Things to know before your visit to Shakespeare's Birthplace
We’ve introduced a series of measures to help maintain a safe environment for your visit. We've also revised our terms of entry for all visitors.
Our helpful staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have and ensure measures are being followed.
We look forward to seeing you and we hope you enjoy your time with us.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to book in advance?
Yes. All tickets must be pre-ordered online, so that you can select a time slot for entry. This allows us to manage the number of visitors on site at any time so that you can enjoy a safe visit. We’ll release blocks of tickets every Friday, with availability up to 2 weeks in advance.
Can I use an existing ticket/membership?
No, you’ll need a new timed-entry ticket to visit us at the moment. This enables us to manage the number of visitors on site in order to maintain social distancing measures. By purchasing a new ticket you are also helping to care for the world's greatest Shakespeare heritage and keeping his story alive during these difficult times.
Existing tickets and Friends memberships have been frozen until further notice. When we can announce our wider reopening plans, we will extend your existing ticket by the number of months remaining on your ticket when we closed on 17 March 2020.
To keep up to date with our reopening plans please keep an eye on our website or join our mailing list.
See our ticketing terms for more information.
Are you offering concessions on ticket prices?
All standard tickets are currently offered at a reduced rate (see our ticket prices for more details). We hope that some visitors may choose to top-up with a donation, to help us keep Shakespeare's story alive.
Carers go free when accompanying a visitor with disabilities, with only one ticket required to grant entry to both visitors.
Max Card holders can obtain a discount by contacting us directly to make your booking via [email protected] or on 01789 204016.
We’re also pleased to offer NHS workers who pre-book 50% off on presentation of proof of eligibility on arrival.
What time should I arrive?
Please don’t arrive before the entry time shown on your ticket. You’ll have 30 minutes from that time to begin your visit.
What if I can’t visit due to illness?
We ask you not to visit us if you or anyone in your household is showing COVID-19 symptoms or has reason to self-isolate. Please email [email protected] before your visit was due to take place and we’ll be happy to help you rearrange for another date.
I’ve changed my mind, can I cancel my ticket?
Tickets are non-refundable and cannot be altered due to a change of mind. If you’re unable to visit due to illness you can rearrange for another date (see above).
Why am I asked to provide contact information?
To help reduce the risk of a local outbreak of coronavirus, we are taking contact details for visitors, as well as recording times entering our premises. In line with guidance issued by the Department for Health and Social Care, we will keep your details for 21 days. We will share them with Test and Trace personnel, if asked, in the event of a fellow customer or staff member testing positive for coronavirus.
Data will be handled according to GDPR, security and ethical standards at every stage of the process – from its collection and storage by us to its transfer and use by NHS Test and Trace. NHS Test and Trace will handle all data according to the highest ethical and security standards and it will be used only for NHS care, management, evaluation and research.
Visitors are encouraged to download the NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app prior to arrival at Shakespeare's Birthplace and 'check-in' by scanning the QR code available at the ticket desk and entrance to the shop.
What extra hygiene measures are in place?
Hand sanitiser stations are available around the site and we’re only taking cashless payments. We’ve introduced a one-in-one-out policy for use of our toilets, which are cleaned on a regular basis throughout the day. Temperature checks may be carried out on entry.
What are you doing to ensure social distancing?
We’ve introduced a one-way journey through the site using floor markers and sign-posting to help you maintain social distancing at all times. We’re also using timed-entry tickets to manage the number of visitors and make sure you’ve got plenty of space to relax and enjoy yourself.
Are you limiting numbers on site?
Yes. In order to facilitate social distancing between visitors we’ve reduced our site capacity and introduced timed entry to Shakespeare’s Birthplace. This will allow us to manage the number of visitors at any one time, and enable you to maintain safe distance from others.
Groups larger than 6 are not allowed to book, meet or interact on site unless they are part of the same household or support bubble
Do I need to cover my face?
Visitors are required to wear a face covering in all indoor spaces throughout their visit, unless they are exempt from the UK Government's guidelines.
We recommend referring to Government guidance on face coverings for more details including when and how to wear face coverings, exemptions and how to make your own.
How are you keeping staff safe?
All our staff have undergone COVID specific training, and will aim to maintain social distancing measures wherever possible. Where appropriate, they’ll also have personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and visors, and will work behind hygiene screens in order to keep them and our visitors safe.
Can I bring food and drink, or buy any when I’m there?
We ask that no food or drink is consumed on site during your visit, including any that you’ve brought from home. All of our cafes are closed until further notice. There is a variety of food and drink outlets nearby.
Can I bring my dog?
We regret that in light of social distancing measures we are unable to allow any dogs other than assistance dogs to enter our sites until further notice. We will look forward to welcoming dogs in our gardens again in the future so please check back for updates. Assistance dogs are welcome in all areas.
Is the Shakespeare Gift Shop open?
Yes, you’ll have a chance to visit the gift shop during a visit to Shakespeare’s Birthplace. It will also be open to the general public via Henley Street. Please note that we’re taking cashless payments only in the shop.
Are you taking group bookings?
While Shakespeare's Birthplace is operating at reduced visitor capacity we are currently unable to make or confirm any group bookings until after 1 March 2021. Advance bookings before 1 March 2021 are cancelled. If you have an existing group booking with us, we will be in touch to discuss the details with you directly.
When will the other houses reopen?
Unfortunately Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shakespeare’s New Place, Mary Arden’s Farm and Hall’s Croft will remain closed until at least spring 2021. While social distancing remains essential, reopening these properties will cost more than keeping them closed. The Trust faces losses of £8.5 million in earned income this year and this will have a significant adverse impact on our charity.
Although these four sites won’t be open to the public they will continue to be protected and conserved until their doors open once again.
Can I access the Shakespeare Centre?
The Shakespeare Centre remains closed to visitors until further notice. This includes our reading room, educational courses and after-hours events. Please keep checking our website for further updates.
Help us keep Shakespeare's story alive
Help us keep Shakespeare's story alive
Visit Shakespeare's Birthplace
See where it all began
See where it all began