Shakespeare’s birthplace is a lovely two-story, half-timbered complex, its interior unaltered and reflecting the residential lifestyle of a lower middle-class family in the second half of the 16th century. The rooms have been carefully arranged with period furniture, one of them housing the First Folio edition of his works (1623). Look for the window on which many illustrious visitors have scratched their names, including Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and John Keats.
Admission includes the fascinating Shakespeare’s Treasures Exhibition, with its rotating displays of memorabilia; Shakespeare Aloud, a chance to watch his plays being brought to life by a troupe of professional actors; and a look at the Glover’s Workshop, with its displays of tools relating to the Bard’s earlier profession as a glove maker. Adjoining Shakespeare’s birthplace is the Shakespeare Centre, headquarters of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, with its library and study rooms.