Travel UK

Mary Arden’s Farm in Wilmcote, England

If you go to Stratford-upon-Avon and buy tickets to go to all the Shakespeare properties, they give you passes that are valid for one year with multiple entries! There are five properties that you can go to, 3 of them in Stratford, 2 of them within walking distance.
Last week there was a beautiful snap of summery weather so Sam and I made the 3 mile walk along the canal to Wilmcote, England to the property that was furthest away: Mary Arden’s Farm. (Mother of Shakespeare.) It’s a working Tudor farm, and they really do mean working! We watched someone pluck feathers from a bird in the kitchen and it made me glad that I don’t have to do that kind of manual kitchen labour.
Mary Arden's Farm, Travel to Wilmcote, England
On the first lock out of Stratford.
The walk along the canals was stunning! It was the English countryside at it’s best!
Mary Arden's Farm, Travel to Wilmcote, England
I am fascinated by the canalboats and people who choose to live on them. At first I though what a brilliant life it must be just to relax and cruise along. But as we walked we saw how often, and with how much effort these watermen and women have to jump off their boats, run to the next lock, close it, come back, open theirs, close it, ad infinitum! It looked like really hard work, and I don’t know if I’d e strong enough to open a lock, but then again, I’ve never tried. (I’d love to though, if any kind readers out there own canalboats and have free time soon.)
Mary Arden's Farm, Travel to Wilmcote, England
The many, many locks along this stretch of waterway.
After our long walk, in very warm weather, before going to our destination we ducked into the first pub we saw to get a refresher to kick start out afternoon. I predictably drank cider, while Sam had a shandy. (For those of you who don’t know what a shandy is, it is half beer, half fizzy lemonade.)
Mary Arden's Farm, Travel to Wilmcote, England
 I ordered a half pint, which looks like a baby pint in this picture.
A baby pint would be a pint meant for babies.
Mary Arden's Farm, Travel to Wilmcote, England
Sam researching where we were about to go to.
Telephone box seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
One of the things that surprises people most when they are in Tudor homes is the height of ceilings, door beams, etc. The average Tudor male was only 5’6” so they aren’t particularly comfy to modern-sized individuals! (Unless you enjoy bumping your head.)
Mary Arden's Farm, Travel to Wilmcote, England
“Welcome to Shakespeare’s mother’s home. My name is Amanda. I’ll be your guide this afternoon.”
Mary Arden's Farm, Travel to Wilmcote, England
Wearing a summer festival flower crown in the farm hands quarters.

City girl confession: I had no idea that pigs came in the furry variety!

Mangalitza pigs.

On the property, there is also several acres of forest walks with a scavenger hunt for children along the way. Of course I participated as well and ended up finding this guy:

Mary Arden's Farm, Travel to Wilmcote, England
A weird summer deity.

Sam and I ended up spending so much time at the farm that we didn’t have enough time to make the canal walk back to Stratford (Sam had a show to go perform) so we had to catch the train. A walk that took us an hour took 6 minutes on the train and cost £1.60.

Mary Arden's Farm, Travel to Wilmcote, England
Sam surprise photographed me during a rather ungraceful moment.
We were the only people at the train station.
If you go to Mary Arden’s Farm, I really, really recommend budgeting in time to go to the Falconry Show as it was one of the highlights of our day. I even got to touch a snowy barn owl!

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  • Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife

    I had no idea there were fuzzy pigs either, they seem a bit creepy!

  • I know sometimes I order a half pint because we are not staying long or I dont want to get dehydrated and I should drink more water. But every time I get a half pint I look at it like its a baby pint. So small and cute. Then I just want to break out ‘they come in pints!’ from Lord of the Rings. x Thank you for linking up for Travel Tuesday, hope to see you next week!

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose – an expat lifestyle blog

  • Tina @ Girl Meets Globe

    With all the locks I’ve seen, I can’t imagine that you can get very far very fast. I think it would get a little old in the maneuvering. It’d be interesting to do it for a day though!
    I’ve never seen a fuzzy pig either. Interesting!! I love the random phone booths in the middle of no where! I commented to an expat friend just today about the randomly placed booths while we were out and about!

  • Amy Lee Scott

    The English countryside is so delightful (and who knew pigs were furry?). Your stroll through all that beautiful green land makes me nostalgic for England, especially biking through the country. It is such a peaceful place. However, I am totally glad I don’t have to pluck chickens and plow fields!

    Amy | Club Narwhal

    • Do you know, I’ve never ridden a bike in England! That will have to change asap. I adore being in the countryside. Owning a home in the country close enough to commute to London when necessary would be my ideal! Seeing the chickens being plucked really did turn my stomach and make me count my lucky stars that I was born in the century. xx

  • Karly Kim

    I want to go here with you. Also, your bod looks rockin’ in those shorts and tank. Yes, I was looking.

  • Rebekah Mann

    Wow, that sounds like an awesome trip!!! I had no idea there was fuzzy pigs either! they looked a little weird but kinda cute in an odd way!!

    • They were kind of sweet. There was an enormous one that was quite gross (he’s not pictured) but the rest were quite nice once you got over the surprise of them having hair! xx

  • A shandy sounds absolutely amazing. I didn’t know pigs came in a furry variety either! I’m also amazed at what awesome weather you got that day! Looks like a really fun day trip. 🙂

  • It is very quaint! That was its charm. I really recommend it! xx

  • Maryam

    Looks like you made the most of the last days of summer! And, yes, you MUST experience canal boating. I can heartily recommend it. x

    • Have you gone then? Did you have someone on the boat who was already experienced? If Sam and I went by ourselves it would be a catastrophe! x

  • Haha, that really does look like a baby pint!
    As for the Tudor farm, we had a Tudor “school” close to where I lived in Essex and they really do take the whole Tudor thing pretty seriously!

    • It’s crazy right?! It does make me really thankful that I wasn’t alive back then. I don’t think I could cut it!

      But for some reason that half pint looked smaller than every other half I’ve ever had! xx

  • Sarah Pete

    I LOVED seeing Mary Arden’s house! It was one of my favorite day trips our group took in England. Do they still have all the birds of prey??? There was a little kestral I was absolutely in LOVE with, and they demonstrated falconry for us with an Eurasian Eagle Owl named Angus. They even let a few of us give it a go (me included! BUCKET LIST ITEM FOR THE WIN!).
    It looks like you guys had an amazing day! How cool to live so close to such fun historical places :]

  • Dee

    Ooh, I didn’t know about furry pigs too! And all that unlocking-locking business does seem awfully tiring indeed!

  • Haley

    Fuzzy pigs- who knew!! Also, I want to try a shandy. Now, what I need is half beer and half fizzy lemonade. Sounds delicious!
    Do you like that what I took from your post was fuzzy pigs and a new drink for me to try?

    Your life seems so fun!! You have so much history to explore there.. I’m envious!

  • ifs ands Butts

    Furry pigs?!! I’m astounded! After visiting the Irish countryside in July, I’m really eager to check out the English countryside now.

  • Fiona J

    Hi Amanda,I love your pictures! I briefly went to Stratford last year for work and I’ve been meaning to go back with Barry as it looks so pretty and I love historical places! PS: furry pigs look so cute! X

    • You should come back! It’s very quaint but charming. There’s lots of things for the kids to do here as well, especially in the summer!xx

  • Sara Louise

    1. I call half pints baby pints too 🙂
    2. I have never, ever seen a furry pig! They’re so cute and so wrong at the same time.