Follow the route that William Shakespeare took from his home in Stratford-upon-Avon
to his workplace at the Globe Theatre in London

Shakespeare’s Way is a long distance walking trail starting from William Shakespeare’s birthplace at Stratford-upon-Avon and ending at his workplace at the Globe Theatre, on the south bank of the River Thames, in central London.

The trail follows, as closely as possible, the route that Shakespeare would have taken, today following public footpaths, bridleways, towpaths and minor roads.

From Stratford it wends its way through Warwickshire into Oxfordshire, passing through Woodstock, Blenheim Park (where Winston Churchill was born) and Bladon (where Churchill is buried) to the city of Oxford.  William Shakespeare was good friends with the owners of the inn where he stayed in Oxford and was asked to be the godfather of their child.

You can visit the church in Oxford where the christening took place

After Oxford, Shakespeare’s Way passes over the Chiltern Hills, which in late April and May are resplendent in a carpet of bluebells under vast stretches of beech woodland. The trail then drops into the Thames Valley at Marlow and follows the river for a little way before cutting through heathland around Burnham Beeches. On the last leg, Shakespeare’s Way leaves the bustle of heavy traffic in greater London and takes the quiet towpath along the Grand Union Canal (not constructed in his time!) to the Globe Theatre in the heart of the capital city.

If you’d like to see some photos of our winter hike along Shakespeare’s Way, check out our album on Flickr.

Route details for Shakespeare’s Way

Distance:  146 miles (208 km) from Stratford-upon-Avon to the Globe on Bankside, London.  Stratford to Oxford is 58 miles (94 km) and Stratford to Marlow on the River Thames is 96 miles (155 km).  The trail can be walked in either direction.

Shakespeare's Way map

Grade: Moderate, with a few steep hills in the Chilterns and the Cotswolds.

Average duration: Stratford to the Globe (full trail) takes 10 to 15 walking days without a rest day.   Stratford to Oxford (part trail) takes 3 to 5 walking days and Stratford to Marlow takes 7 to 10 walking days.

Time of year: Shakespeare’s Way can be walked at any time of the year but it is probably best from late April, when the bluebells are in flower, to October, when the leaves on the beech trees are a deep bronze colour.  During wet periods there are muddy sections along the trail, which are, of course, more common in winter.

Prices: Starting from £80 per person per night based on two people sharing a room – prices increase nearer to London in line with the cost of accommodation.  The price includes bed and breakfast in good quality accommodation, luggage transfer, a guidebook and map and support in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Here are some of the interesting towns and villages that you will pass through and overnight in along the route.

Location Miles Km
Stratford-upon-Avon 0 0
Shipston-on-Stour 17 27
Chipping Norton 31 50
Woodstock (Blenheim Palace) 47 76
Oxford 58 93
Chalgrove 71 114
Marlow 96 155
Burnham Beeches 106 171
Kew Bridge 130 209
Westminster Bridge 144 232
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre 146 235

 

If you think Shakespeare’s Way is the trail for you, please contact us here to book or to discuss your individual requirements.

Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon

Here’s what some of our past customers think about their walking tour …

Thank you for facilitating a wonderful holiday for us.

Irvin and Elinor, Alberta, Canada, 2016

Shakespeare's Way: The lake and bridge at Blenheim Palace