zaterdag 26 januari 2013

To go or not to go

When spending our holiday in The Cotswolds last year, we had doubts whether to visit Stratford upon Avon or not. We heard stories about bus loads of tourists brought into town, to pay homage to William Shakespeare. The realisation that we would be part of the crowd, did not really appeal to us. Nevertheless, the fact that our holiday cottage was close to Stratford, made it too good an opportunity to miss.

So it was that at half past seven in the morning, we were among the first visitors at the car park near the river Avon. While the girls enjoyed a guided tour of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, we had a pleasant walk to Anne Hathaway's cottage in the little hamlet of Shottery

Anne Hathaway's Cottage is a thatched farmhouse with stunning grounds and gardens, where the once young William Shakespeare courted his future wife. The garden is absolutely delightful, with masses of flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs. It looks like the plants are thrown in carelessly, but it all works beautifully. To me this garden is a fine example of a quintessential English cottage garden. We liked the tour of the house. The lady who showed us around and told us about life in Elizabethan times, a joy to listen to.

Our visit to the house and garden inspired us to take up Shakespeare once more. Bad memories of obligatory reading lists, last minute exam stress and horrible dreams of witches, complot's against kings, jealousy and hatred belong to the past. We are into comedies now :-)

Have a lovely weekend,

Madelief x 

Love all, trust a few and do wrong to none (from All's Well That Ends Well)

74 opmerkingen:

  1. We went several years ago now, it was beautiful, thanks for reminding how lovely it was! :) x

  2. Het is maar goed dat jullie toch zijn gegaan, want anders hadden jullie (en wij ook) al dit natuurschoon moeten missen. Het ziet er prachtig uit en ook zo groen...heerlijk! Gelukkig gaan we hier ook de goede kant weer op, lekker richting het voorjaar! Ik zat trouwens net een minuutje terug aan je te denken en prompt verscheen je post! Dat was vast telepathie ;)!

    Ik wens je een fijne zondag, Madelief! Liefs, Ingrid

  3. Oh how beatuiful. These are wonderful shots of such beautiful cottages. I cannot wait till spring. We always try to never go to the same area twice. New discoveries are a treat.
    Thanks for sharing!
    God bless....Brooke
    My home and garden site...
    My Vintage Art and Printables site...

  4. Between the beauty of those gardens and that dreamy cottage, you could lose yourself for days in a place like that.
    I have only been to the south East coast of England and London. You remind me how badly I need to explore the countryside!

    Have a lovely weekend!

  5. I visited there over 20 years ago, what a good idea getting there so early and beating the crowds! Your pictures remind us of how beautiful and colourful summer can be.
    Sarah x

  6. We went about 30 years ago for a New Year weekend, when the area had been flooded. It was in a sorry state then, but still had a wonderful sense of history. Glad you enjoyed it, we will have to go back in the summer some time! xx

  7. Heerlijk die mooie herinneringen, wat zal het een mooie reis geweest zijn. Genieten van de huizen met die prachtige tuinen.

    Nog 7 weken en dan is het hier officieel voorjaar, straks komen de eerste bolletjes alweer in bloei.Leuk om alvast weer plannen te maken voor het komende tuinjaar. Het zal je vast inspiratie geven die prachtige Engelse cottage tuinen.

    fijn weekend Pauline

  8. Dear Madelief - thank you for this little glimpse of summer yet to come. I feel warmer already just looking at the images. Getting there early was a good idea, I am glad that you enjoyed seeing the Anne Hathaway's cottage and the beautiful garden.

  9. Was für ein himmlischer Ort, liebe Madelief, man spürt fast den Duft der traumhafte Impressionen in diesen kalten Wintertagen!!!! Ganz lieben Dank dafür und ein wundervolles Wochenende,

    bis bald, herzlichst Jade

  10. What a wonderful spot.
    The house, the garden beautifully simple.
    Yes, in England there are beautiful landscapes, houses and
    especially cottage gardens.
    The lady had to say certainly a lot of nice things and
    time goes by way too fast.
    One reason to turn back time.
    Thanks to you for such a beautiful stunning photographs.

