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Shakespeare's England

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and what better way to celebrate the life of the bard than with a tour around the locations that provided the stage upon which his life played out. This journey will take you to all of the places that were significant in Shakespeare’s life and since his death travelling from London through the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds to Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Tour highlights can include:

What's included...

Day 1 - London Part 1
We begin our tour at London’s National Portrait Gallery where we can see the famous Chandos Portrait. This picture is the only portrait of Shakespeare which has a good claim to have been painted from life and is also the first portrait that the National Gallery acquired when it was founded in 1856. From Trafalgar Square we head down to Westminster Abbey, going past the Palace of Whitehall where Shakespeare’s plays were performed for Queen Elizabeth I in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At Westminster Abbey we will visit poet’s corner to admire the life-size marble statue which was erected 124 years after Shakespeare’s death as a memorial to the beloved poet and playwright. After lunch we cross over the river Thames to London’s vibrant Southbank. After a visit to Southwark Cathedral to see the beautiful window and statue that were made in Shakespeare’s honour we will see one of the bard’s plays performed in the magnificent Globe theatre.
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London
Day 2 - London Part 2
Shakespeare’s greatest and most famous patron was Queen Elizabeth I and many of his plays were performed privately for the Queen at Court. The ‘Virgin Queen’ even featured as a figure in several of his plays, most notably, perhaps, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as “a fair vestal throned by the West”. Today we visit the sites of two of the royal residences where Shakespeare’s company performed for the Queen in what was Greenwich Palace and Richmond Palace. Greenwich Palace was left in disrepair during the turbulent reign of Charles I and the Commonwealth that followed and the site is now home to the spectacular Old Royal Naval College, just a few minutes’ walk from Cutty Sark. On the South West side of Richmond Green, just a short walk from the river Thames, it is still possible to wander around what remains of Richmond Palace.
The Painted Room, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
Day 3 - Oxford
Leaving London, we arrive in Oxford, one of the greatest and oldest seats of literature and learning in the whole world. It is no surprise, then, that in order to mark the 400th centenary of Shakespeare’s death, Oxford is putting on a year-long festival to celebrate the life and work of England’s most influential poet. Spend the day exploring this beautiful and historic city and discovering the various Shakespearean exhibits and attractions located around Oxford.
Day 4 - Broughton Castle
In North Oxfordshire lies the picturesque moated manor, Broughton Castle. Broughton Castle is one of the very best grand houses in the whole of England and was chosen used as the set for Viola’s house in the Academy Award winning film Shakespeare in Love. Spend a relaxing day exploring this historic fortified manor and its superbly maintained gardens.
Broughton Castle
Day 5 - Stratford-upon-Avon
Last but certainly not least is the town which is most closely associated with the life of William Shakespeare: Stratford-Upon-Avon. It is in this beautiful Cotswolds town that Shakespeare was born, educated and married and here that he died and was laid to rest. We will visit the house which was his birthplace, the cottage of his beloved wife Anne Hathaway and see his funerary monument in Holy Trinity Church. The final evening of our tour will be crowned by a performance of one of the bard’s plays in the world famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

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