PAGE 40 | LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE STRATFORD Shakespeare, shops and leafy stops Situated on the banks of the beautiful Avon River, Stratford has adopted a connection to poet William Shakespeare, who was born in Stratford-on-Avon in England. Shakespearean trail While the town’s April Shakespeare Festival season has already passed, you can still immerse yourself in all things Shakespeare, thanks to Stratford’s year-round, interactive arts trail and sculpture walk, aptly named ‘Shakespeare through the Ages’. The free, threekilometre trail can be guided by a preloaded MP3 player (available for hire in the main street), providing a fun and informative way to learn about the arts and festival culture of the town. The trail links interactive ‘thought spaces’, and unites many art forms through story, song, history and sculpture. To find out more about the arts trail and sculpture walk, go to stratfordshakespeare.com.au/arts-trail. A cultural gem Many of the heritage buildings in Stratford were constructed from the money made by providing supplies for gold diggers travelling to Omeo and Dargo during the 1860s. The burgeoning sophistication of the town has seen the emergence of live music venues, galleries, gift shops, modern eateries and funky cafés making excellent food and coffee. And a perfect pitstop Stratford’s leafy Memorial Park, in the centre of town, is an excellent place for a pitstop on your journey to or from east Gippsland. With lush lawns, mature trees and street parking suitable for caravans, boats and trailers, this well-equipped park has playgrounds, sheltered and unsheltered picnic tables, barbeques, seating, public toilets and rubbish bins. Another nice place to stop, for a walk or a picnic, are the picturesque, pebbled banks of the Avon River – which have also proven to be a productive source for gemstone collectors over the years. Stratford’s leafy Memorial Park. AVON RIVER AVON RIVER AVON RIVER AVON RIVER STRATFORD BENGWORDEN RD CARTER ST HOBSON ST OLD PRINCES HWY PRINCES HWY DAWSON ST TYRES ST TYRES ST MERRICKS ST BLACKBURN ST MCALISTER ST REDBANK RD REDBANK RD RED OLD REDBANK RD WELLSFORD ST STEWARTS LANE LLOWALONG RD LLOWALONG RD SANDHILL RD WYNDHAM ST MERRICK ST BRIAGOLONG RD BRIAGOLONG RD STRATFORD MAFFRA RD AIRLY RD LEE ST MCFARLANE ST MCFARLANE ST KILLEEN ST DAVIS ST MCMILLAN ST PRI NCES HWY PRINCES HWY Police MAFFRA TO BAIRNSDALE TO BRIAGOLONG TO BLUE POOL QUARRY RESERVE APEX PARK THE KNOB RECREATIONAL RESERVE stratford3862 Welcome to Scan here for full detailed map Distance from Melbourne: 229km Population: 2600 approx. Amenities: Local pub, supermarket and specialty shops. Accommodation options include caravans, cabins and motel.