|THEATRE SITES - Southwark & Bankside
Route & what to see
In the Tudor period when theatres were considered 'low' Southwark provided a location that was easy to access but beyond the jurisdiction of the City. The South Bank is now noted for the reconstructed Globe and the National Theatre. Besides the well known theatres, including the Old & Young Vics, this walk includes some smaller venues as well as a number of Elizabethan sites. There is a companion walk around Blackfriars. There are numerous refreshment places along the route including at some of the sites featured
A linear walk of up to 2¾ miles
from London Bridge Station to the he National Theatre building
(not always open on Sundays).
Read more about locations in UPPER CASE on the additional information page.
There is the option of
viewing the UNICORN theatre for children. To do this exit the
station into Tooley Street and go right.
Return via the riverside path continuing to SOUTHWARK CATHEDRAL
If not viewing the Unicorn
exit the station and cross Borough High Street to SOUTHWARK
Philip Henslowe and Shakespeare's brother Edmund were buried here. It also has a Shakespeare window and monument plus a memorial to Sam Wanamaker.
Exit into Cathedral Street
and bear right along Clink Street
On the left are the remains of Winchester Palace. Further along the Clink Museum occupies the site of the former prison (see notices).
Beyond the railway bridge
bear right to join the riverside path and continue under
Tiled panels depict the Frost Fairs that took place when the River Thames froze.
Continue along Bankside
The riverwalk was widened here by a cantilevered structure that does not impinge on the foreshore. The rail has an inscribed quote from Henry VIII. SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE can be viewed from the riverside. Just beyond is the entrance to the exhibition.
Return and go into New Globe
Here is the entrance to the theatre with box office, information, cafe/restaurant and shop. From this street you can also view the SAM WANAMAKER (Indoor) Theatre.
Retrace your steps along
Bankside towards Southwark Bridge but before this go right at
On the left is the Ferryman's Seat (see plaque). In this street were animal baiting venues and the HOPE THEATRE.
At the end go left along
On the left just before Southwark Bridge a blue plaque marks the site of the ROSE THEATRE. Beyond the bridge on the right is the site of the original GLOBE (see plaque & display boards).
Follow Park Street to the
right. Go right into Redcross Way then right at Southwark Street
crossing at the lights.
The MENIER CHOCOLATE FACTORY includes a gallery, theatre and restaurant.
Continue along Southwark
Street. Cross at the lights and go left along Southwark Bridge
Playhouse Yard was home to the SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE until 2006. It has re-located to Newington Causeway (off route). [website]
Return to and continue along
Southwark Bridge Road then go right along Copperfield Street.
Right at Pepper Street and left into Union Street.
The cafe and galleries of the JERWOOD SPACE at 171 (used for rehearsals) are open to the public.
Continue along Union Street
The UNION THEATRE (and cafe) was situated under railway arch number 401 which appeared as a light feature. When this was ceremonially 'switched on' not only did it fail to light but all the nearby traffic lights went out - oops! The Union Theatre has now been re-locatd to 229 Union Street. [website]
Follow Union Street then
cross Blackfriars Road (by Southwark tube station) and continue
along The Cut.
On the right the YOUNG VIC has been rebuilt.
Cross and continue along The
Further along on the left is the National Theatre STUDIO. Across Webber Street is the OLD VIC. The area around Lower Marsh was the location of many theatrical agents in the Victorian period. The Museum of London has a large painting sited here and made up of portraits of famous Music Hall performers of the time.
Opposite the Old Vic go
along Cornwall Road crossing Stamford Street. At the end go left
into Upper Ground then right alongside the National.
The entrance to the Dorfman Theatre and stage door are here.
Continue round to the riverside for entrance to the NATIONAL THEATRE (Olivier & Lyttleton) complex.
© london-footprints 2019
[Blackfriars theatre walk] [additonal information] [walks list]