Did You Know? 10 Facts About Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

By Matthew Pearson

Situated on London’s Bankside, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre reconstructs the open-air playhouse where the playwright penned his greatest work.

Many people ask: What was the name of Shakespeare's Theatre?

The Globe Theatre is its official name!

Take a look at our 10 dramatic Shakespeare's Globe Theatre facts, including...

  • The remarkable story of the first Globe Theatre
  • And how it burnt down
  • The remarkable story of the new Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
  • And how they've tried to protect it from burning down like the last one
Shakespere's Globe Theatre

1. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was built 400 years after the original, just yards away

Completed in 1997, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is the third Globe Theatre to have been built on the Southbank of the Thames. The original Globes were located just a street further back from the river. The original globe theatre was built in 1599, and was destroyed by fire in 1613. It was rebuilt a year later but turned into tenement buildings in 1644 after puritanical fears about stage plays meant London theatres were forced to close in 1642.

2. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was rebuilt to be as similar to the original Globe as possible

The Third Globe—what is known as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre—was designed to be as close to Globes One and Three as possible. A great deal of research went into the shape and layout of the original theatres, and the type of wood and building techniques used. It is made of the same wood—green oak—the original builders would have used, and the timbers are fixed together using wooden pegs.

Of course, modern health and safety measures had to be incorporated into the design, including the lining of the thatched roof with fire-retardant material.

Shakespeare's Globe inside of theatre

3. Building the original Globe was a drama in itself

The original Globe was built by the theatre company Shakespeare was in, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later known as the King’s Men). It was erected using timbers recycled from The Theatre in Shoreditch, the first playhouse to put on Shakespeare’s work. Their old landlord, a Mr Allen, wouldn’t say ‘recycled’. He’d prefer the word ‘stolen’.

The story goes that Mr Allen refused to renew their lease for the land The Theatre stood on. So the company—including Shakespeare—armed with daggers and cudgels, snuck onto Allen’s land while he was away for Christmas. They took all the main timbers and stored them in a yard north of the Thames.

4. Shakespeare was part-owner of the theatre

The family of Richard Burbage, the company’s leading actor, had built The Theatre at Shoreditch, but didn’t have the money to lease a site for the new playhouse. So they asked for investment from some members of the company. William Shakespeare became a 12.5% shareholder in the Globe Theatre, paying £10 for his share. Now they just needed someone to write some hugely popular plays so they could get bums on the seats and returns on their investment...

Shakespeare's Macbeth play

5. It’s always been a midsummer destination

Because of its open-air aspect, The Globe has always been a fair-weather destination for watching a performance. Back in Shakespeare’s time, the company would move indoors to perform during winter. The same is true today, with winter performances taking play in the adjoining Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. But tours of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, which offer a wealth of insights into the theatre as it was in The Bard’s time and as it operates today, are available year-round. They are free with a London Pass. You can also check out other fascinating things to do in London in our write-up.

Shakespeare's Globe from above

6. Shakespeare referenced the Globe in his work

Henry V mentions “this wooden O,” in the play of the same name. Prospero speaks of “the great globe itself,” in a pivotal moment during The Tempest. It makes sense that he would. Firstly, as a tribute to a place that was so important to him. Also, there’s something particularly engaging and inclusive about someone on stage referring to the place where all the players and the crowd are assembled—“Good evening, Glastonbury!”

Shakespeare Globe Theatre Stage

7. He might have paraphrased its motto

It is said—although sources are pretty thin on the ground—that the motto of the Globe was Totus mundus agit histrionem, meaning ‘The whole world is a playhouse.’ This is remarkably similar to the famous phrase from As You Like It: “All the world is a stage.”

All the world's a stage

8. They used to flag up the genre

Different flags were used to signpost what kind of play was being performed that day. Flying high above the theatre, they were a good way of advertising the genre of the performance, or notifying prospective theatre-goers of a last-minute cancellation. This was true of many Elizabethan theatres.

