happy to say with all of your generous donations we were able to raise £112 that has gone straight to Shakespeare Puppies to help them continue their fantastic work that enables them to help the national Guide Dogs charity.

Each year rather than sending cards and buying lots of presents we make a Christmas charity donation ourselves. In honour of 450 years of the Bard’s legacy we have decided to top up the donation amount to £450.

Now for the winner of the raffle – Bruce & Christine Alder were 1st out the hat so congratulations you have won a free night stay at Avonlea. We look forward to welcoming you back to Avonlea sometime soon.

Since our last newsletter it has been all go and there will be lots of new things ready for when we reopen. The bathrooms are getting there – we have found lots more space for larger showers.

We are just waiting for delivery of new placemats for the breakfast room by a local artist that depict Stratford’s most iconic sights.


This week we have installed new 32” HD Samsung smart TV’s in all of the bedrooms. On top of the superior picture and sound quality, as these are “smart TV’s”, they also have various catch-up services installed like ITV Hub. Also if you have forgotten your laptop or tablet you can also use them to browse the internet. We will be keeping our website up-to-date with local special offers and our favourite places to eat so you will never miss out on the fantastic things to see and do in Stratford.

We have made it up to 10th on TripAdvisor and we are very proud of such an achievement. As we are currently closed for 6 weeks we are not having any guests staying so are not likely to get any new reviews so might start dropping down the ranking. If you have stayed with us at Avonlea and not reviewed us we would be grateful if you could take a few minutes to review us to help keep us in the top 10.  If you would like to do this please just follow the link on the TripAdviosr logo.

If you are planning a visit we are currently offer 10% off for booking of stays during February and March. 

We look forward to welcoming you to Avonlea soon

Rob & Clare

Next month we will have some pictures of the new bathrooms and some mischief at Avonlea…

10% OFF during February and March

During February & March, we are offering 10% off the total price of any full priced booking. Please see our special offers page for other offers available.

Firstly we would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and give you the opportunity to WIN a night to stay at Avonlea.

Those who have received our Christmas e-mail before will know that each year rather than weighing down the posties bag we send an e-mail instead and make a donation to a charity with the money we would have spent on cards, presents and postage. We feel this is not only better for the environment but also helps out some worthwhile causes. This year we have decided that the chosen charity with be Shakespeare Puppies.

Shakespeare Puppies is a group of volunteers for Guide Dogs. Most of them are “Puppy Walkers” – they have Guide Dog puppies living with them from 7 weeks old, until they go into training at 13 – 15 months.

The Shakespeare’s Puppies Appeal was launched on April 25th 2013 in the RSC gardens, Waterside, by James Roe MBE, Stratford’s own Paralympian Gold Medalist, and Councilor Keith Lloyd, the Mayor of Stratford with the aim of raising the funds to name Guide Dog Puppies after Shakespeare characters.

To date, 10 puppies have been named after Shakespeare by raising the £5000 it costs to train the puppies.

Now to the bit where you can WIN a night at Avonlea. We have set up a JustGiving page and for everyone who is kind enough to make a donation to Guide Dogs via this page, we will enter you into a prize draw to win a night at Avonlea. We would like a minimum donation of £2 and for each multiple of £2 you will get another entry into the draw. So if you donated £10 you would get 5 entries.

We hope you do not find this request for a donation rude. We just feel that it is a fun way to raise some money for a fantastic cause. Here is the link to the JustGiving page if you would like to join in the fun. Last enteries for the draw will be 31st December 2015 and we will announce the winner in the next Avonlea newsletter.

Good luck and once again Merry Christmas and a proserous new year.

Rob & Clare

Welcome to the new Avonlea newsletter. As you might notice we have updated our website and with this we have decided to make sure we do a newsletter monthly to keep you updated with what is happening at Avonlea as well as in and around Stratford.

At the beginning of this year we refurbished bathrooms 1 & 2 and they look fantastic, we have now just started to do the same to rooms 3, 4 & 5. It is amazing the extra space we are finding for the showers they are nearly doubling in size! We will be posting some pictures in the New Year when the work is complete.

We are also upgrading the televisions in all the bedrooms when we are closed over the Christmas period and all of the work will be done for the start of 2016 when we reopen at the beginning of February.

Although we will be closed from the middle of December until the beginning of February we will still be here taking bookings for 2016, so if you have not booked in for your trips next year many dates are getting busy so please get in touch.

During February and March we will be offering 10% off your total bill when booking 3 or more consecutive nights, based on our standard rates and not including any other discounts.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Avonlea soon.

Many thanks

Rob & Clare


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47 Shipston Road
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