Shakespeare Birthday Parade 2023

Oxford Preservation Trust look after the Painted Room in Oxford – all that remains of the Crown Tavern, where it is said Shakespeare stayed several times on journeys between London and his home in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Each year to celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday, OPT hold an annual parade to the Painted Room on Cornmarket. This year looked a little different as for the first time the annual Shakespeare Birthday parade began at St George’s Tower in the Castleyard, allowing lots more people from the community to come and enjoy the celebrations. Dignitaries from across town and gown were entertained by pupils from Oxford Spires Academy before the procession headed off along Queen Street to Carfax and the Painted Room, where the festivities concluded with a toast to the immortal Bard by Dr Robert Stagg.


In honour of the occasion we are sharing a number of family activities so you can continue the fun at home!

Virtual Tour of the Painted Room

Click here to watch a tour of the Painted Room by OPT Director Debbie Dance.

Shakespeare Trail

Download this free guided family walk and follow in the footsteps of the immortal bard, how many of the places with special Shakespearean connections can you find?

It is a circular loop, which takes around 15-20 minutes starting beside Carfax Tower, download here.

Shakespeare Cauldron Spell

One of Shakespeare’s most famous plays is called Macbeth. In this play a group of witches make a spell around a cauldron. Have a go at writing your own cauldron spell with one of our activity sheets!

Shakespeare Cauldron Spell 5-7 Years

Shakespeare Cauldron Spell 7-11 Years

Shakespeare Sonnet

William Shakespeare was on the greatest writers of plays and poems, responsible for some of the most famous and recognisable pieces ever to be performed. His legacy has lasted centuries, but now it’s your turn to try your hand at writing a Shakespearean sonnet. A sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines with ten syllables in each line. Use our activity sheet to help you write your very own sonnet!

Design your own Painted Room

The Painted Room is said to be where Shakespeare stayed whilst visiting Oxford. The main decoration of the painting consists of an interlacing trellis pattern and designs of flowers and fruit. Why not try and design your own wall painting!


Don’t forget to send us pictures of your celebrations and any Shakespeare creations you make! Tag us via our social media channels, on Twitter and Instagram @OxfordPresTrust, and on Facebook @OxPresTrust! Or send any pictures to