“It all comes down to the guiding.”
“If this were a golf tournament every name on the Leader Board would be a London Walks guide. And one of those names, needless to say, would be Rick Jones.”
The tour begins with lute music played outdoors beside the Shakespeare statue in the churchyard of Southwark Cathedral from 10.30 am.
DIRECTIONS: Southwark Cathedral is just over London Bridge from Monument Tube. And London Bridge Station is even closer – Southwark Cathedral is just across Borough High Street from the station.
The walk leads through Southwark to the sites of the original Shakespeare theatres, the Globe, the Rose, the Swan, the Hope and the Blackfriars, including the modern replica Globe.
En route Rick tells the story of Shakespeare’s younger brother and boy actor, Edmond, his milkmaid Elizabeth Newcomen, his saddler John Bingham, his butcher Robert Harvard and his fellow actors John Heminge and Henry Condell who first published posthumously the plays.
RICK IN HIS OWN WORDS
“I start the Shakespeare Lute Tour outside the cathedral at the Shakespeare statue in the churchyard. I play 20 minutes of music there. Then we’re off. I show the Shakespeare window from the outside, we walk through the cathedral (I lead the way) and then off we go to the rest of the sites.”
Want more walks like this? Check out our other literary tours of London.
Gillian Waterhouse –
Thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating walk. It does your heart good to know that there are still people like Rick out there who are endlessly knowledgeable and willing to share their knowledge in such an open hearted and friendly way. Don’t hesitate- book it!
Mary Colvin –
My birthday weekend made so special by this tour. Rick was so engaging and knowledgeable. Learned so much. The following day my surprise was tickets to attend The Globe to see Much Ado About Nothing. It too was an amazing experience. Thanks so much Rick for all the pre knowledge about our most famous Bard
Carrie Barnett –
Our group loved the Shakespeare’s London tour with Rick Jones. He said some in our group were the youngest he’d had on the tour (kids 1, 4, 7, 10, and 12 plus 3 adults). We had a great time. We all enjoyed learning more about the Bard, where he lived and worked and his contemporaries. The 2 oldest kids had read Romeo and Juliet and enjoyed hearing more about its author. The little details shared, his knowledge and friendliness (remembering all of our names!) and lute playing all added up to a great 2 hours!
Ruth and Harris –
London Walks has never disappointed us. Rick’s Shakespeare tour helped bring the “Bard of Avon” alive. The information Rick relayed was presented in an interesting and informative way. His lute concert at the end of our tour was delightful.
Alan Lee –
Rick’s tour was fun and informative. We learned so much of the life of Shakespeare. He made him come to life as a real man with all the common issues of the time.
We loved his little concert at the end!
Ruth Casadei –
A very enjoyable Saturday morning spent walking through Shakespeare’s London with an entertaining and knowledgeable guide.
Ann Bailey –
What a delight – we joined Rick’s guided tour last Saturday and loved every minute of it. The scene is set with some delightful lute playing, interspersed with comments about the music and the role it played, continued in Southwark Cathedral and then roamed through parts of London (on both the south and north banks of the Thames) I knew very little about. We were introduced to people and places that played a key role in Shakespeare’s life in London and as an actor and playwright. The walk is well paced and hugely informative – cannot recommend it too highly.
This tour takes you out of modern day London and forces you to slow down and focus on a different age. A magical experience.
Rick is an excellent, knowledgeable and entertaining guide. Lovely lute playing and singing are an added bonus.
Katherine Summers –
Rick Jones will take you through The Bard’s London with the lightest touch of an Elizabethan minstrel. This tour began at Southwark Cathedral where we treated to the gentle strains of his lute, seated by Shakespeare’s alabaster monument. (Even Ophelia’s fresh rosemary ornamented the statue’s hand – a modest garland gathered from the nearby herb garden.) Every detail of this tour is well considered and marvellous. Rick fills your walk with amusing anecdotes and interesting tit-bits of history, pointing out landmarks as you walk in the footsteps of our greatest poet. This tour guide didn’t get his ‘blue plaque’ badge for nothing, it has been one the highlights of my trip to London. If you get the chance, just go!
Loved this walk – I learned so many interesting and quirky facts. The lute at the start really conjured up an atmosphere of the era too – well worth going.
Dominic Wallace –
Excellent walk by Rick. The lute music and songs were mesmeric and the speeches/quotes from Shakespeare plays, as we walked, brilliantly added to the worthwhileness of this walk. If you’ve booked for the Globe, this walk is a must as a warm.up.
Love London Walks and Rick’s Shakespeare tour is a clear example of why.
Eva C. –
Dear Fiona and the whole London walk team,
I just wanted to share with you how pleased I was with the wonderful Shakespeare Walk last Saturday. Rick was the best guide you can imagine – very generous with his deep knowledge and insights. On top of everything he played lute beautifully. A real pity that I was the only one on the tour. If only people know what they are missing.
I’ll send a photo from the tour – hope that could help attracting more walkers to the tour.
Linda Baker –
A most enjoyable walk and a great way to kick off the weekend. Guided by the knowledgeable and ever entertaining Rick Jones – plus lute! – we were transported back to Shakespeare’s London. In a city I’ve grown up in and thought I knew, there are still some amazing little corners to discover and learn about. This time, for me, it was Baynard castle. Who knew?! Google it! Or better still join the walk. You’ll be glad you did. I was! Thank you Rick and London Walks for another little gem.
Paul Goacher –
An excellent walk! From the start at Southwark Cathedral our guide Rick, introduced us to many interesting facts about Shakespeare and answered all our endless questions on the walk around The City of London. The walk was also fun on a wonderful sunny day. Well done Rick! We will have to try another of your tours soon.
Who knew – a few strums on a lute (brilliantly played I might add!) combined with just a few utterances in Rick’s sonorous voice and are transformed into early Elizabethan England! As he whisks you through 16th century London, Rick brilliantly brings to life, not just Shakespeare himself, but through carefully curated pithy and engaging anecdotes, the economic, and social context of The Bard’s whole world. Unique and excellent, thank you Rick!
tony Carpenter –
One of the best tours we’ve been on , Rick is knowledgeable, witty and entertaining , with his lute playing he brings the Shakespearian City of Southwark and beyond to life , you haven’t walked Shakespeare’s London until you’ve walked this tour
Rick evokes a real Tudor atmosphere with his excellent lute playing and his extensive knowledge of Shakespeare helps to bring all of the locations visited to life. Many hidden gems to discover – don’t hesitate to go on this super tour.