Black flags were raised for tragedy plays. Red ones announced history plays. Comedies were signalled by the flying of white flags. So that’s why they didn’t put on my one-man show, The Tragic Life of a Very Funny Person Who Lived a Billion Years Ago. It wasn’t that it was a steaming pile of pretentious nonsense. It was a question of flags. Of course!

Shakespeare play

9. They built it along the lines of the Colosseum in Rome (just a bit smaller)

Many Elizabethan playhouses were. The tiered seating areas ring around the stage. In the past, they could hold up to 3000 spectators, but now spectators get a little more wiggle room for when legs start twitching around Act Four.

Those watching from ‘The Pit’, the standing area at the foot of the stage, were (not very respectfully) nicknamed ‘groundlings’. These were the cheaper than cheap seats. So cheap that they weren’t seats at all. But you could watch plays from the pit for just a penny. In Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre—the theatre that stands today—this is still the most affordable place from which to watch a performance. Nowadays, you can get tickets for as little as a fiver.

10. Henry VIII burnt down Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

Woah! You clicked on it! A history-related bit of clickbait. AHAHAHA GOTCHA! Alright, sorry, this site doesn’t work like that. It wasn’t that Henry VIII burnt down Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. He did a lot of terrible things in his time. But he was dead nearly 20 years before Shakespeare was born.

On June 29th, 1613, during a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, some small cannons were fired, with no balls inside them, but using real gunpowder. The thatched roof caught alight. The whole thing burned down in around an hour. No one was hurt. But one man’s trousers caught fire. Luckily, someone close to him threw some beer over the flames.

So, those were our Shakespeare's Globe Theatre fun facts. But before you exit this blog (pursued by a bear), take a look at our guide to taking the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre tour here.

It's free with The London Pass®.

Shakespeare statue

Make planning your trip a breeze with the London Pass

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Tour is included in The London Pass®. This guided tour gives you an insider look at this historic theatre, outside of the performances.  

The standard tour price is £24 - with The London Pass®, you’ll pay nothing at the door. You’ll spend more of your trip exploring the capital’s top sights and less time organising.

Save with The London Pass® here

Shakespeare's Globe tour guide shows a group around

So let's wrap up the important points below:

The Globe Theatre's famous beginnings

The Globe Theatre, intimately tied to William Shakespeare, stands as an icon in the world of theatre. Built in 1599 and nestled in London's heart, this venue was the birthplace of many Shakespearean masterpieces. A curious detail? The timbers framing this historic theatre were sourced from an older playhouse.

Shakespeare's Stage: More than just a theatre

The Globe was more than a venue; it was where stories came alive. Although widely acknowledged as Shakespeare's playground, its true identity lay in its name, the Globe Theatre. Sitting by London's River Thames, its distinct round shape became the home for Shakespeare's legendary tales. Most of his plays were performed on this very stage.

And for those curious about its capacity? The Globe had space for about 3,000 attendees, who usually opted to stand in its open air yard.

Shakespeare actors on stage

Rediscovering the Globe today

Thinking of visiting London? Excited to walk where Shakespeare once did? There's good news! A tribute, aptly named 'Shakespeare's Globe', stands a stone's throw away from where the original once did. This re-engineered attraction represents Shakespeare's lasting impact. Don't miss out on this amazing experience!

Globe Theatre frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q. What did Shakespeare do in the Globe Theatre?
A. At the Globe Theatre, William Shakespeare not only penned some of his most iconic plays but also acted and was a shareholder in the theatre's operations.

Q. Does Shakespeare's Globe Theatre still exist?
A. While the original Globe Theatre no longer stands, a faithful replica, known as "Shakespeare's Globe," was constructed close to its original site and stands today as a testament to the Bard's enduring legacy.

Q. Why is Shakespeare's theatre called the Globe?
A. Shakespeare's theatre was named "the Globe" because it symbolized the idea that the theatre looked like a "wooden O" representing the world, as mentioned in the prologue to his play, Henry V.

