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Globe Theatre

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The Globe Theatre was famously the home of William Shakespeare’s acting company and the site where many of his greatest plays first found an audience. Today a historically-accurate replica is home to a company which performs both Shakespeare’s plays and those from his contemporaries, and visitors can enjoy a guided tour and a trip to an exhibition about the theater’s illustrious history. The site is extremely popular, so book ahead to make sure you can visit at your preferred time slot!
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Tickets

Book your tickets for a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.
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Shakespeare's Globe Guided Tours
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Explore the life of Shakespeare in London with a guided tour of the theater for which he wrote. Discover the working Globe Theatre through an informative exhibition and a visit to the auditorium.
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Shakespeare's Globe Tour and Afternoon Tea with Prosecco
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Discover the workings of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre at an informative exhibition and a guided visit to the auditorium. Afterwards, you head to the Swan Restaurant for a traditional afternoon tea, accompanied by a glass of Prosecco.
on 3 websites
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Shakespeare’s Globe Guided Tour, with Thames River Cruise in London
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Enjoy a different view with City Cruises!  Explore Shakespeare's London and admire top city attractions from the waves on this Globe Theatre tour and Thames River sightseeing cruise. Hop-on and hop-off your Thames River cruise from any of the four conveniently located piers as many times as you like for 24 hours. Take in famous landmarks including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London. Then, visit William Shakespeare’s world-famous Globe Theatre and the Exhibition — where London’s Elizabethan-era plays and dramas are brought to life.
viator.com
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London Pass

Combine your trip with a host of other attractions by buying the London Pass.
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The London Pass with Access to over 80 Attractions
4.2starstarstarstarstar empty(2572)
 
Save time and money, choose from either a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6- or 10-day digital London Pass. Enjoy access to over 80 attractions and a 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour.
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2 Day London Pass 
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2 Day London Pass with Oyster Travel Card 
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4 Day London Pass 
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More Tickets & Tours

Browse even more products which include a trip to the Globe Theatre.
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Shakespeare's Globe to the Mayflower and Origins of the USA
5.0starstarstarstarstar(1)
 
There is no other tour that is quite like this one, where you will visit some of the most historic and less visited sites in London. This tour walks the entirety of the South Bank and around the River Thames, a place with over 2000 years of history.
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Shakespeare Walking Tour in London
4.5starstarstarstarstar half(2)
 
Learn more about how Shakespeare lived, worked and spent his time in London. Your fun and informative guide will take you to the places where the great bard drank, prayed and acted. Visit Southwark Cathedral, Borough Market as well as Sam Wanamaker's wonderful Globe Theatre for their interesting in-house tour.  Tour includes admission to the official Globe Theatre tour. Each tour guest receives a copy of some of the Bard's famous expressions/sayings.
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London: Top 20 Sights Walking Tour and Globe Theatre Tour 
Explore London’s top 20 world famous landmarks. After a walking tour of the city, explore the Globe Theatre, Shakespeare's own playhouse. See the place where Shakespeare and his company used to perform their plays.
getyourguide.com
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London: 2-Hour Shakespeare Walking Tour 
Step back in time to the London of William Shakespeare and follow in the footsteps of the world's most famous playwright on a 2-hour walking tour. Explore historic buildings connected to a writer who has changed the world of literature and theatre.
getyourguide.com
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Top Tips

1. If you’re going to watch a play, bring an umbrella! The yard where the groundlings stand isn’t covered by the roof, and if it rains then the show still goes on. Dress for the weather and wear shoes you can stand in for long periods of time.
Globe Theatre Stage | Photo: Christine Borden - CC BY-SA 2.0
2. A tour of Shakespeare’s Globe is included in the London Pass, so if you’re planning on seeing several of London’s top attractions, including the Tower of London and the London Eye, then it’s a great deal. Just remember that the London Pass doesn’t let you skip the line at the Globe Theatre.
The London Pass
3. When you’re booking seats to watch a play (rather than book a groundling ticket and standing) then consider renting a cushion or bringing something soft to sit on - the authentic wooden benches can get uncomfortable after an hour or so!
4. If you’re looking for a special day out, why not combine your tour or trip to the theater with afternoon tea at The Swan? The restaurant is next to the theater and tea (which includes sandwiches, savory bites, scones, and sweet treats) is served from noon to 3 pm daily. The Midsummer Night’s Dream tea costs £28.50 if you buy it on the day. The Swan also has a pre-theater menu, it’s recommended to reserve in advance as it can be very busy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was William Shakespeare?