    Best wishes for the weekend,

  11. I never realised quite how lovely the garden was at Anne Hathaway's Cottage - seeing your beautiful photos makes me want to visit there this summer.
    It is an added pleasure seeing such beauty at this time of year when there are only a few little jewels of colour to be seen in gardens, and to remind us of those warmer days to come.
    Thanks for sharing these lovely photos Madelief - the colours are gorgeous.
    Gill xx

  12. Stratford upon Avon, ik weet nog goed dat we daar geweest zijn toen onze dochters nog thuis woonden. We zijn echter niet naar Anne Hathaways Cottage geweest, jammer. Het ziet er zo fantastisch heerlijk Engels uit en de tuin, daar moeten jullie wel van genoten hebben. Als ik je foto´s zie, krijg ik zin om in het voorjaar weer naar Engeland te gaan.
    Fijne zondag !

  13. hallo madelief stradford vond het een super leuke kleine stad met het geboortehuis van shakespeare en anne hathaway cottage er zijn ook veel toeristen maar dat heeft london en york en oxford ook heel veel vond het wel erg knus en sfeervol stadje vond vooral de tuinen ook zo mooi van beide cottages mooi ook die sweet pea in de tuin en op de vaas en natuurlijk dat shakespeare er ook heeft gelopen en misschien in dezelfde pub iets gedronken heeft ja je kunt nooit weten? maar het heeft wel iets bijzonders fijne avond gr leon10

  14. Isn't it the most glorious garden Madelief ? ..... and very English. We joined the National Trust last year so we will be visiting as many gardens as we can in 2013......... they give so much inspiration don't they ? ..... and, your photographs are wonderful. XXXX

  15. Such beautiful, beautiful photos Madelief ,thank you for bringing some summer to a cold,wet day!
    Vivienne x

  16. Hello Madelief, I've never visited Stratford but you've sold it to me!

    Have a great weekend

    Claire xx

  17. Dear Madelief,

    Your beautiful pictures have brought it all back to me: my three-day visit of Stratford when I was seventeen, watching Romeo & Juliet and The Winter's Tale with Jeremy Irons - glorious - then meeting Jeremy Irons - even more glorious - and visiting Shakespeare's birthplace.

    No negative memories for me of the bard at school or beyond: I have always loved too many of his plays to recall any of the exam and essay stress involved.

    See you soon,


  18. Ik ben blij dat je bent gegaan...kunnen wij genieten van je mooie foto's !!.....liefs fijn

  19. I could most certainly lose myself while wandering around that lovely place! Love the cottage and the gardens! How fun that you got to visit. Thanks for taking me along and have a lovely weekend.


  20. Lieve Madelief,
    Wát een mooie plaatjes en het is altijd goed om in comedies te zijn. Goeie attitude; lachen en positief blijven.

  21. I visited Stratford for the first time when I was at school, to see a Winter's Tale, and more recently for a Conference. Beautiful city!

  22. Those gardens are amazing! Coincidentally I've been thinking about Shakespeare too--seeing show, though, not reading (though I should consider that). I've decided that one day I want to see the Royal Shakespeare Company.

  23. Oh- I am so jealous of your trip. I would so love to go there and experience it first hand. You made me feel like I was "almost there" though- blessings- xo Diana

  24. a good decision by you indeed. it looks like a lovely day, something i would love to do. thank you for sharing your beautiful photos madelief, in a small way i felt i was there. i saw sweet peas! my favorite!
    (love the shakespear quote)

  25. Such a beautiful garden and cottage as well, Madelief. And you pictures are perfect :o) Thank you so much for this tour. I found seeing your pictures very uplifting :0) Thanks dear friend.
    Have a sweet rest of the weekend
    Kisses to you and your lovely daughters
    Natasha & Fam

  26. The cottage and the flowers are so pretty. I hope to visit Stratford and the Cotswold one day. Have a good weekend.

  27. Makes me miss England all the more! Beautiful photos, as always. :)

  28. Goedemorgen lieve Madelief, jouw foto's zijn werkelijk PRACHTIG!! En je verhaal iedere keer weer een feest om te lezen. Ik hou van je stijl! Ga nog een keer je foto's bewonderen en me wederom afvragen waarom ik nog nooit in de Cotswolds ben geweest :-)

