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National Lottery players can enjoy free entry to three historic Shakespeare attractions

Nationwide Thank You Campaign, 11-17 December

Three major attractions in Stratford-upon-Avon will be throwing open their doors for free to National Lottery players. 

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall have teamed up to join other participating cultural organisations across the UK to offer lottery ticket holders free entry to Heritage Lottery-supported attractions.  The initiative is a way of saying a Big Thank You to people who have helped raised vital funds for good causes by buying a lottery ticket.

From 11 – 17 December, lottery ticket holders can visit Shakespeare’s New Place and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) The Play’s The Thing exhibition for free on presentation of a valid National Lottery ticket or scratchcard*;  Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall will open for free to ticket holders on 15, 16 and 17 December. Anyone that visits and collects stamps from all three attractions will be entered into a prize draw to win a fantastic Shakespeare prize package worth over £180.**

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage which has been transformed by more than £7bn National Lottery funding since 1994. This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to people who buy tickets.”

Thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Shakespeare’s New Place, the RSC’s Swan Wing and Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall underwent transformation projects, marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016. Over £6 million of lottery grants were invested in Stratford-upon-Avon in projects celebrating the life and works of William Shakespeare, including:

Shakespeare’s New Place

New Place was Shakespeare’s family home from 1597 until his death in 1616. It was the only family home he ever bought. Supported by a £2.2m HLF grant, Shakespeare’s New Place reopened in August 2016 after more than 250 years as a garden and six years as an archaeological site. Today, New Place has a new landscape of beautifully restored gardens and breathtaking sculptures inspired by Shakespeare’s life and his works. Visitors are taken on a multi-sensory journey throughout the historic site where they can learn more about what Shakespeare’s family life might have been like.

Restoration of the Swan Wing

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has been performing Shakespeare’s plays in Stratford since 1879, when the original Shakespeare Memorial Theatre was constructed. Thanks to National Lottery grants, the RSC has been able to restore and redevelop the Grade II* Swan Wing, the only surviving part of the Victorian theatre. As part of the £2.8m project the RSC’s The Play’s The Thing immersive exhibition highlights some of the Company’s most iconic theatre productions and features treasures from the archive, including rarely-seen props, exquisite costumes and original set designs.

Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall

The 15th-century Guildhall at King Edward VI School was Stratford-upon-Avon’s first theatre - and Shakespeare's school. The £1.4m HLF grant supported the restoration of the magnificent Guildhall which reopened on 23 April 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Visitors can now explore the very building in which the country’s greatest playwright went to school.

* Terms and Conditions:

  • One National Lottery ticket provides free entry for one adult and two children to Shakespeare’s New Place, RSC’s The Play’s The Thing Exhibition and Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall. Ticket holders will also receive a free filtered coffee or tea in the RSC’s Swan Café when purchasing a slice of cake (15-17 December only).
  • All National Lottery games qualify for free entry, including tickets from any National Lottery draw-based game (including Lotto, Euromillions, Thunderball, Hotpicks and National Lottery scratchcards). Proof of ticket can be paper or digital.
  • The offer is valid at Shakespeare’s New Place and The Play’s The Thing Exhibition from 11 – 17 December, 10am – 4pm only; Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall from 15-17 December 10am – 4pm only. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer.
  • Visitors should present a valid National Lottery ticket or scratchcard on arrival at the attraction’s main ticket desk.
  • Shakespeare’s New Place, RSC’s The Play’s The Thing and Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall reserve the right to refuse entry in the unlikely event of venue reaching capacity or any unforeseen circumstances.

** Prize Draw: One lucky winner will win a fantastic Shakespeare prize package worth over £180, T&C’s apply.

  • Shakespeare Birthplace Trust – Full Story Family Ticket (entrance to all five Shakespeare Family Homes for 2 adults and up to 4 children valid for 12 months unlimited entry worth £59.50) + Shakespeare Guidebook
  • RSC- Family annual pass (for up to 2 adults and 4 children) to The Play’s The Thing exhibition and afternoon tea for up to 6 people worth £93.90
  • Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall – Family Ticket (2 adults & up to 4 children, valid for 12 months unlimited entry worth £22) + Guidebook 

See the individual attraction website for more information and terms & conditions. / /