Stratford-upon-Avon is a great town to visit with lots of family attractions including the Butterfly Farm, Shakespeare’s Birthplace Museums, MAD Museum and lots of open spaces to enjoy family days out.
We visited Stratford-upon-Avon in February half term to visit The Enchanted Manor Museum on Henley Street, next to William Shakespeare’s birthplace.
The Enchanted Manor Museum is part of the Creaky Cauldron which is home to the Magic Alley Store, filled with books, spells, wands, candles and vintage toys and games. At the far end of the shop is a café called the Golden Broomstick Cafe that sells ice-cream, coffees and cakes.
About the Enchanted Manor Museum
The Enchanted Manor Museum follows the stories that appear in a range of books called The Chronicles of Wizard’s Thatch, by local Stratford-upon-Avon author Dave Matthews. The books are about William Shakespeare being a time travelling wizard – how else would he know about all those historical events!? The museum allows you to take part in quests and adventures that the characters in the books go on.
You don’t have to have read the books to take part in the museum (we hadn’t) but I imagine it would make it more special if you had read the books.
To Enter The Enchanted Manor Museum
To enter the Enchanted Manor Museum, you pay at the till £10 per adult and £7 per child. You are given an answer sheet and clipboard and climb the stairs to the museum.
The museum is very narrow staircases and small rooms and corridors dressed for the quest you are undertaking. It is not suitable for pushchairs and smaller children, but my 3-year-old was fine and my 7-year-old loved the adventure.
The Enchanted Manor Museum changes quests every few months or so. We visited in February so took part in the Valentine’s quest, which celebrated the magic of love. Later in the year there is an Easter quest, Midsummer Faeries quest, Halloween quest and Christmas quest. The rooms of the museum are completely changed and the quest is rewritten to offer something completely different.
To begin our quest, we entered rooms all about vampires and answered cyphers, puzzles and quizzes about the objects in the room. There were lots to read and every bit of the room was filled with props, signs about the characters, and magical objects.
Next, we went up the small staircase to rooms about pirates and witches. All of which was spooky, but not too scary and full of mystery and intrigue. The effort that goes in to making the rooms and the story come alive is really special.
We spent about 45 minutes completing our quest and then came downstairs to give our answer sheet in. We were awarded with certificates from the Ministry of Time and Field Agent identity cards which showed we were accomplished investigators. It also earned us 10% off in the café.
We treated ourselves to ice cream and coffee in the Golden Broomstick café afterwards which was a lovely end to our adventure.
This was a really special family day out which was full of adventure and magic. The Creaky Cauldron was established in 1990 so it has been around a long time (longer than Harry Potter they are proud to declare), and the books have built a cult following. As soon as you enter the Magic Alley store you are surrounded by magic and adventure, so a great place to visit -whatever your age!
To read more about The Wizard’s Thatch books and the story behind The Enchanted Manor Museum visit www.seekthemagic.org.