  29. Hallo Madelief,
    Wat heerlijk om in deze tijd van sneeuw en ijs zulke heerlijke bloemenfoto's te zien. Daar zou je toch uren willen blijven, in zo'n prachtige tuin. En dat huis...zo mooi!
    Wat fijn dat je ons nog even hebt meegenomen naar dat prachtige Stratford upon Avon...
    Ik wens je een heel fijne zondag,
    Lieve groet,

  30. It must be a wonderful place to see!!! I love the lovely cottage and the so lush vegetation.
    Have a nice sunday :)

  31. Wat is het weer een prachtige post geworden! Ik kan echt genieten van de mooie bloemenfoto's!

    Een fijne zondag gewenst!

    Groetjes, Pietrik

  32. It is the most beautiful spot, isn't it ... and how lovely to be reminded of summer in these bleak winter days!

    Thank you so much for the get well wishes, they were much appreciated :)

  33. Charming place dear Madelief!!!! it´s a color explosion and was surely great! a big kiss

  34. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet." Romeo and Juliet

    Oh Madelief, I love Shakespeare! It is quite a long time ago (sometime during the 1990s) that I visited Shakespeare´s birthplace and I can´t remember that it was overcrowded. I was fascinated by the house and Stratford-upon-Avon altoghether. Unfortunately I didn´t visit the Hathaway Cottage, at that time I didn´t have the deep passion for gardens and flowers as I have today (I know, it´s a shame). Thanks very much for showing these stunning pictures. They are balm for the soul in these rather dull and grey days.:-) Just beautiful!

    Liebe Grüße, Bärbel (yes, after a very long break I´m back again!)

  35. Prachtige sfeervolle foto's!
    En ik zou bijna, bijna weer aan Shakespeare beginnen. Tja, die trauma's van de verplichte leeslijsten, ik zit er nog mee. Ik moest Oscar Wilde lezen, Picture of Dorian Gray. Heb hem nog in de kast staan, maar nooit meer gelezen. Terwijl het misschien een fantastisch verhaal is.
    Maar ik doe het lekker niet, terugwerkende dwarsheid. Bovendien heeft Oscar Wilde geen comedies geschreven.

    1. Hi Kyroushka,

      Oscar Wilde schreef een goede komedie 'The importance of being earnest'. Het is ook verfilmd met Colin Firth in een van de hoofdrollen! Zeker de moeite waard :-)!

      Madelief x

    2. Hallo Madelief, wat grappig dat je me dat nog laat weten!! Ik heb the importance of being earnest ook gelezen (dat was in het eindexamenjaar, ja, het was een fanatieke leraar Engels die mij dit aandeed) en ik geloof niet dat ik ook maar iets van de plot begreep. Maar, we zijn weer wat jaartjes verder en aangezien Colin Firth het waard vond om in te spelen zal ik het er toch nog maar eens bijpakken. Het boek dan, he! Alhoewel de film nu wel verleidelijk is...

  36. Hello Madelief:
    What glorious images and happy memories of your time in Stratford. Sometimes one just has to brave the crowds to see something but we are delighted that you were able to see Anne Hathaway's Cottage without too much of a crush. It is very pretty and your delightful photographs have captured it perfectly.

    We have enjoyed so many memorable performances at the theatre in Stratford but have yet to see it in its new finery. As you say, it all does inspire one to revisit Shakespeare afresh, away from the compulsory classroom, and to enjoy that incredible language anew.

    Yes, a very good choice to have decided to go to Stratford after all and a wonderful way to brighten up the winter weather here in Budapest with these splendid summery images!A Winter's Tale, no less!!!

