Standing on the South Bank of the Thames, opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe is a faithful reconstruction of the original open air theatre where many of Shakespeare’s greatest plays were performed. It is a 3-storey, white-walled construction, and looks a bit like a wedding cake. It looks round, but in fact has 20 sides, many oak beams, small windows and a thatched roof.
Access Information for Shakespeare’s Globe.
Shakespeare’s Globe’s address is 21 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT, it is situated on the Bankside of the river Thames, next to Tate Modern. The theatre is on the opposite side of the river to St. Paul’s Cathedral and is best accessed by the Millennium Bridge which is 50 metres away.
Customers arriving by public transport should note that the routes from the nearest train stations are complicated. The major local stations are London Bridge, which is a 15 minute walk from the theatre, Cannon Street, a 10 minute walk, Blackfriars, 15 minutes, and Waterloo, which is 25 minutes along the riverwalk, with flat surface all the way.
By underground, the local stations are Mansion House, Blackfriars and Cannon Street on the District and Circle Lines, London Bridge on the Northern and Jubilee Lines, Southwark on the Jubilee Line, and St Paul’s and Bank on the Central Line. They are all a 15 minute walk from the theatre.
Local bus routes include: 45, 63, and 100 to Blackfriars Bridge; 11, 15, 17, and 26 to Mansion House; the 76 to St Paul’s Cathedral; the 344 from Liverpool Street Station, towards Clapham, on Southwark Bridge Road and 381, 344 towards Liverpool Street Station, on Southwark Street.
Please not there is a taxi rank outside the main entrance of London Bridge station.
Bankside Pier is 10 metres from Shakespeare’s Globe and is served every 20 minutes throughout the day and until late at night by the River Bus.
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers serves 23 piers throughout London, including Battersea Power Station, Embankment, Canary Wharf, Greenwich and North Greenwich. Save money when you buy tickets online or touch in and out with Oyster or contactless to pay as you go. Uber Boat by Thames Clippers’ vessels and piers are wheelchair, mobility scooter and pram accessible except for Wandsworth Riverside Quarter, Cadogan and London Bridge piers.
If you are travelling by public transport please be aware that TFL has current safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus):
Plan your journey in advance and pay with contactless or an Oyster card. You are required to wear a face covering over your nose and mouth (unless you are exempt) and try to maintain social distancing where possible. Listen to staff announcements. You are advised to wash your hands before and after your journey and to carry hand sanitiser.
If you require detailed information about public transport links, you can call Transport for London on 0343 222 1234 or go to their website at www.tfl.gov.uk
Travelling by Car
Customers arriving by car or taxi can be dropped off outside the main foyer entrance on New Globe Walk. Although parking for the general public is not allowed on New Globe Walk or the surrounding area, it is permitted if the driver displays a blue badge. There’s an NCP car park at the north side of Southwark Bridge which is now open 24 hours a day.
The Globe also has two parking bays reserved for disabled customers in the stage door car park, to the left of the main entrance, which are allocated on a first come first served basis. If you would like to book one of these, please call the Access Line on 020 7902 1409.
When leaving the theatre, black cabs can be found outside the Globe’s main entrance. Alternatively, you can book a taxi or minicab via the TFL website. Those using taxis and private hire vehicles should use a face covering for the duration of their journey.
Shakespeare’s Globe are confident that the procedures they have in place meet Government guidelines and will make you feel safe during your visit. You will receive an email from the globe ahead of your visit which will detail everything for you in one place.
The e-mail will include a specified time slot and a specified location to arrive at – this will be either:
The main entrance to Shakespeare’s Globe on New Globe Walk, or,
The Groundling Gates on Bankside (opposite the river, the same entrance for the Globe Theatre Guided Tour).
Your digital tickets for the performance will become available to you in the ‘My events’ section of your online account. You can show these on a mobile device when you arrive. The Globe will also send them via text message to your mobile number on the morning of your event.
With the relaxing of regulations in England, Shakespeare’s Globe is now operating at full capacity once again, so there is no enforcing of social distancing within the auditorium.
Please pre-order drinks and snacks before you arrive via your online account – do this before 6.00pm on the day of the performance. You will be able to collect your pre-orders on your way to your seats.
You can also use your online account to pre-book dining options at Swan Bar & Restaurant.