Q. What plays did Shakespeare write in the Globe Theatre?
A. While at the Globe Theatre, Shakespeare wrote several of his renowned works, including Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Othello, and Hamlet, among others.

 

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Things To Do In London With Teens

Aren't teenagers the best? Fickle, emotional, and one-track minded. A delight to be around, and never giving parents a second thought. Are your teenagers disappointed in you for literally no reason? Why not cheer them up in London? It's the most visited city on Earth, but don't tell your little 'individuals' that. Instead, wow them with lots of exciting things that'll make them forget about their phones for over 20 minutes! Whether you're visiting the capital, or you call it home, this list should help you stick it to your grumpy adolescent seed. Here are the best things to do in London with teens. LEGOLAND Windsor Younger teens will find lots to love about LEGOLAND Windsor. There are over 55 attractions available, though some are restricted for tiny people aged 2-12. But with the popularity of the recent LEGO movies, and the fact that the little bricks appeal to even the oldest of humanity, you're sure to turn that hormonal frown upside down. If only for a few hours. Highlights for them may well be: Apocalypseburg: A behind-the-scenes look at the films. They've got sets they've recreated from both movies, as well as large models of the main characters. LEGO City 4D: Officer in Pursuit, a cinematic ride that follows police officers through a crazy chase around time to foil a couple of cocky robbers. This being 4D, expect wind, water, and bubbles to immerse you in the experience. The Dragon: Which is a rollercoaster. You ride a dragon. Everyone loves rollercoasters. They will love this rollercoaster. Whatever you decide to do, you can plan the whole trip with the LEGOLAND app. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre No doubt your little - or not so little - whippersnappers have been studying Shakespeare at school. Well, why not show them where some of his greatest works came to life? This incredible reconstruction of the original Globe, which sadly burnt down about 3000 years ago (or 1613, if you want to be nitpicky), is so faithful to its predecessor that if Shakespeare could somehow time travel to today, he would be stunned. He would also be the first recorded time traveller and we'd need to have a serious talk about that. Teens young and old will be stunned too. By the guided tour, where they can learn about the lengths that architect Sam Wanamaker went to when rebuilding it in the 90's. They might even wanna-make-you (sorry) stay for a traditional performance. That means no mics, no electric lights, and no spotlights. At the very least, they won't be staring at their phones for a couple hours. Kew Gardens Teens love nature, right? Well, they love taking photos of it and posting it on social media, at least. And where better to get the sweet 'gram (Instagram, it's a thing don't worry) than at the largest collection of flora on earth. More than 60,000 of the green, CO2 breathing-beauties are housed in a multitude of giant glass greenhouses. And once they've taken a photo of all of them and tagged it with some deep thoughts about the fleetingness of love, let them climb the 20 metre Treetop Walkway. The view will actually take their breath away. And yours. You're not dead inside yet are you... are you? And when that's all done, sit them down for a picnic and embarrass them in front of all their peers. It's the only reason you take them out anyway. Unmissable for any parent taking their teens to London. London Bike Tour If your teenage children like riding bikes, then a London Bike Tour makes sense. There's a couple to choose from. The three-hour Classic Tour takes you through all of London's greatest hits. Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Southbank, you name it, you'll see it. Alternatively, if you're feeling a little more alternative, check out the Love London Tour. You'll see the West End, Covent Garden, Chinatown, and many more. This one's a little more cultural, and which you choose will probably depend on how much you - and they - have already seen of the capital. And if your teens are total trailblazing mavericks who don't follow any of the rules...sigh...we feel for you. But you're in luck, as you can still hire a bike a do your own tour, for free with the London Pass. You are very welcome. Cartoon Museum No one's ever too old for cartoons. They make up a big part of your childhood. Ours too. And even better, your teenagers watched them. Why not explore the history of the cartoon, from its humble beginnings in the 1700s through to their rather more commercially successful present, at the Cartoon Museum? They've over 900 pieces on display, which is quite a lot, as well as a number of cartoon-related events. And for teens passionate about cartoons and thinking about studying illustration or animation at higher education, they also offer lectures and courses, backed up by a significant archive and library. M&M World "If all else fails, ply them with chocolate". The eternal parent matra still rings true, and where better to exercise this than at Leicester Square's famous M&M World? Not only do you get 15% off all purchases (you're very welcome), but your teens can also create their own custom M&M blend. There's also a 1960s London bus, which seems like perfect gram bait for your social butterflies. Wafflemeister More sweet treats to satisfy the sweetest of teeth. No teen will ever turn down a waffle. Pretty sure that's in the Teenager Terms and Conditions. Get 15% off your waffles, and top them up with just about any glorious topping imaginable. Even fruit, if they need one of their five a day. Every Wafflemeister waffle is made using a secret family recipe. Just hope their offerings don't put your lesser desserts to shame. And if waffles are a little too heavy, they do milkshakes and ice cream too. What more could teens in London want? Curzon Cinema - Soho If you just need to put your big kids in a room for a couple hours so they stop talking, where better than the cinema? And why not do it in style at the Curzon Cinema in Soho? They've got the biggest screens, the best sound, and three theatres of movies both classic and contemporary. With the London Pass, you can go see one of them on us. It's even visited by industry veterans. If your teens are into films, or see themselves as sophisticated cinema auteurs, take them to Curzon. London Bridge Experience And finally, this last entry might be best reserved for the bigger teens in your collection. London has a pretty dark history, and the best way to experience it is with the London Bridge Experience. See how 2000 years of gruesome and gory stories have shaped the capital, from Boudicca's battles against the Romans, through to Jack the Ripper's terrorising of Whitechapel. Rumours abound that ghosts lurk in the catacombs below. We cannot say for certain, but if you and your spawn are feeling brave, venture down and discover the truth for yourselves. Muuuahahaha. Sorry. That's our list of the best things to do in London with teens. Surely more than enough to keep your growing terrors happy. Thinking of taking your teens to anything else in London? How dare you. Best leave a comment below telling us what and why, for unrelated reasons.
Dom Bewley
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Recycling in London: Not a Waste of Time