    Hoping that your weekend is going well and that you are keeping warm. Love to you all, J and L xx

  37. Liebe Madelief,

    was für ein schöner Ausflug in ein Gartenaradies !!! Das tut sooo gut, hir ist es nur trüb & grau...Ich wünschte mich SOFORT nach Straford...wir waren auch da, an einem frühen Morgen, überhaupt nicht voll und doch sehr schön !!! Aber in A.Hatheways Garten waren wir leider nicht, sehr schön da und noch schöner sind die geschichten , die man erzählt bekommt bei einer Führung, ich mag das sehr !!!
    Und du darfst ein Gästezimmer gestalten ? Wie schön !!! Wollte deinen Tochter nicht, dass ihr Zimmer " reseviert " für sie bleibt ? Das haben meinen Kinder schon angekündigt :-))))

    Bin gespannt auf Bilder und wünsche dir einen schönen Sonntag ,


  38. Dear Madelief,
    What lovely photographs - not least being you in your scarf!
    It has been many years since I was at Anne Hathaway's house. I had forgotten how lovely the garden is.
    Thank you for giving us all these summer colours on what is a very drab and dreary day!
    Bye for now

  39. Zo'n prachtige reportage kan ik even gebruiken op deze grijze zondag, heerlijk!
    Lieve groet,

  40. Wat onwerkelijk al die prachtige en fleurige foto's en dat terwijl hier net alle sneeuw bijna is weggesmolten.
    Goed dat jullie toch besloten te gaan Madelief, het ziet er werkelijk prachtig uit.
    Ik wens je een fijne avond.
    Lieve groet, Mea

  41. It just looks so well tended , the thatch, bricks , those sweet peas and the lushness of it all. And those leaded glass windows! Thank you for being able to see it from new and unusual angles too,

  42. Hi dear Madelief,
    the sweet cottage and garden are sooo gorgeous, so it was really worth to get out very early. Wishing you a great week, I'm sure you make plans for you garden, or?

  43. Hello, dear Madelief!

    Well! "Nothing ventured, nothing gained!" as the saying goes. It looks wonderfully charming and isn't it just wonderful to have guide who has a flow of knowledge and insight? What a great adventure.

    Happily, my classes in Shakespeare weren't a drudgery. I can still remember my college professor - very tall with shiny cheeks and straight hair and her name was Susan (but I just cannot imagine that we called her by her first name but that is all that I can remember.) and she LOVED teaching - it was very fun! But what a revelation it has been to me, the past few years, to realize that I can learn and explore anything I want. I think that I'm coming into a time in life where it's possible to see past diapers and chasing after little legs that are faster than I am. ;)

    and I am sure that others have said it before me - it's so refreshing to see these beautiful blasts of summer gardens. A bit surreal really but so beautiful and dreamy!

    Thinking of you and yours.... all the time! =] xxoo


    Katy xo

  44. Dear Madelief,
    gorgeous pictures from a wonderful cottage garden!
    Thank you for showing us the summer colours. Here the weather is grey and its raining.
    Have a nice week
    lieve groetjes

  45. LIeve Madelief.
    Prachtige foto's van Anne Hathaway's cottage en tuinen. Wij waren daar ook en ik vond het ook zo geweldig. Ik moet toch eens kijken bij mijn foto's. In Shakespeare heb ik me niet meer verdiept :)))
    Liefs van Riet

  46. Hello Madelief
    Your trip sounds lovely and your photos are beautiful. Our home exchange to The Netherlands has moved to the summer of 2014 now and we will be exchanging with a couple from Zeist for 6 weeks. They also own a home in Greece and have offered that home to us for 2 weeks so we are excited to make our plans. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Take care.


  47. Heel mooi en het geeft een grijze dag weer kleur.

    Ik heb me opnieuw moeten aanmelden als je volger.Ik kreeg een site uit Indonesië als ik op jouw link klikte. Heel raar.

    Lieve groet

  48. Wonderful ! Wonderful house and garden ! I dream to live in a house like this ! A fairy tale's house....
    Nice new week Madelief !

  49. Hello Madelief
    What beautiful photos of your trip, I am ashamed to say I have never been ..I think the stories of how busy it gets have always put me off..but it is on my list
    The garden looks idyllic, just how I imagined it would, a hotchpotch of veg and flowers bliss!
    Enjoy your new week
    Thea x

  50. Oh,my Godness...............!!!
    Madelief,het is ongelooflijk mooi,je was daar en HOE bijzonder prachtig is overal daar:-)*

    Prachtige foto`s en ik kan me voorstellen hoe zou je moeten voelen tussen alle pracht daar.

