Theatreland Walking Tours

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Official London Theatre's Theatreland Audio Tour, voiced by Ian McKellen

Play the starring role in a tour of London’s historic West End with the help of British acting icon Ian McKellen. Taking you from theatre to theatre on a route from Leicester Square through to Covent Garden, Embankment and The Strand, McKellen will divulge secrets of the stage and tell the story of some of the capital’s most fascinating buildings.

You’ll travel back in time to experience Theatreland as it was for actors and audiences 300 years ago, before electric lights and moving sets, when audiences showed their disapproval by throwing fruit at the stage. With McKellen as your guide, you’ll learn the stories of the actors, architects and managers who shaped this unique part of London, turning it from one of the city’s most disreputable slums to the glittering heart of British theatre. 

As you wind your way through the backstreets and alleyways of the West End, McKellen will recount fascinating stories from his illustrious career on the stage; his favourite venues, his least favourite performances and where he made his professional acting debut. A must for thespians and history lovers alike, this tour recounts the captivating story of London theatre and reveals the secrets of one of city’s most iconic districts.

To get this FREE audio tour:

1. Install VoiceMap on your phone
2. Sign up with email or Facebook, then look for "Theatreland Tour with Ian McKellen" in London
3. Download the tour with WiFi
4. Head to the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square, where the tour begins and ends.

Theatreland with official City of Westminster guides


City of Westminster Guide Lecturers Association


Love theatre? Want to learn more about London's famous and historic theatreland?

Why not join an official City of Westminster walking tour guide for a 90 minute wander round theatrical London. You will almost be able to smell the greasepaint as the tour explores the star-studded West End, enjoying high drama and low comedy.

Book in advance to guarantee your place.

Tours available on: Every Saturday morning at 11am

Cost: Adults £12, Students/Seniors £9; up to 2 children free with a paying adult

 For enquiries, please contact

Theatreland Walking Tour

This tour of London’s theatre district, led by qualified London Blue Badge Tour Guide Diane Burstein, treats you to historical vignettes and anecdotes about the West End’s most illustrious personalities. See Central London’s oldest theatre and hear about its many ghosts, view the Royal Opera House and hear about the riots which took place there.

Visit a haunted stage door where an actor was brutally murdered. Discover the “Actors’ Church” and stand on the spot where Eliza Doolittle sold her flowers. See the home of a leading 18th century actor/manager, hear about the hotel built from the profits of a theatre, and discover a costumier with over 170 years of theatrical history.

Please note that the walk looks at theatre exteriors only and does not include inside visits to theatres or backstage tours.

Please note there are no further 2017 tours currently booking.

Cost: £10 per person including walking tour. Places must be booked in advance. Contact to book and arrange payment or book online. Meeting details provided on booking.

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