You’d have thought London would be at the forefront of any UK recycling revolution. It’s metropolitan, modern, always on the move. But Londoners are lagging behind the rest of the UK when it comes to the amount of household waste we recycle. The amount of household waste we’re recycling in London is actually dropping. In some London boroughs, we’re recycling under 20% of household waste. The UK-wide goal is to recycle 50% of household waste by 2020. London Mayor Sadiq Khan is aiming to get the city up to 65% by 2030. There’s lots to be done. In this article, we’re going to point you in the direction of some London-based schemes aiming to help Londoners and visitors reduce, reuse and recycle. No pressure, but the future of the planet depends on us. Use reusables This is a hard-sell for many. Having used coffee cups and lunch boxes leaking lunch sauce all over your bag isn’t what anyone wants. But saving the world was never going to smell that great. We’re talking about waste after all. Pay extra for a lunchbox with a vacuum release valve system, and you can fling that thing around without worrying about leakages. Coffee cup-wise, the rCup is a great no-spill option. And businesses are incentivising this kind of preparedness. Marks and Spencer have recently launched an eco-discount for those who use their own lunchboxes to pick up meals from the M&S Marketplace. You get 25p off each meal. Work that out over a year and you’ve made... a profit. Get yourself a reusable water bottle too and fill it up at the... Water fountains Yes. Because toss-away water bottles are one of the main contributors to our plastic problem. London is getting a load more water fountains on high streets, at train stations, on sports fields and in shopping centres. We should have had them years ago, but previous pledges by previous mayors came to nothing. This new breed of water fountain are marked on top by a big blue water drop, making them hard to miss. Big blue water drop, or big blue tear of a seagull if you keep using plastic bottles and lobbing them at them. Not sure. Twenty were unveiled last year. There should be another 100 by the end of 2020. Also, get the Refill app. The Refill campaign has been persuading businesses to allow members of the public to refill bottles using their taps. The app tells you where your local Refill centre is. It could be a little shop or a chain restaurant. And you're under no obligation to buy anything. What's more, the Refill campaign get money each time you refill. Go plastic packaging-free M&S (who, like we said, are introducing positive plastic-fearing measures in-store) were rightly ridiculed when they introduced their ‘Cauliflower Steaks’. The plastic-wrapped slices of cauliflower were wasteful and extortionately priced. But people complained, and bye-bye Cauliflower Steaks. But the problem of plastic packaging is prevalent all over supermarkets. The worst offender: stores providing prepackaged versions of produce they are also selling loose. It’s nuts. Prepackaged nuts. Farm out responsibly So wave off the supermarkets for a bit (at least until they get their plastic problem in order) and head to a farmers' market. From Bloomsbury to Balham, Earls Court to Walthamstow, there are plenty of good farmers' markets in London. Cut and picked just before coming to market, the goods here are often organic and locally-sourced. You'll be ticking plenty of eco boxes while cutting down on packaging. Find a farmers' market close to you right here. Also, Borough Market, perhaps the most famous fresh produce market in the country, is aiming to go plastic-free in the near-future. They’re introducing biodegradable and compostable packaging and have installed a number of water fountains for shoppers to use. Guilt-free zones London also has a great set of plastic-free and zero waste stores. You bring your jars and other containers, weigh them, fill them with what you need, weigh them again, then pay for the weight minus the weight of your container. It’s even easier than that sounds. These places tend to specialise in dried goods like pulses, grains, nuts and pasta, as well as oils, vinegar, coffee and tea. Alongside these store cupboard items, you’ll often find toiletries, cleaning productions and reusable utensils. Classics of the genre include Bulk Market in Dalston and Unpackaged at Planet Organic in Islington, Westbourne Grove, Torrington Place and Muswell Hill. Milk it Since everyone’s addicted to nostalgia these days anyway, why not start ordering your milk from a milkperson (not milkman...times have changed since door-to-door milk stopped being so commonplace). They use plastic milk bottles instead of plastic, so you get some waste-free satisfaction with your cereal. Many services now use fleets electric milk floats too, and some even deliver milk alternatives along with the dairy stuff. Parker Dairies serve Central and East London and have had a huge uptick in business over the last year or so. Because there’s no use crying over a ruined planet. Recycle instore Further incentivising recycling in London are instore schemes to hand over your unwanted items. You often get money off in return for dropping in with clothes, phones and tech you don’t want anymore. In the textile world, Weekday, H&M and Nike are among the many stores offering discounts for those who recycle their old goods in store. The ones in usable condition might be resold, some will be refashioned and up-cycled to be sold again. Others will be recycled into everything from building materials to wash rags. Cruelty-free cosmetics company The Body Shop has recently introduced a scheme where, upon bringing in five washed containers, you get a £5 discount. They recycle some, and others are turned into new objects, like children’s playgrounds, kitchen utensils and park benches. Looking for tips for an eco-trip to London? Look no further.
Matthew Pearson
London
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Things to do in London with Kids