William Shakespeare is widely thought of as the best writer in the English language, and the world’s best playwright. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 and died there in 1616 after a prolific and successful career. He wrote 39 plays, 154 sonnets, and 2 long narrative poems, plus several other incomplete verses, and his works are performed more often than those of any other playwright throughout the world. His significance extends beyond the study of literature and into psychology and linguistics, and we still use many of his phrases today, including ‘good riddance’, ‘star-crossed’, ‘salad days’, and the phrase to ‘eat someone out of house and home’. Some scholars believe that Shakespeare didn’t write the plays which were attributed to him since he only received a Grammar school education, but it’s generally agreed that he was a powerhouse of a writer, and his reputation hasn’t dimmed over the centuries.

What’s so special about the Globe Theatre?

The original Globe Theatre was built in 1599 by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a playing company which counted William Shakespeare, the greatest English playwright of all time, as a member. Many of his most famous plays were debuted there, and the company had exclusive rights to perform his plays for many years. The original Globe was built out of the timber from another theater, imaginatively called The Theatre, which was stolen by the company after a dispute with the owner of the plot of land where it had been standing, their argument being that he might own the land but not the building on top. The first Globe Theatre burned down in 1613 after a cannon set fire to the wooden beams and thatching of the roof during a performance of Henry VIII. It was rebuilt the next year before being closed down for good by Puritans in 1642 and was demolished shortly after.

So this theater isn’t the real Globe Theatre?

The theater currently standing is a replica of the original, standing 750 feet (230m) from the location of Shakespeare’s theater. The project was founded in 1970 by Sam Wanamaker, who wanted to build a version of the Globe which was as close as possible to the one which stood during Shakespeare’s time, before the fire in 1613. It was reconstructed using what little was known about the original Globe, descriptions of its predecessor, The Theatre, and information from excavations of other theaters which date to this time, such as the Rose Theatre. It’s built entirely out of English Oak, with mortise and tenon joints and no structural steel, and it’s also the only building in London to have been allowed to build a thatched roof since the Great Fire of London in 1666. Special dispensation was given provided that the thatch was protected by fire retardants and sprinklers. Originally the theater’s productions didn’t use spotlights or microphones, to better recreate a Shakespearian experience, but recently this rule has been relaxed in some performances.

Does the theater only show plays by Shakespeare?

The majority of the performances at the Globe Theatre are of plays by Shakespeare. However, there are other plays on offer throughout the year! The theater has a series called Read Not Dead, which focuses on plays by Shakespeare’s contemporaries from the 16th and early 17th centuries, most of which are rarely performed. There are also occasional runs of modern plays, usually set in the time of Shakespeare, look out for them at the Globe Theatre’s website.

What will we see on a tour?

The standard tour takes 40 minutes and is presented in English (though information sheets are available in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Simplified Chinese). It includes a tour of the auditorium, including the seating and groundlings’ yard. The theater is an accurate reproduction of Shakespeare’s Globe, which wouldn’t have had a separate backstage area, so there isn’t one to visit. You’ll also get access to the exhibition area which will give you some more historical context about the theater and London’s history, and there may also be demonstrations of historical costumes and stage fighting. Your tour may coincide with rehearsals on the stage, which you’re welcome to watch as long as you don’t take photographs and follow your guide’s instructions so as not to disturb the actors.

Is it suitable for children?

A tour of the Globe Theatre and a trip to the exhibition space is suitable for children who are old enough to understand some of the history. There’s even a specially adapted version of the tour for families, and the guides will make sure that young children get to learn as well as enjoying their trip. Look out for special storytelling events for the over 5’s, during which storytellers adapt Shakespeare’s plays in a way that children will enjoy taking part in. As far as attending plays goes, children are welcome to attend, but parents should bear in mind the content of the particular play in question, and note that if you’re intending to book groundling tickets, children will have to stand or be held throughout the performance. Strollers aren’t allowed into the auditorium.

General Information

Opening Hours:

The box office is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm and shortly before each performance for people wishing to buy tickets to a play or show in the theater. Theater tours depart every 30 minutes daily from 9.30 am to 5 pm. Tour times may vary depending on the performance schedule.

Tickets:

Tickets for performances start at £5 for standing places in the yard, then vary in price depending on the performance and your chosen seats. Tickets for a tour of the theater cost £17 for adults, £15.50 for visitors aged 60 and over, £13.50 for students aged 16 and over, and £10 for children.

Address:

Shakespeare’s Globe
21 New Globe Walk
London SE1 9DT

How to get there:

The Globe Theatre is easy to reach by walking along the South Bank of the River Thames. The theater is a 10-minute walk away from Blackfriars or Mansion House stations (both on the District and Circle lines), a 15-minute walk away from London Bridge (Northern and Jubilee lines), Southwark (Jubilee line), and St Paul’s (Central line). The closest train stations are Blackfriars, London Bridge, London Cannon Street, and Waterloo. Several buses stop close to the Theatre, including numbers 11, 15, 17, 23, 26, 45, 63, 76, 100, 344, 381, and RV1. Limited parking is available on New Globe Walk for Blue Badge holders only.
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