Sometime around 1586, William Shakespeare left his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon and headed for London. Which route did he take? Did he travel alone or in the company of others? All of these are unknown. What is certain is that he travelled on foot: unless you were a person of means, and could ride a horse, you walked. He left behind his wife and young family, heading towards an uncertain future, the outcome of which is universally acclaimed as the greatest body of work in the English language. Our own journey differed considerably from that of Shakespeare. We set out on a warm summer’s morning in July 2016, the 400th anniversary year of his death, from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in a Stratford-upon-Avon already heaving with tourists. Our intention was to ‘follow in his footsteps’, collaborating in a creative response in words and images, reflecting on how a journey of 146 miles might have helped to shape his work and character. Along the way, we sought to capture the essence of the sights, sounds and people we met, mindful that Shakespeare might have had similar experiences. All those elemental encounters surely made their way into his plays and poetry.

David Hatfull is a freelance professional photographer whose awards include both Kodak and Canon Photographer of the Year. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.  David’s photographs have been widely exhibited, including in 20 British Photographers, a touring exhibition of the UK, USA and New Zealand. His most recent shows are entitled Norfolk Landscapes and Service Providers. David is represented by The Bircham Gallery.

Ronan Hatfull completed his doctorate in English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick in 2019. He also studied at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he received an MA with Distinction in Shakespeare and Creativity. Ronan is currently an Associate Tutor at the University of Warwick and is working on a book about the history of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. He is also a playwright and co-founded the theatre company, Partners Rapt, who have performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Dell Festival.

Paul Edmondson is Head of Research and Knowledge at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and has written many books and articles about Shakespeare. He is also the Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Fest and completed his own 146-mile walk in 2016, reading a Shakespeare sonnet each mile, and writing some of his own.

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This project supports The Lizz Ketterer Trust 