Travelling with the family? Experience the best family-friendly attractions with our guide to top things to do in London with kids. London is a city brimming with adventures, especially if you're exploring with kids. From the bustling streets lined with history to expansive green parks, there's no shortage of things to do in London for kids. For those who prefer indoor activities when London does its rain thing, the Namco Funscape arcade offers a lively day out. Alternatively, the Transport Museum promises a delightful journey through time, showcasing the city's rich transport heritage. It's one of many kids activities London proudly presents. Remember, planning days out in London for families can be both fun and educational. The city's diverse attractions cater to toddlers, teens, and everyone in between. When the sun shines, London's parks become the perfect backdrop for picnics and play. When rain comes you have indoor options. So, if you're wondering about the best things to do in London with kids, rest assured, the city has something for every young heart and curious mind. Each day promises a new adventure, making every visit memorable. London Museums for Kids Discover the delight of London Museums with kids! Starting with the wonders of the Science Museum. Science Museum IMAX  Experience the IMAX theatre at the Science Museum London with kids. It's every kid's dream! Watch some of the most spell-binding films in 3D with enhanced visual and sound effects on a screen the size of four double-decker buses. You’ll be captivated by the stunning images and you’ll feel like you’re experiencing it for yourself. An IMAX film is ten times the image quality and with a range of films to choose from you can go deep diving under the sea, visit outer space or fly to the moon. Strap on the 3D goggles and be swept away by the cinematography. Address: Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD  Underground stop: South Kensington  Visit duration: Two hours London Transport Museum The London Transport Museum is a great museum for the family and for those with a fascination for locomotives. The kids will love the exhibits, telling of the history of London and the evolution of modern transport since 1800. The museum features engaging displays showcasing old posters, newsreels, station signs, and even old tickets so it’s a fun way to look back in time at how things have changed. The museum is also home to the iconic red Routemaster bus and the world’s first Underground steam train. Address: Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB Underground stop: Covent Garden Visit duration: Two hours Museum of London Docklands Did you know the Museum of London Docklands is on the site of London’s first port? Sister to the Museum of London, this old warehouse will reveal the early of trade and commerce that played a part in growing London’s great wealth. The exhibitions display historic artefacts from 43AD to 1840s and you can enjoy a recreation of the 19th century riverside. The Docklands are a great area to walk around for some great views over East London if you want to spend another hour exploring the area and waterways. Address: No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL DLR stop: West India Quay Visit duration: Two hours British Museum Every family should take a day out to visit the British Museum, one of London's grandest museums travel across the globe and through the world's history from ancient Egyptians and Native Americans culture to Ancient Greek, Mesapotamia, Anglo Saxons and more. Discover incredible artefacts and exhibits such as the Sutton Hoo ship burial, Egyptian mummies and Rapa Nui Moai from Easter Island as you wander through the museum's extensive grounds. Address: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG Underground stop: Holborn, Tottenham Court Road or Russell Square Visit duration: Two - Three hours   Indoor activities for kids in London When the weather is unpredictable, there are many delightful indoor activities for kids in London. Starting with the iconic HMS Belfast. M&Ms World Kids and sweets go hand in hand so treat them to a chocolate indulgence at the iconic M&M’s World in Leicester Square. There are four floors of chocolate M&M goodness, merchandise and other limited items to take home as souvenirs. With The London Pass you can enjoy 15% off your purchases – whether it be a novelty mug, or bags of multi-coloured M&Ms. Make sure you visit the chocolate wall with 22 colours and mix and match your own bag of M&Ms. Address: 1 Swiss Court, Leicester Square, London, WC2H 6AP Underground stop: Leicester Square Visit duration: One hour HMS Belfast The HMS Belfast docked by London Bridge is one of the most iconic historic wartime attractions in London. Step aboard the historical HMS Belfast with your kids in London and learn about one of the most important battleships in the early 20th century. The HMS Belfast played a significant role in both the Korean War and the Second World War and continued to serve her country in military battle until 1965 so she has stories to tell. Walk the decks and learn about her history and of those who lived on board and fought bravely with her for over 30 years. Address: HMS Belfast, The Queens Walk, London SE1 2JH Underground stop: London Bridge Visit duration: Two hours London Bridge Experience The London Bridge Experience is