From now on the walk formerly known as 'The Shakespeare City Walk' will be known as 'Shakespeare in the City Walk'. Since my forthcoming South London walk/tour is called 'Shakespeare in South London Walk', it seems right to emphasis the word Shakespeare first in the titles of both Shakespeare walking tours.
Bruce Feiler six times New York Times bestselling author of books such as 'Walking the Bible' and 'The secrets of happy families', said about my tour: "Declan brings the hidden alleyways and London life of Shakespeare alive".
Jan MalmsjoThe 'Swedish Olivier', who was the bishop in Bergman's 'Fanny and Alexander', wrote about my tour: "Great and interesting and funny"
Rob McCaskillNew York-based acting teacher of Bernadette Peters, Michelle Rodrigez ('The Fast and the Furious', 'Avatar') etc, said about my tour: "A trip back in time. Wonderfully imaginative. Don't miss it" Quote from American Professor Owen Thompson, 12th July 2013: "Declan combines scholarly expertise with entertaining verve and flair. Excellent tour!"
WHAT 'SHAKESPEARE IN THE CITY WALK' IS All ABOUT: This 90 minute leisurely tour does not go to the Globe Theatre (because everyone already knows it), instead it uncovers lesser-known monuments and locations in the City of London on the North bank of the Thames, with connections to Shakespeare's life, his friends, his loves and his work.
The film 'Anonymous' proposes that William Shakespeare did not write his plays. I believe that William Shakespeare DID write his plays and therefore this may not be the tour for you if you refuse to believe that. Instead you can go on somebody else's tour. I do not propose to spend the tour arguing this point, I will just get on with showing you aspects of William Shakespeare's London.
Here is a short clip of my appearance on BBC television on 28th May 2013, discussing Shakespeare's London with presenter Wendy Hurrell.
A slightly longer version, with a bit of a speech by me from 'As You Like It', can be seen here if you copy the following into your browser:
Visit the only two exact locations in London of Shakespeare houses
See the practically unknown hidden monument created from one of Shakespeare's best-known speeches
Go to the site of the Blackfriars Theatre, the lost sister theatre to the Globe
See the spot where we believe Othello, King Lear and Macbeth were written
Discover what Shakespeare was like as a man, including his complicated personal life
Visit Church locations Shakespeare knew
Hear some sublime Shakespeare speeches. I am a former professional actor and I
illustrate what I talk about with Shakespeare's own immortal words. This is a feature of
this walk that people especially love.
MEETING TIME AND PLACE: 11am on Friday mornings outside the only exit at Blackfriars underground station. Some sites say Temple underground station but that is out-of-date information still hanging around on the Net and those sites are incorrect. I do the tour so I should know!
Blackfriars underground station (Circle and District lines) has been totally redone and the meeting place for this Tour is now right outside that underground station's only exit, a few feet away on the pavement. Look for the sign with Shakespeare's head on my rucksack when you emerge from the station onto the pavement. The sign is at knee-level not eye-level.
*** W A R N I N G *** Before you set off to come to your walk, I very strongly suggest that you add an extra 15-20 minutes to your travel time to compensate for possibly getting stuck in one (or more) of London's extremely frequent tube train delays. Unfortunately, people who turn up late will miss this walk since I simply have to start the walk with the people who turn up on time. Just to be clear about this, if you miss the start of the walk for any reason, you miss the entire walk since I turn up off my mobile when I begin and you won't be able to find me in the side-streets. If it is your fault that you turned up late - because you did not start off early enough and did not allow the recommended extra time for possible tube train delays etc - you will not be refunded if you paid in advance. The sad reality is that hundreds a year miss my walks...*** W A R N I N G ***
Due to a rebooked holiday, the information below has changed. This is the updated information as of today 15th July 2014
Friday 1st August 2014 - No walk will be taking place....
Always ring the telephone number given in the Contact section on the morning of the walk you plan to come on, in case I am on holiday. It's essential to ring in any case because unforeseen circumstances can happen once or twice a year which mean that a particular walk cannot take place.
