If you are a fan of the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare, a visit to London is a must! Shakespeare is intimately linked with the city, and played a pivotal role in the development of theatre, with his legacy still witnessed in modern times. London is where some of his greatest plays were enacted and brought him recognition and fame.
If you want a truly Shakespearean experience take a trip to London, and visit some of the spots most closely linked with Shakespeare.
If you are looking to stay in comfort without having to pay a small fortune the suites in Shoreditch are a good choice. Located in the centre of London, they offer convenient access to the best attractions in town.
One of the best places to stay that offers boutique luxury and premium facilities at affordable rates is the M by Montcalm Shoreditch hotel. It is a good place to set up base before you set out to explore the city.
Some of the places with links to Shakespeare are as follows:
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: An absolute must for all admirers of Shakespeare to visit is the Globe Theatre. Although it is not the original site, it is close to where once the original theatre stood back in 1599. It offers a unique opportunity to see a play like members of the audience would have done back in Shakespeare’s time. To enjoy an authentic experience you need to watch the pay standing up in the crowd in the front row of the stage. In Shakespeare’s times, the audience close to the stage used to heckle the actor’s something which you could consider (if in a naughty mood). Apart from stage performances visitors can take a tour backstage and even visit an exhibition about the history of London and Shakespeare’s life. Located near Bankside in London, the Globe Theatre has an impressive view overlooking the Thames River. There are an on-site restaurant and several bars and cafes in the neighbourhood making it an ideal place to spend an afternoon at.
British Library: The national library of the country, it has numerous incredible artefacts available on display to the public. Shakespeare plays a prominent role in the library collection, with his First Folio among the most prized possessions of the library. The folio comprises of the first collective edition of the Bard’s plays, compiled by two of his theatre colleagues and then sent for publication seven years after he died. In the 16th-century folio editions were very expensive and large with the paper folded within and considered to be very exclusive. The copy on display at the library is among the most seen First Folios with the library owning 5 of the 233 copies in existence. Apart from Shakespeare’s works, there are numerous other literary treasures in the collection including Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures Underground, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Lindisfarne Gospels among other rare treasures. If you love books then a visit to the British Library is not to be missed when on a trip to London.
The George Inn: To experience having a drink in a classic English pub that dates back to the time of Shakespeare the George Inn is the place to drop into. The pub has been in business since the late 1600s and is the sole in existence coaching inn in the city. Among its many famous patrons, Shakespeare and much later Charles Dickens was rumoured to have visited the inn. It is a short stroll from the Globe Theatre, and one can easily picture Shakespeare dropping in with his theatre colleagues to celebrate the successful staging of his plays. The pub retains all its original charm and decor expected to be found in such an iconic establishment. These include log fires, oak beams, uneven floors and latticed windows. Visitors also have the option to sit out on sunny days with a drink while taking in the fine exteriors of the lovely building. Apart from great beer, the menu is superb as well, with the place a major draw with both locals and tourists. The George Inn is no longer in private hands and managed by the National Trust.
Compton Verney: The Compton Verney is one of the country’s best independent art galleries. Located in an excellently renovated Georgian home with 120 acres of stunningly beautiful landscaped land by Capability Brown, it is an impressive place to visit. A fabulous place to spend an after admiring the collection of art there also is a lovely restaurant to enjoy a fine meal. Apart from an impressive permanent collection of portraits dating back to Shakespeare’s time, it played host last year to a special exhibition, Shakespeare in Art. It focused on his plays and the influence these had on artists over the centuries. Apart from artwork, there are a number of other interesting Shakespeare related items on display, which fans of the Bard will through enjoy seeing.
Stratford on Avon: The location where Shakespeare was born and raised lies in the centre of the Midlands. Although he spent most of his life in London, he maintained links with Stratford and visited the place often. A great place to learn about the legendary playwright there is a number of locations in town closely connected to him. Stratford is synonymous with Shakespeare with the house he was born and grew up in and Hall’s Croft the stately Jacobean property, where Susanna his daughter and her husband stayed. There are guided tours of the area and the many haunts associated with the Bard. These include the cottage where Shakespeare courted his future wife, Guildhall Stratford where he studied and Holy Trinity Church among other places.