Written by Miss Hatty, Activity Manager
Today, the wonderful students of St Hilda’s set out on their second full day excursion to Stratford upon Avon, the hometown of Shakespeare. Many of the students had been learning about Shakespeare in class so were already full of wisdom and knowledge regarding his many plays and influence on the English language and showed lots of enthusiasm as they strolled around the quaint and beautiful old town.
When we arrived, the students split into two groups; one visited Shakespeare’s birthplace whilst the other half embarked on a walking tour, following the trail of many significant sights throughout the town.
The walking tour began at the statue of the Jester, gifted to Stratford by Anthony Bird as a token of thanks. The tour then moved onto Shakespeare’s birthplace and home, followed further on by the town jail where prisoners were displayed in cages outside. Later it on it became the home of Judith, Shakespeare’s daughter. The group then walked down the high street, occasionally stopping outside buildings to listen to more information given by our lovely counsellors and activity leaders. These important buildings included the home of the founder of Harvard University in Boston, USA, John Harvard and the King Edward Grammar School which was said to be where Shakespeare himself attended school. It is believed that during summer, school began at 6am and finished at 5pm, 11 hours of school each day!
The tour then continued down to the canal where the students were able to buy a drink or an ice cream and sit in the shade to cool down. After this, we walked back through the town, admiring all the old buildings (and some shops!) before swapping over with the other group who had spent the morning visiting Shakespeare’s Birthplace.
The birthplace proved to be interesting, and even allowed us to walk on the same floor that Shakespeare did, crazy! We saw all the different bedrooms including Shakespeare’s parents’ room, his sister’s room, the old kitchen and multiple huge fireplaces on which they used to cook. To finish off we explored the beautiful gardens and were lucky enough to be involved with some acting of a scene from ‘A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream’. A few superstar students volunteered and gave us an excellent rendition, with characters including a lion, and a wall of all things! The rest of us sat in deckchairs in the sunshine and applauded the new-found actors!
To finish off the day, the students were able to have some free time to explore the town themselves and buy any souvenirs that they had seen on their walking tour. We then climbed back onto the buses and began our journey back to Oxford, taking the opportunity for a quick power nap before the evening’s activities!