The Essential Guide was setup for a purpose - to provide visitors to Stratford-upon-Avon with a one stop, easy to manage booklet with easy to read maps directing people to some of the many popular attractions and activities as well as restaurants, bars, supermarkets and other local amenities.
With the Essential Guide in hand, the visitor no longer has to carry handfuls of leaflets, nor do they have to try to interpret complicated, cluttered and unwieldy folding maps.
The Essential Guide is a popular choice with local hoteliers and guest house owners and regularly features some of the area’s biggest attractions including The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and The Royal Shakespeare Company.
If you have any questions or would like a hard copy of the publication and/or a media pack sent to you, please contact us by email or give us a call on
The Essential Guide is produced by SONA Publishing, a local company who have been producing a number of local publications since 2005, including "The Stratford Directory"
SONA is led by Sharon Stephens, a resident of Stratford for over 30 years, backed by a small team of like-minded and motivated individuals handling design and distribution.
Our experience of the town and surrounding areas means we already know a lot about the businesses who advertise with us, having used almost all of them ourselves.
The Essential Guide is delivered and displayed by us personally at all of our distribution locations, ensuring that every copy has the opportunity to land into the hands of visitors.
The Stratford-upon-Avon Essential Guide has become an integral part of my 'welcome to Stratford' for the guests at my Bed & Breakfast. It enables me to quickly and clearly show where all restaurants and attractions are on its clear and easy to read map in the middle pages. Its vouchers and special offers are always a hit with guests. Its size is perfect for pocket or handbag so can be carried round town and is usually taken onward due to its other map covering the Cotswolds and Warwick. It really is an ESSENTIAL guide. Thanks Sharon!
William Bruce, Moss Cottage B&B
The Essential Guide is a fantastic tool we use to enhance our guests experience when visiting Stratford. The excellent map clearly shows the major tourist attractions so it makes it very easy to show them their way around the town. It’s an added bonus that our favorite restaurants often advertise in it so we can easy direct them to our recommendations. We love it when local attractions/restaurants offer discounts in the guide so we can offer these to the guests.
Rob Iles, Avonlea B&B
This B&B could not operate without it. Guests love the map is so clear, and is full of information to help with their stay.
Sue Cowan, The Adelphi B&B