If you book through 365tickets.com and then a walk is cancelled by me (this has maybe happened twice in 15 years so it is a very rare event but theoretically possible), you will be refunded by them or you can transfer to another date. The other company, LondonTown.com, don't actually charge you, since you pay me when you turn up, so no refund is necessary from them.
The price for adults who just show up without any other deal is £10, or £8 for for children (aged 12-14).
If you have the London Pass the price is £8 for adults (15+) who have the newest guide book issued in May 2014, and £6 for children aged 12-14. If you have the older guidebook it will be £1 less. You must actually show me the Pass and the guidebook so I can see which edition you have.
Alternatively you can advance book online at either of the following two SECURE internet sites for a £0.50p discount on the normal undiscounted price :
"Highlight of trip" - Christine O'Grady, Australia
"Loved the speeches from Shakespeare himself" - Nicoletia, Italy.
"Magnificent eye-opening tour" - Kevin Connell
"Declan is the best guide in London" - Manfred and Heidi Gloag, Germany
"An absolute highlight of my travels to date...incredible insight into the world of Shakespeare" - Kylie Sandover, Australia
"Best thing I've done in 5 years of London living!" - Gemma Clarke
"Excellent - the highlight of my trip" - Geraldine Murphy, USA.
"Thank you for this superb, history-filled and inspiring experience" - Elizabeth Vandepaer, USA. "The most enthusiastic, friendly and interesting tour together with first class acting on the side" - Magnus, Sweden.
If neither of the two public times given fit your needs, you can always email me or give me a call at the number in the Contact section and then we can discuss a private tour. I'm sometimes willing to do private tours on my days off. The price is just £12 per person with a minimum of 15 people per walk OR the equivalent value if there are less than 15 people ie 15 x £12= £180. If it's a corporate walk there is an extra £35 charge ie £215 minimum; also a £30 charge if I have to cancel a public walk to do your private one, but I can only cancel public walks if no-one has yet booked for them.
ALWAYS CHECK THE MESSAGE:NB Updated details of times, engineering works and other underground line problems, are always given on the message at the telephone number in the Contact section.
MY OTHER WALK
In case you are interested I also perform a very well-known London horror walk called 'The Blood and Tears Walk'five times a week.That one is edgy and disturbing - but also good fun - and will only cost you £5 if you come on this one first, otherwise it will cost £10 (undiscounted price).
FINALLY:I really look forward to meeting you soon and providing fresh insights for you into the wonderful world of the genius William Shakespeare.
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL??
'The Shakespeare' (Barbican pub/restaurant)
2 Goswell Road, EC1M 7AA
Go on Declan's 'Shakespeare in the City Walk' and at Barbican at the end of the tour, Declan will give you a voucher with his signature.
Now walk into 'The Shakespeare' pub/restaurant thirty seconds away and present your voucher to the person who welcomes you.You will receive an amazing 20% off your food bill. That's 20%!!!
Even if you don't go on the tour, memorise the following phrase or write it down: ‘The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death is in 2016’and say it to the person who welcomes you, and you will still receive a 15% discount on your food bill. Just for reading this website!!
'The Shakespeare' is located across the road from Barbican Underground Station, just 45 seconds away after turning left from the station.From an historic reference, it is located exactly where the north gate to the City of London used to be.
The Shakespeare is a family owned establishment famed for its food and welcoming atmosphere. The English & Italian cuisine offers genuine home cooking, freshly made authentic Italian pizza, succulent burgers and innovative daily specials.
The full menu is available from Monday to Friday between 12pm - 3pm and 6.30pm - 10pm.
Saturday is Pizza Fever Day! Choose from the pizza menu for "Buy One get the Second Half Price”.
Sundays: The main menu is available from 1pm and pizza can be ordered from 6pm.
For Sunday Lunch, bookings received by Friday will ensure you a traditional English Sunday Roast served with all the trimmings.
A quality selection of Italian wines, beers and ales are served throughout the day.