Sir Stanley WellsSir Stanley Wells Pennywangle,The Shakespeare Birthplace TrustPennywangle,The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Setting ForthSetting Forth Setting ForthSetting Forth The Glover's SonThe Glover's Son The Glover's sonThe Glover's son Brailes HillBrailes Hill Overlooking CheringtonOverlooking Cherington St Philip's Church,Little RollrightSt Philip's Church,Little Rollright Cherington ChurchCherington Church Churchyard of St John the Baptist,CheringtonChurchyard of St John the Baptist,Cherington Cornfield path near Chipping NortonCornfield path near Chipping Norton Woodland, Long ComptonWoodland, Long Compton At The Rollright StonesAt The Rollright Stones At the Rollright StonesAt the Rollright Stones The King StoneThe King Stone Lights of KnightLights of Knight The rollright FairiesThe rollright Fairies Fairies in the RoundFairies in the Round A Horse,A Horse ?A Horse,A Horse ? A Horse. A Horse?A Horse. A Horse? River Glyme,LidstoneRiver Glyme,Lidstone Stonefield steps,Blenheim EstateStonefield steps,Blenheim Estate The Lonely Dragon,Blenheim ParkThe Lonely Dragon,Blenheim Park The Lonely DragonThe Lonely Dragon Glyme Farm, WarwickshireGlyme Farm, Warwickshire Park Farm, BlenheimPark Farm, Blenheim The Painted Room, OxfordThe Painted Room, Oxford Quilt of FiguresQuilt of Figures Sunbathing near OxfordSunbathing near Oxford Oxford CanalOxford Canal Godstow Abbey,WolvercoteGodstow Abbey,Wolvercote Turners Green Lane,Old Drover's RoadTurners Green Lane,Old Drover's Road Fair FlowersFair Flowers St Lawrence Churchyard,Toot BaldonSt Lawrence Churchyard,Toot Baldon Back garden, StadhamptonBack garden, Stadhampton Church of St Mary the Virgin,ChalgroveChurch of St Mary the Virgin,Chalgrove At St Mary the Virgin, ChalgroveAt St Mary the Virgin, Chalgrove Sunken PathSunken Path Sunken PathSunken Path ImpressionsImpressions ImpressionsImpressions Soli in the WoodlandsSoli in the Woodlands Soli in the WoodlandsSoli in the Woodlands Witch TreeWitch Tree Witch TreeWitch Tree Stonor TreeStonor Tree Stonor ParkStonor Park Them HillsThem Hills Them HillsThem Hills Christ Church Churchyard,CrookhamChrist Church Churchyard,Crookham On the last DayOn the last Day Homefield Wood,HambledenHomefield Wood,Hambleden Alas, Poor DollyAlas, Poor Dolly Lord Chamblelain's MenLord Chamblelain's Men Sonnets on the WaySonnets on the Way Sonnets on the WaySonnets on the Way Stoke CommonStoke Common Bottled by PhotographyBottled by Photography Sunbather,Grand Union CanalSunbather,Grand Union Canal Beech wood, Burnham BeechesBeech wood, Burnham Beeches Beech stumpsBeech stumps Along the Thames PathAlong the Thames Path Graffitied noticeboardGraffitied noticeboard Canal lock, Grand Union CanalCanal lock, Grand Union Canal Along the Grand Union CanalAlong the Grand Union Canal Along the Grand Union CanalAlong the Grand Union Canal High and dryHigh and dry Thames boatyardThames boatyard Westminister weddingWestminister wedding In the shadow of LarryIn the shadow of Larry Charlie Chaplin on the South BankCharlie Chaplin on the South Bank Millennium Bridge, LondonMillennium Bridge, London Shakespeare's Globe,LondonShakespeare's Globe,London This Wooden OThis Wooden O Dr Paul Edmondson, The Shakespeare Birthplace TrustDr Paul Edmondson, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Devon Glover,aka The Sonnet Man,rapperDevon Glover,aka The Sonnet Man,rapper Rev.James Kennedy,Anglican PriestRev.James Kennedy,Anglican Priest Colin and judith, villasge shopkeepersColin and judith, villasge shopkeepers Tony and Chloe, InnkeepersTony and Chloe, Innkeepers Robert Hobill,estate manager,Ditchley ParkRobert Hobill,estate manager,Ditchley Park Nigel,guide,Blenheim EstateNigel,guide,Blenheim Estate Graham Piggot,SculptorGraham Piggot,Sculptor Brian,CanoneerBrian,Canoneer Wild SwimmersWild Swimmers Sarah Markham,lockeeperSarah Markham,lockeeper Ferryman,River ThamesFerryman,River Thames Andy,EnvironmentalistAndy,Environmentalist Dr.Emma Smith,academicDr.Emma Smith,academic Megan,waitressMegan,waitress Colin,Car mechanicColin,Car mechanic George,Sheep farmerGeorge,Sheep farmer Debbie Dance, preservationistDebbie Dance, preservationist Tim ,publicanTim ,publican Pattie,lepidopteristPattie,lepidopterist Brian,detectoristBrian,detectorist Hilary,violin makerHilary,violin maker Amy,landscape painterAmy,landscape painter Mikron,Narrowboat travelling theatre companyMikron,Narrowboat travelling theatre company Senem and Nina, towpath repairersSenem and Nina, towpath repairers John,model boatbuilderJohn,model boatbuilder Bill and Marie Baptist ministersBill and Marie Baptist ministers Robin Steinway,canal boatmanRobin Steinway,canal boatman Joe and Rachel,travelling campervannersJoe and Rachel,travelling campervanners Michael ,litter pickerMichael ,litter picker Gary and Beth, touristsGary and Beth, tourists Tony and John,window cleanersTony and John,window cleaners Captain Pugwash,filmmaker and boatmanCaptain Pugwash,filmmaker and boatman Jenny,singer-songwriterJenny,singer-songwriter Joanne and Tei Xue, newlywedsJoanne and Tei Xue, newlyweds Tom and Tamara,actorsTom and Tamara,actors