A trip to London isn’t complete without a visit to London Theatreland, one of the world’s most revered destinations for live theatre performances. Located in the heart of the capital, with a huge array of restaurants, bars and entertainment spots all around, you have everything you need for a memorable night out.
To help inspire you, we’ve picked out five of the best London theatre tours, based on value for money and previous guest reviews. A word of caution: be sure to book early, as the best shows tend to sell out faster than you can say “Break a leg”…
FROM £34 PER PERSON
Combine a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre with a sightseeing cruise on the River Thames during this self-guided tour. With admission to both attractions included, you can enjoy them at your leisure. Wander around the fascinating Globe theatre, an oak-and-thatch replica of an original Elizabethan theatre which hosts regular Shakespeare plays in the open air, before exploring the Globe Exhibition, the world’s largest and most comprehensive exhibition devoted to the legendary poet and playwright. After you’re all ‘Shakespeared’ out, head to the waterside and feel the wind in your hair on a river cruise, providing a memorable climax to your tour.
FROM £95 PER PERSON
You can learn while you walk during this 3-hour guided tour that takes you past some of the London landmarks that are indelibly linked with the Bard and his vast body of work. Accompanied for the whole trip by a friendly, expert guide, you’ll follow in the footsteps of Shakespeare – quite literally – by traversing the lanes and walkways once used by the great man himself. You’ll also visit the church pews where he’s said to have worshipped, as well as pubs he patronised with his fellow thespians. Half way through the tour you’ll stop off at a smart café inside Southwark Cathedral for refreshments, before heading to the Globe Theatre to join an official guided tour. Afterwards, you can enjoy the venue’s exhibition area at your leisure.
FROM £15.20 PER PERSON
Musical theatre specialist and award-winning vocal soloist Neil Maxfield leads this two-hour West End walking tour, during which you’ll be regaled with fascinating showbiz tales of lore. As part of a small group, you’ll get to take in the sights and sounds of London as you listen to intriguing stories of the stage’s brightest luminaries such as Andrew Lloyd Webber and his contemporaries. During the tour you’ll stop off in a friendly local pub for a quick refreshment (at your own expense) before continuing on your immersive discovery of London’s famous Theatreland.
FROM £250 PER PERSON
For a bespoke theatre tour in London, your first port of call should without doubt be the wonderful Patsy, who has been organising tours since the 1990s and is a veritable scholar of all things theatrical. She takes all the hassle of planning and booking out of your hands by creating customised packages to suit your preferences and needs, with options including theatre visits, backstage talks and tours, classes, workshops, discussions, walking tours, and other cultural events. If you have a particular theme or subject you’re interested in, she can build the tour around it, and may even be able to offer her own lecture during the trip. So whether it’s learning more about the inner workings of a theatre, a tour of Shakespeare’s London , fascinating talks by actors, directors, designers or writers, or simply catching a good old fashioned West End musical, Patsy can make it happen. Click below for more information.
FROM £15.20 PER PERSON
Take a potted journey back in time to Elizabethan London on this guided tour of the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Visit the reconstructed theatre on the city’s Bankside and enjoy commentary about staging and performance in Shakespeare’s day. Next, head into the Globe Exhibition with an audio guide to listen to recordings of riveting performances and learn about drama in 16th-century London via interactive displays. Make your experience even more memorable by upgrading to include a sumptuous ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’–themed afternoon tea at the Globe’s restaurant. Many of the delicious treats on offer are rooted in the play, as well as the crockery which is designed to reflect its whimsical themes. Sip a glass of prosecco and sample finger sandwiches, scones and cakes while you gaze out over the Thames River.