THE BLOG
04/23/2014 01:22 pm ET Updated Jun 23, 2014

Happy 450th Birthday to William Shakespeare: Great Ways to Celebrate

According to historians' best guess, William Shakespeare's 450th birthday would be today, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Stratford-Upon-Avon is a town synonymous with William Shakespeare. Shakespeare was born and grew up here. Therefore, it seems fitting for Shakespeare enthusiasts to make a pilgrimage to his hometown to celebrate this literary giant's birthday. Here are three fabulous ways to celebrate in Stratford-Upon Avon.

1. Visit Shakespeare's Birthplace, which has been welcoming visitors for over 250 years--including the likes of Charles Dickens and John Keats. See where it all began: the home in which Shakespeare played, where he dreamt at night and where he lived with his wife, Anne Hathaway for the first five years of their marriage. A visit here provides a fascinating glimpse into the inspiring world of William Shakespeare. Take a tour and learn interesting facts, including how the home may have been lost forever if it were not for Mr. P.T. Barnum, of Barnum and Bailey Circus. While you're here be sure to also check out a new permanent exhibition 'Famous Beyond Words.' It invites visitors to explore how Shakespeare has inspired us for centuries and how he continues to inspire us today.

2. Take in a performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Easily one of the most prestigious theater ensembles in the world, the cast performs the classic works of Shakespeare as well as many new and exciting shows throughout the year. The ensemble thrives in the famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre, which is renowned for bringing audiences closer to the performance. Even if you miss a performance, stop by for a Front Stage Tour of the complex or for a cocktail at the Rooftop Restaurant, which offers stunning views of the River Avon.

3. Visit William Shakespeare's final resting place. A trip to the Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare is buried cannot be missed. Pay your respects to one of the greatest writers of all time in this gorgeous church where Shakespeare was baptized, where he worshipped and now where he rests. Take time to admire he beautiful surroundings.

Stratford-Upon-Avon will host many celebrations throughout the year to celebrate William Shakespeare's 450th anniversary. On Wednesday April 23, 2014 there will be a grand firework display in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
There will also be special processionals and celebrations beginning on Saturday April 26 and 27, 2014. For more information visit Shakespeare's England online.

Check out our top picks for more fabulous things you must see in Stratford-Upon-Avon -- spoiler: it involves sipping a Shakes-Beer the town's oldest pub!

And if you're in London but can't make it out to Stratford-Upon-Avon, be sure to check out Shakespeare: Greatest Living Playwright at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Or snag tickets to a performance of King Lear at the National Theatre.

"I was adored once too" -- William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

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