Sightseeing in England: Shakespeare and the Beatles

There are many, many reasons to visit England and we continue our series to examine a trio of such reasons.

Last time, I examined the United Kingdom monarchy and the fact that you could visit to England in the hopes of seeing Queen Elizabeth II and the new Royal Baby Charlotte.

A second reason to head to England would be to visit the country’s many, many landmarks. But because they are so plentiful, I focus my exposé on two of the country’s most famous, renowned and celebrated artists.


The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, or as it has come to be known, William Shakespeare’s playing company, built the Globe Theatre in 1599. The theatre was rebuilt in the same location after a fire destroyed it in 1613, only for it to close in 1642. The place allegedly derives its name from Totus mundus agit histrionem and Quod fere totus mundus exerceat histrionem, which allows me to showcase my Latin and give you the translation: “Because all the world is a playground.” (Kidding, the Globe Theatre’s Wikipedia page has that information, though I did take Latin in high school.)

Today’s London has a modern reconstruction of the place named, quite à propos if I may say so myself, Shakespeare’s Globe. Judging from the YouTube tour of the place, well, I can think of worse places to go see a play.

But maybe you’re more a Shakespeare history buff and don’t care all that much about the theatre and the plays. In which case, England can still be quite the destination for you.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is, in the place’s own words on the Internet, “the world’s leading charity in promoting the works, life and times of William Shakespeare.”

Since 1847 when it purchased the birthplace of the author as a national memorial, the charity has worked at acquiring many of the other houses where Shakespeare and his family and close ones lived during his life. And for the most studious among you, the trust has notably the Shakespeare Centre library and archives.

But maybe you don’t plan on heading all the way to England just for a lesson on what made Shakespeare so great. I get that.

How about music, then?

The Beatles

The Beatles Story appears to be a celebration of all things related to the Beatles or, as its website puts it, you should visit to “[b]e transported on an incredible journey and see how far four young lads from Liverpool were propelled to the dizzy heights of fame and fortune from their humble childhood beginnings.”

England understands better than anyone the phenomenon that the Beatles became—the narrator in the YouTube video describes the band as the greatest ever—and this Beatles Story is a way to keep the band alive for one more go.

England has many more landmarks, of course, including a hub for the arts and business in The City, but I can’t possibly write about all of them.

And next time, I swear, I will discuss the wonderful cathedral of tennis that is Wimbledon.


Tennis & Travels is a new column that applauds the readers who do decide to combine business with pleasure. Because life is short, and you should travel and play tennis—maybe even do both at once.

Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG

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