not one for the faint of heart – and not one for the little ones either. This is a great attraction to take adrenaline seeking teenagers who want to test their fears! It’s been voted the scariest attraction in London and will take you into the depths of London Bridge, down into the tunnels and tombs. Through this interactive attraction you’ll learn about the gruesome and gory history of some of London’s most notorious criminals and shocking events, from tales of Jack the Ripper, to venturing down into the 16th century plague pit. Address: 2-4 Tooley Street, London SE1 2SY Underground stop: London Bridge Visit duration: Two hours   Swingers Crazy Golf - West End Now welcoming children on Sundays before 5pm, Swingers Crazy Golf has a nine-hole round for kids to get stuck into. They'll be able to try their hand at a helter-skelter golf course with a light show and the Big Wheel, where players need to time their shot perfectly to beat the wheel. With decor evoking the 1920s English Riviera, Swingers West End will provide plenty of entertainment on rainy days. Hole in one! Please note: Aside from Sundays before 5pm, Swingers is usually an 18+ venue Address: 15 John Prince’s Street, London, GB, W1G 0AB Underground stop: Tottenham Court Road Visit duration: Two hours Kids Shows London Wicked This beloved Broadway musical unravels everything you thought you knew about The Wizard of Oz, following Elphaba, the series' Wicked Witch, only to uncover that she isn't all that evil after all. Beginning with her time at school alongside her best friend Glinda the Good Witch and later following the events of the popular film, it's a show full of laughter, joy and tears. Plus, the sound track's going to be stuck in your head forever. Address: Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Road, Pimlico, London SW1V 1LG Underground Stop: Victoria Visit Duration: Three hours (Two hours and 45 minutes, with a 15 minute intermission) The Lion King The Lion King is a West End veteran at this point, with years of experience on the kids theatre London scene and a continued sell-out streak. See the beloved Disney film as you've never seen it before onstage, with vibrant puppets, showstopping fight sequences and a stunning live musical score that'll send chills down your spine. Address: The Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7RQ Underground Stop: Charing Cross and Covent Garden Visit Duration: Three hours (Two hours and 30 minutes, with an intermission)   Fun things to do with kids in London If you're looking for an outdoor adventure, find out about the exciting things to do with kids near London Bridge and other areas. First up, the beautiful London Wetland Centre. London Wetland Centre If your kids love nature, wildlife and the outdoors take them on a day out to WWT Wetland Centre. Out in a loop of the Thames, it’s a quiet sanctuary hidden away in the city and you won’t believe you’re in London. Bursting with flora and fauna, wild ducks, birds and butterflies, the Wetland Centre is a beautiful attraction to get in touch with the beauty of nature and to see animals in their natural habitats. Stop off at the otters’ feeding times, or visit the kids adventure zones – you’ll be entertained for hours! Address: Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Barnes, London SW13 Underground stop: Putney, Barnes Bridge Visit duration: Four hours Wembley Stadium Tour If your kids love football you can’t pass up an opportunity to take them on a Wembley Stadium Tour. Home to English football, Wembley is one of the world's most iconic sporting grounds and a tour around these hallowed grounds is quite impressive! Go behind-the-scenes and visit the teams’ changing rooms, walk down the player’s tunnel and even get a look at the interview media room! Address: Wembley London HA9 0WS Underground stop: Wembley Park Visit duration: Two hours London Zoo London Zoo is a great place to take the kids and you can rest assured they’ll be entertained for hours with the hundreds of animals to admire and enclosures to visit. The Zoo is packed with exotic creatures from gorillas to penguins, tigers and armadillos. There are live feedings which you are invited to watch to see the animals up close. There’s even a Rainforest Life, London’s only living rainforest, home to some of the rarest species on earth. London Zoo is one of the best kids attractions with dynamic and interactive exhibits as you go around so they can both enjoy the experience and learn something along the way, too! Address: ZSL London Zoo, Outer Circle, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY Underground stop: Camden Town, Regent’s Park, Great Portland Street Visit duration: Four hours   Whether you’re visiting in London with a five year old or fifteen year old there are lots of great things to do with the family to keep everyone interested. From visiting museums about London, to watching a spectacular cinematic experience on the big screen, your kids will love it. If you’ve got an Oyster Card you can easily take the stress out of sightseeing by getting from A to B with ease - which can be daunting with a family, and why not download extra handy resources, like a tube map and tourist map, in advance so you’re armed with all the necessary items to help you on your way as soon as you arrive.
Alice Padfield

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