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Multi-sensory bus tour takes kids to Shakespearian London

Unique bus tour, which includes live actors, sounds, videos, smells and props, launched at the start of Shakespeare Week in March

Posted by Hannah Vickers | April 21, 2017 | School life

Golden Tours, the UK’s sightseeing tour company, launches the UK’s first-ever multi-sensory bus tour, giving schoolchildren the opportunity to experience the city as Shakespeare would have by bringing London’s rich history to life – in all its exciting (and disgusting) detail!

Live character guides - in full Shakespearian costume - intertwine stories of the Bard and tales of the time with sights sounds and smells that truly immerse pupils into Shakespeare’s era. Examples of the on-board multi-sensory experiences include:

  • Touch the realistic lumps and bumps of what a plague victim’s skin would have felt like to help schoolchildren understand one of the greatest devastations London ever experienced, and why its impact is still talked about today.
  • Feel the stark difference between the fabrics worn by different communities of Elizabethan society and discover the laws passed by the state, including those that could land Londoners a stint in prison for the crime of wearing purple!
  • Sounds and smells will ignite pupils’ senses as live actors describe the meals of the rich compared to the poor, whilst discovering why travellers to the city were presented with the ghoulish sight of rotting heads of traitors stuck up on poles as they crossed London Bridge.
  • Discover the most famous treachery of all, the Gunpowder Plot, that took place in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament, and learn about the origins of the 5th November bonfire celebrations through specially-created on-board videos.

The Shakespeare’s London tour is directly linked to Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum for English and History and has been developed by education experts alongside Shakespearian scholars and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. It has gained the Quality badge from the Council of Learning Outside the Classroom – the nationally recognised indicator of good quality educational provision.

Each pupil will receive a free workbook to aid their learning, packed with relevant facts and activities aimed at enhancing their day out. 

The tour starts and finishes near Shakespeare’s Globe, and passes Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s Cathedral to help schoolchildren to understand more about these famous landmarks and their place in both Shakespearian and modern-day London.

Mikesh Palan, Managing Director of Golden Tours, said: “We are really excited to launch the first bus tour of its kind in the UK and continue to develop our increasingly innovative tour experience for school visitors. Shakespeare’s London is an inspiring way for children to engage with Shakespeare outside of the classroom walls and is certainly the closest thing to time travel that London has to offer.”

Jacqueline Green, Head of Learning and Participation at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said: “We are constantly exploring new ways to inspire and bring not only Shakespeare but also British history to life in schools. Having already brought Shakespeare to life for over 3.5 million primary school children across the UK, we are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Golden Tours on this pioneering new educational initiative and get even more kids learning about the history of the Bard in such an intriguing and exciting way.”

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