Among the many tacky tourist traps are some quality shops, including the ones described below.
Set within an antique house with ceiling beams, the Shakespeare Bookshop, 39 Henley St. (tel. 01789/292176; www.shakespeare.org.uk), across from the Shakespeare Birthplace Centre, is the region's premier source for textbooks and academic treatises on the Bard and his works. It specializes in books for every level of expertise on Shakespearean studies, from picture books for junior high school students to weighty tomes geared to anyone pursuing a Ph.D. in literature.
Everything in the Pickwick Gallery, 32 Henley St. (tel. 01789/294861), is a well-crafted work of art produced by copper or steel engraving plates, or printed by means of a carved wooden block. Hundreds of botanical prints, landscapes, and renderings of artfully arranged ruins, each suitable for framing, can be purchased. Topographical maps of regions of the United Kingdom are also available if you're planning on doing any serious hiking.
Other shopping bets include the Antique Market along Ely Street, with some 50 or more stalls selling porcelain, silver, jewelry, and Shakespeare memorabilia. Antique Arms & Armour, Poet's Arbour on Sheep St. (tel. 01789/293453), has the best collection of antique swords and armor, some of it looking like old props from previous Shakespeare productions.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.