If studying Shakespeare has your kids groaning in iambic pentameter (Shakespeare would be so proud!) consider a grand adventure of learning on location at stunning places in the UK to learn about Shakespeare. Grab your passport! Let’s go:
- Walk where Shakespeare was caught poaching deer in his youth.
- Sit in Shakespeare’s classroom. Can you find where he carved his name?
- Explore locations of inspiration for so many of Shakespeare’s plays.
Dress Up Station at Shakespeare’s BirthPlace Trust, Stratford-Upon-Avon, England
- Stratford-Upon-Avon – It’s the birthplace of Shakespeare and probably at the top of everyone’s list for places to explore and engage in all things Shakespeare. The town is lovely and the exhibits all provide something for everyone, no matter your age.
- King Edward VI School and Guild Hall – Experience school just like Shakespeare would have experienced it. Shakespeare’s Schoolroom at King Edward VI School, a private academy originally only for boys, and Guild Hall offer a unique look into Shakespeare’s early formative years.
- St. Helen’s Bishopsgate – This is thought to be where Shakespeare went to church. It is one of the few parish churches in the area to have survived the Great Fire of London.
- London’s Globe Theatre – While the original Globe Theatre was destroyed by fire in 1613, the New Globe Theatre, which is an exact replica of the original, is famous for its theatre in the round and inexpensive standing only tickets. It’s full of antiquity and it’s tours and productions offer great insight into the Shakespeare’s life and plays.
- Charlecote Park – Legend has it that Shakespeare was caught poaching deer on the grounds and was possibly made to appear before the local magistrate. Whether the legend holds any fact, is disputable, but it’s a great place to enjoy the grounds, museum and take in an outdoor summer performance of one of The Bard’s great plays.
- Hampton Court Palace – Shakespeare’s theatre company, All King’s Men, performed several plays for King James I in this castle originally owned by King Henry VIII.
- Oxford – Shakespeare traveled quite a bit between Stratford-Upon-Avon and London. One of his traveling routes regularly took him through Oxford. You will even find an active walking/hiking trail for the adventurous family wanting to walk from Oxford to Stratford-Upon-Avon like Shakespeare might have done.
- Shakespeare’s Cliff, Dover, – Made famous as the inspiration for King Lear Act IV, Scene VI. The cliffs and nearby beach make for a lovely day out at the seashore.
- Forest of Arden, Warwickshire – Shakespeare’s mum was named Elizabeth Arden. It is thought that this area was the inspiration for forest settings in As You Like It, and Midsummer Night’s Dream. This area in Warwickshire is steeped in Shakespearean history and folklore.
The kids enjoying an outdoor summer play. The Three Inch Fools – Hamlet
Take In A Shakespeare Play
Summertime brings outdoor theatre performances all over the country. Traveling drama troupes like The Three Inch Fools, have been entertaining guests in Shakespearean venues for several years. You can find them performing in places like Glamis Castle and Charlecote Park and all over the UK..
The Three Inch Fools Midsummer Night’s Dream
There are many other well known places to see excellent productions of Shakespeare’s plays in the UK year-round such as:
- The Royal Shakespeare Company – In Stratford-Upon-Avon.
- The New Globe Theatre – In London’s Bankside neighborhood.
- The Willow Globe Theatre – A unique outdoor theatre experience in Wales.
Macbeth Trail (Scotland) – Wood outdoor sculpture of the Three (four?) Witches from Shakespeare’s Macbeth at Glamis Castle, Angus Scotland.
Families can also enjoy a stroll through a gorge, a wooded trail or a museum. Bard approved inspiration and adventure are nicely tucked into the nooks and crannies all over the United Kingdom. Here’s just a few:
- Shakespeare’s Way – England’s trail between Oxford and Stratford-Upon-Avon
- The Macbeth Trail – Sightseeing in Scotland of all the legendary and historical landmarks of the Macbeth clan .
- Puck’s Glen – a lovely gorge walk in Argyleshire
- Small Hythe Place – A Shakespearean costume museum in Kent, England
- The British Museum – Original written works of so many famous people, including one of Shakespeare’s First Folios.
I’m sure I’ve probably missed a few, but here are a few other places claiming their Shakespearean fame. If you happen upon them, you might enjoy taking the time to find out their unique connection.
- Kenilworth Castle, Kenilworth, England
- St. John’s Gate, London
- Rufford Old Hall, Preston
- MIddle Temple Hall, London
Hi! I’m Shannan. At Captivating Compass, I blog about our ambitious adventures in the UK and Europe as we homeschool and travel with kids. I like to call them family field trips where we get to learn on location. I invite you to tag along on our journey and become inspired and equipped to use the world as your textbook. Stay Captivated!