A day to explore Stratford. We had moored near to the chain ferry so took it across the river. The ferry used is named Malvolio, after the character of the same name in William Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night. The ferry opened in 1937, and it was the last of its kind to be built in Britain. By 2006, the ferry was carrying 100,000 people a year, and it was proposed that it be moved to make way for a new bridge. However, in 2010, the ferry vessel resumed service at its original location after an overhaul and restoration work.
We walked up to the RSC and had a coffee overlooking the river then caught the hop on, hop off bus. We had done it before but Penny and Jim hadn’t. Muffin enjoyed it!
We got off at Ann Hathaway’s cottage but changed our minds about going in when we saw it was £9.50 each. That seemed a bit steep to see a cottage where Shakespeare’s wife lived before they were married. Back on the bus and back into Stratford. We got off near Bancroft Basin and walked to the Baguette Barge to get our lunch.
Honestly, trying to get four people to make a decision about what to do next is so difficult! As an ex-event organiser I usually do it but thought Penny might like to decide but I gave up and did it! The men went and brought the boat into Bancroft Basin while Penny and I had a mooch round the town.
I took a photo of this sculpture last time we were here but this time it is different as a friend of Penny and Jim’s created and made it! The fountain was sculpted by Christine Lee and unveiled by the Queen in November 1996 - it depicts two swans rising in flight. It was made for the 800th Celebration of the granting of the Charter for Market Rights by King Richard I in 1196.
Once Mary H was tied up in Bancroft Basin Richard and I took a taxi to Tesco. This is next chapter in the bed saga! I had put a couple of posts on Facebook asking for suggestions for the best inflatable bed. I got all sorts of suggestions – including a couple of rude ones! My final decision was to get a mid rise one with an internal pump. I found one on the Tesco website which was almost £30 cheaper for the same thing on other sites. Also I had vouchers that were expiring so it didn’t cost us anything – except for the £10 for the taxi. Let’s see how it goes tonight!
We had fish and chips for dinner – the chip shop by Bancroft Basin is very good. Penny had bought a last minute ticket to see Antony and Cleopatra at the RSC so took herself off to watch it. She said it was very good.