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Alcester is an attractive market town, on the river Arrow west of Stratford-upon-Avon and also to the west of the county of Warwickshire.
Along with Henley-in-Arden, it is one of the attractive towns in 'Shakespeare country' that get fewer visitors than more famous Stratford, but have a great deal to offer those who travel the extra few miles.
Alcester has a long history, dating back at least to Roman times when it was an important local centre (and walled town), while moving forward to the Middle Ages, in the 14th century the town developed around a benedictine monastery.
Each of these early stages in the life of Alcester has left its mark, as well as later periods - you can learn more of the important Roman period in Alcester's history at the dedicated 'Roman Alcester' centre at Globe House(Priory Road), while simply wandering the streets you will find impressive examples of buildings from the Tudor period, as well as the more recent Georgian and Victorian periods.
Particular highlights of your visit include the stroll along Alcester High Street, a traditional high street with an interesting variety of architectural styles, shops and pubs etc; the 14th century Church of Saint Nicholas (notice the odd positioning of the clock on the church tower, apparently so it can be seen from the High Street); and the general mix of buildings with the ancient Tudor houses mingled in with the more recent dwellings.
Places close to Alcester
Apart from the inevitable visit to Stratford-upon-Avon and associated properties (Anne Hathaway's House etc) there is much to see in the local Warwickshire countryside, including a grand 16th century Tudor manor house at Coughton Court (now a National Trust property); and the 18th century stately home at Ragley Hall, nowadays equally well known as home to the modern sculpture garden called Jerwood Sculpture Park.
Map of Alcester and places to visit
Alcester places to visit
See more places nearby in the Warwickshire guide