    Liefs en groeten,

  51. This is exceptionally beautiful! I miss thatched roofs. I grew up where they are common place at least in the countryside, but where I live now I recently had to explain to somebody what I meant when I said I'm dreaming of having a house with thatched roof one day :)

  52. Acabei de conhecer o seu blog e achei maravilhoso. Me visite:

    Beijos Marie.

  53. Hello Madelief I love Anne Hathaway's cottage and have visited it quite a few times over the years.......and your pictures of it are wonderful! The gardens are so full of flowers and you have captured the colourful views so beautifully. I too enjoyed the tour guide's interesting historic details the last time we went! Wishing you a happy week...keep warm!
    Helen x

  54. Dear Madelief,
    what great and colourful pictures: wonderful gardens, flowers, old houses... I do believe that you have really enjoyed your stay there!
    so often tried to leave a comment - but today it's possible ;-))

    Have a good time!
    Kind regards (here it's snowing again... and again...)!

  55. I have been to Stratford Upon Avon and have also visited Anne Hathaway's cottage. In fact, in the centre of the little town, you can visit the house where Shakespeare was born. All so beautiful! I love the works of Shakespeare and have written essays about him, which were left at the University, in Bari, Italy, my city.

    The best "bit" for me, was finding myself in the church where William is buried, when it was empty. The thought of having had a few minutes on my own, with THE BARD, still fills me with excitement and joy...



  56. Hi Daisy,
    Oh my God, it's so beautiful.
    I wish i could go there ...
    Hugs Susa

  57. Fijn om aan de hand van deze prachtige foto's mooie herinneringen op te halen (en ons alvast te verheugen op het feit dat het over een paar maanden weer zo mooi groen is...)

    Fijne avond. Lieve groet, Miranda

  58. gaan hoor Madelief,het is weer genieten van de pracht aan natuur en bloemen met je post.....liefs

  59. I am so glad you decided to go! LOVELY gardens and such a treat to go back in time. Sigh. :)
    Have a wonderful week, Madelief!

  60. Oh, I am so glad you went it is such a lovely place. Very good idea to go so early in the morning! I hope you found some inspiration for your own garden.
    xoxo Ingrid

  61. Such lovely lovely photos....I heard today you got lots of snow...stay warm and cozy my keeping my fingers crossed for sunny days while I am visiting. xoxoxo hugs

  62. Oh prachtig de tuinfoto`s en de cottage vind ik helemaal geweldig,fijne avond,lieve groet Musje.

  63. I also like Cotswolds,english country is soooo lovely ! Lucky you, you are so close with the UK
    Love Olympia

  64. I have lost my way and found myself visiting your blog. And what a trip down memory lane it has been. I last visited Anne Hathaway's cottage and Stratford upon Avon as a 16 year old on a school trip.

  65. Wauw, wat een prachtige foto's heb je geplaatst... kan zo uit een sprookje komen!!!
    Krijg spontaan zin in de zomer..

    Fijn (droog) weekend gewenst!

    Lieve groet,

    't Bezige Bijtje

  66. Hello Madelief

    I am delighted you decided "to go" What marvelous images and I agree with you on it being a quintessential English garden. Don't you love how the plantings are without micro managing?

    Thanks for taking us along

    Helen xx

  67. Lieve Madelief, deze pots heb ik helemaal gemist! Ik ben al een paar dagen geveld door de griep maar nog niet op het moment dat je deze fantastische post plaatste. Wat heerlijk om zo even weg te dromen naar de zomer en te genieten van de bloemenzee. Ik ga je foto's nog een keertje kijken, kan er geen genoeg van krijgen:)

  68. Wat een heerlijke foto's, krijg helemaal zin in de zomer en het voorjaar.
    Elk jaar zeg ik, ik wil meer bloemen. Het lijkt wel of ik er elk jaar meer wil. Maar je moet keuzes maken.
    Bedankt voor deze prachtige beelden. Fijne week.


Thank you for your lovely words.