BANCROFT Gardens is among the best – and that’s official.
The green space has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor – the worldwide travel website, on which people leave reviews of everything from hotels to restaurants.
Ranked 21st out of 95 things to do in Stratford, 109 visitors to Bancroft Gardens have rated it as excellent or very good in the past year.
Recent reviews have described the park as a ‘nice place to take a walk’, ‘a riverside refuge’, ‘a great place to stop and rest’ and ‘a lovely space.’
The Certificate of Excellence takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted on the website over a 12 month period.
To qualify, a business must maintain an overall rating of four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and have been listed on the site for at least 12 months.
Bancroft Gardens is maintained by Stratford District Council and attracts more than a million visitors each year.
It was originally an area of land where the townspeople grazed their animals, and the Canal Basin formed the terminus of the Stratford-to-Birmingham canal, completed in 1816.
The statue of Shakespeare is the work of Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower, and was presented to the town in 1888.
The smaller figures of Shakespearean characters Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Falstaff and Prince Hal are designed to symbolise philosophy, tragedy, comedy and history.
The Country Artists Fountain was made for the 800th anniversary celebration of the granting of the Charter for Market Rights by King Richard I (the Lionheart) in 1196.
The fountain was sculpted by Christine Lee and is made of stainless steel and brass. It was unveiled by the Queen in 1996.
Speaking about the award, district council community services spokesman, Coun Mike Brain said: “Bancroft Gardens is a super green space in the heart of Stratford for locals and visitors to enjoy all year round.
“Receiving an accolade like this is a real source of pride for us, and reflects the excellent work the council does in partnership with our contractors to make Bancroft Gardens the fantastic attraction it is.
“There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by our visitors, and we’d like to thank everyone who took the time to write a review on TripAdvisor. We look forward to continuing to welcome visitors to Bancroft Gardens.”