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As you like it: tailor-made tours of Shakespeare's England

William Shakespeare, England’s most famous playwright and poet, was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 and found success in London, where many of his plays were performed at the Globe Theatre. Follow in the footsteps of one of the world’s greatest creative geniuses on a tailor-made tour with Janet Redler Travel.

ShakespearesSchoolroomFizztour-SaraBeaumontPhotography10073of78_-_Copy.jpgWilliam Shakespeare © Sara Beaumont Photography

Shakespeare's Birthplace is a restored 16th-century half-timbered house in Stratford-upon-Avon, in England’s West Midlands, where it is believed that Shakespeare was born and spent his childhood years. Now a small museum owned and managed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the house presents a picture of family life at the time of Shakespeare. The adjoining Shakespeare Centre is a global hub for learning about the works, life and times of the world’s best-known writer. 

Shakespeares_Birthplace_c._VisitBritain_-_Lee_Beel_-_Copy.jpgShakespeare’s Birthplace © VisitBritain / Lee Beel

Young William was educated at the school in Stratford-upon-Avon, which is located in the town’s Guildhall, and visitors can sit in the very room where he sat as a pupil in the 1570s. Situated in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's Schoolroom and Guildhall reveal a crucial chapter in the story of Shakespeare's life in his home town, his education and the inspiration that led him to become the world’s greatest playwright.

Shakespeares_Schoolroom__Guildhall_Tudor_Schoolroom_Sara_Beaumont_photography_-_Copy.jpgShakespeare’s Schoolroom © Sara Beaumont Photography

The Guildhall, which celebrated its 600th anniversary in 2020, is one of Britain’s finest surviving medieval Guildhalls and was once the hub of commercial and social life in Stratford-upon-Avon.

ShakespearesSchoolroomFizztour-SaraBeaumontPhotography10077of78_2_-_Copy.jpgStratford Guildhall © Sara Beaumont Photography

Major restoration and meticulous conservation of the Guildhall, home to a series of rare medieval wall paintings, provides an extraordinary insight into 400 years of civic history. Visit the Council Chamber where Shakespeare’s father served as Bailiff (Mayor) and experience the space where William first witnessed performances by the country’s greatest actors of the day.

Anne_Hathaways_Cottage_640x478.jpgAnne Hathaway’s Cottage

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, nestled in the Warwickshire countryside a mile or so from Stratford-upon-Avon, is the farmhouse where William Shakespeare’s wife lived as a child. The iconic medieval farmhouse originally comprised of three rooms, and the original kitchen and parlour still remain. The house was extended by the Hathaway family, who were successful sheep farmers, into the substantial 12 room dwelling which stands today. The extensive gardens would once have been a farmyard with livestock and a herb garden.

Royal_Shakespeare_Theatre_c._VisitBritain_-_Lee_Beel_-_Copy.jpgRoyal Shakespeare Theatre © VisitBritain / Lee Beel

When visiting Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare lovers can enjoy a performance of one of his classic plays at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Dedicated to the great man, the theatre stands on the banks of the River Avon and seats over 1,000 people. Owned as it is by the Royal Shakespeare Company, there is an annual programme of Shakespeare productions, as well as other plays.

Towards the end of the 16th century, Shakespeare is known to have moved to London to pursue a career as an actor and a playwright. When he arrived in the capital, Shakespeare joined an acting company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, and a plaque on Curtain Lane in Shoreditch marks the site of the first permanent, purpose built theatre in London, called appropriately The Theatre, where Shakespeare wrote and performed.

When the company were evicted from the land on which The Theatre stood, they dismantled it and transported the timbers across the River Thames to construct a new theatre, which became known as The Globe.

Shakespeares_Globe_-_1.jpgShakespeare’s Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe is the famous reconstruction of this Elizabethan playhouse, which was opened in 1997. Masterminded by American actor and producer Sam Wanamaker, the Globe gives modern audiences the chance to experience theatre as it would have been in Shakespeare’s day. Now an iconic landmark on London’s South Bank, the theatre is a must see for Shakespeare fans from all over the globe.

When he retired, Shakespeare returned to Stratford-upon-Avon and New Place was his final residence, where he died in 1616. While the house no longer exists, the site is owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which maintains it as a specially-designed garden for tourists, and it is well worth a visit.

The_Gardens_at_New_Place_c._VisitBritian_-_Lee_Beel_-_Copy.jpgNew Place © VisitBritain / Lee Beel

Shakespeare was buried inside Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon and a monument was erected to mark his resting place. The grave is famous for the curse it bears, written by Shakespeare himself, which concludes “Cursed be he that moves my bones”!

On a tailor-made tour with Janet Redler Travel, as well as discovering Shakespeare’s story, you can enjoy delicious food in the finest restaurants, stay in some of England's most comfortable hotels and explore the landscape and attractions of the beautiful country Shakespeare called ‘this scepter’d isle’.

To find out more about a customised tour of England for you or your group, following in the footsteps of William Shakespeare, please do contact our friendly team today. 

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