Private Theater Tour of London
- Small, private tour: Enjoy one-on-one interaction with your expert guide, who is a Ph.D. or MA level theater scholar, in an intimate group of no more than six.
- Shakespeare, The Thames River and The Globe Theatre: We will walk along the Thames from the site of the original Globe Theatre (circa 1599) to its current South Bank incarnation. Shakespeare’s involvement with the development of the area through this theater’s company will be discussed by your expert guide.
- Drury Lane: The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane sits upon the oldest theater site in London. Successive theatrical houses have operated from its location since 1663. It is currently owned by Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber.
- Covent Garden: The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, a major performing arts venue, should not to be confused with the Covent Garden district where it is situated although both are known simply as Covent Garden. The Royal Opera House is home to the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet.
- Bring the little ones: Our docents are family friendly and can adapt their presentation styles to the learning styles of children. However please contact us directly if you have children under 13. We’d love information about the favorite school subjects and hobbies. The more we know the better the docent match we can make for you.
- Exteriors Only: We will not enter the Globe or Swan Theatres.
- Interior and Exterior: We will enter part of the Royal Opera House and the Theatre Royal, Drury lane.
About This London Tour
Segregated and ostracized, the theater folk of the London area found a home along the banks of the Thames River and the city’s West End. William Shakespeare was an investor and owner of The Globe Theatre which was constructed on the south bank of the river. The Globe’s troupe was one of the earliest theatrical performing companies with its own theatre building. Over the span of centuries, the district slowly moved across the river to what is now the theater district of London’s West End. This sightseeing tour of the city will offer insights into the social and artistic forces that were born here and that still underpin our world. We will discuss and discover why theater folk were for centuries banished across the river, to a dangerous and dissolute area that was then well outside the city walls. This tour will explore how British theater became respectable.
Shakespeare and The Globe: Shakespeare is the beginning talking point for any discussion of English theatre. Our tour begins on the South Bank, not far from where the Globe Theatre, Shakespeare’s own theatre, was originally built. Your guide will share with you tales of a time when the theater was a public arena and plays were a part of everyday life. The modern reconstruction of the original playhouse where many of Shakespeare's plays were premiered lies approximately 250 meters away.
Drury Lane and Covent Garden: Crossing the Thames River we will find ourselves transported two centuries forward, to an era when two great royal theaters, the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, dominated London's social life. Depending on the tour day and time, we will alternate which of these theaters we will explore. Both offer two-hundred-year legacies of benchmark performances that gripped audiences in a way that no celebrity performance of today could duplicate. These historic theaters were once situated on the edge of squalid slums in an infamous district known for corrupt market stalls and houses of ill repute that were infiltrated nightly by gamblers, criminals, prostitutes and the demi-monde.
Exploring the West End and Covent Garden is integral to understanding how strong the prejudices were that theater folk had to overcome. The story of how the theater turned respectable is also the story of how London changed from its socially stratified, ragamuffin and anarchic society to the cosmopolitan capital city it has become. This is also the story of William Shakespeare, an obscure boy from the English Midlands who became recognized the world over as one of the greatest dramatists the world has ever known.
Please meet in the courtyard of the George Inn, 75-77 Borough High Street, SE1 1NH. The closest tube stop is London Bridge. The George is London's only surviving galleried coaching inn. It stands on the south side of the River Thames near London Bridge.
As in many cities, keep your wallet or purse secured and leave the bling behind.
Museums and monuments can sometimes close without notice due to labor strikes, structural problems, or other civic disturbances.
The docent who leads a given walk may become unavailable at the last minute due to illness or other unforeseen circumstance. In these cases we will seek to re-organize the walk to accommodate the change; however, our responsibility in these cases is limited and we cannot be held liable for circumstances beyond our control.
Price of the tour does not include entrance fees, meals or necessary transportations. These will be paid on the spot by the participants.
Plan to walk for approximately 2 miles at a gentle pace. If your mobility is limited, this tour may be too challenging for you. This itinerary is not suitable for wheelchairs.
Walking Tour, Cultural, Private Tour
Public transportation may be used from time to time. Have local currency available for tickets. Your tour may involve walking only.
Ph.D. or MA-level scholar guide
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages. Traveling with children 12 years of age and younger? Tell us their ages and interests during the booking process so we can match you with the best guide.
Walks are held rain or shine with some variations to accommodate the weather. If you are running late for your meeting with our guide, we ask that you call to alert us so that we can relay the message to the guide.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
100 countries, 915 cities… limitless possibilities
All our tours are offered by expert local guides & operators
Head off the beaten path with our unique tours & activities
You can rely on our team of travel industry experts
Your order is subject to TourTrek's Booking Ticket Agreement, including all TourTrek and GoBe policies incorporated therein.
Have you been on this experience?
Write a Review
Fields marked are required.
Please enter your review.