Welford-on-Avon is situated on the meandering River Avon, which embraces the village on three sides. A narrow stone bridge named the Binton Bridge, crosses the river to the main street, off which lies the village green, with its tall striped maypole. This is the tallest in England at sixty five feet and is made of aluminium. On May Day, traditional celebrations are held around the pole, complete with Morris Dancers.
It is only four miles from Stratford-upon-Avon and is closely connected with William Shakespeare. It is believed that he was on his way back to Stratford-upon-Avon when he was caught in a rain storm. He took shelter in the Bell Inn in Welford-on-Avon and drank with his friends, Ben Jonson and Michael Drayton. William Shakespeare contracted a fever, from which he died. The Bell Inn is over 300 years old and has open fireplaces, exposed beams, flagstone floors and a renowned reputation for good food.
Welford-on-Avon has some of the most picturesque 17th century thatched timber-framed cottages in England. They stand in colourful gardens on both sides of Boat Lane, which leads down to the river. Tenpenny Cottage in Boat Lane, often appears in calendars and lids of chocolate boxes. The name is derived from the rent which was paid quarterly by tenants. Welford-on-Avon gets its name from the ford which crosses the River Avon, a short distance from the church. St. Peter’s Church is the oldest building in the village, built in 1330 on the site of an earlier 12th century building. The central part of the village is a conservation area with sixty listed buildings.