Currently cushion hire cannot be offered, so you’re welcome to bring your own small cushions to give your seats that extra little padding. But don’t forget the usual bag size restrictions are in place.
This season has a relaxed open-door policy. There is no need to wait for an interval – come and go, have a break and use the toilet any time you like throughout the performance.
The following description of the venue was written before the pandemic and has not yet been fully updated to reflect the changes made to enable social distancing, but staff will be on hand to assist you.
There are 3 pairs of glass doors at the entrance to the theatre which open both towards and away from you. The central set of doors are automatic and open slowly towards you when a button is pressed. The button is on a short pole about a metre or so in front of the door.
The foyer is on two levels and paved in stone. The upper level is known as the Piazza. The foyer is a large airy space with natural light flooding in from the glass entrance. The red brick wall of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is on the left and the Globe theatre is on the Piazza level. The box office runs along the right hand wall, together with an information desk, which is nearest to the entrance. Headsets and cast lists will be available from the information desk one hour before the performance starts. If you would like to listen to the introductory notes, you should collect your headset in good time to take your seat 15 minutes before the start of the performance.
Immediately on your right as you enter the foyer there is a lift that takes you up to the piazza level, or you can use the wide flight of stairs which is opposite the entrance doors. Please note that there are a number of white pillars positioned to the left and right of the foyer.
To the left of the stairs there is a bar and cafe. To the right of the stairs, in the far corner, there are toilets down three short flights of stairs. At the bottom you will arrive in a carpeted area. The entrance to the toilets is several paces directly ahead, on the other side of a pillar. Once through the entrance the gents is straight ahead – the door pushes open away from you. Turn to the left and the first door on the right is an accessible toilet. The door opens towards you. A little further on is the door to the ladies, again the door opening away from you.
On the Piazza level, you will find the Swan Bar, Swan Chophouse Restaurant, Shakespeare’s Globe shop, and more toilets. For the Swan Bar and Restaurant turn right at the top of the stairs. The Bar has a terrace open to customers with tickets. To get to the shop from the top of the foyer stairs, bear to the left for about 10 paces. The shop is open plan, with no doored entrance.
To get to the toilets continue past the shop. There is an accessible toilet to the left, followed by the ladies’ toilet. The gentlemen’s toilet is also on the left about 14 paces further on, along a narrow corridor.
To get to the refreshment stalls and to the entrances to the Globe auditorium from the top of the stairs, go straight ahead about 8 paces to a pair of heavy glass double doors. These will be tended by Stewards who will need to see your tickets. The doors lead onto the open air part of the piazza which has a smooth concrete, slightly sloping floor. Diagonally to your right, are a number of stalls selling various refreshments and programmes.
The entrances to the auditorium are on this level. As the building is circular, there are a number of entrances situated at various points. Depending on where you are sitting, you will be directed to enter via a particular door or stair tower. Seating is on three levels, or ‘galleries’, which encircle a yard. In the yard there’s usually standing room for up to 600 customers, who are known as ‘groundlings’. Currently the yard has a reduced capacity with seats gathered in “bubbles” which are socially distanced from eachother. Unlike the yard, which has no roof, the gallery seating is covered. Seating consists of wooden benches. The lower gallery is on ground level, but the aisles have steps. The middle gallery has a flight of 12 steps up to it, and then more stepped aisles between the seating. Please note that the steps are quite steep.
Please note that you are strongly advised to wrap up warm or come prepared for hot weather.
Useful information and contact numbers
Audio description at Shakespeare’s Globe is delivered using a radio system with two different types of receiver. One is a stethoset which turns on when you pull the arms apart to put them in your ears, and a volume control wheel that hangs just below your chin. The other receiver has a clip so you can attach it to a belt or a pocket, it’s volume control wheel is on it’s front – and it has a standard headphone socket – meaning you can use your own headphones or ear-buds. Subject to availability you can request whichever receiver you would prefer and staff will be happy to demonstrate they work.
At Shakespeare’s Globe Guide dogs are welcome. Please note that there is not much leg room in the seating areas, which might make it difficult for some dogs to sit comfortably. Theatre staff can look after dogs during the show. If you require this service, it is essential that you let the theatre know beforehand. If you have not already advised the theatre, please call the Access line on 0207 902 1409. You can also call the Box Office on 0207 401 9919. For General Enquiries call 0207 902 1400, or email [email protected].
VocalEyes is a charity funded by Arts Council England.