Select an option below
Tolethorpe Hall is only a couple of minutes drive off the A1 (see map for the location of the hall and the surrounding roads).
The address is:
Rutland Open Air Theatre
We have free on-site car and coach parking just a moment’s walk from the theatre, hall, picnic area and all facilities. This includes hard standing for coaches and our disabled parking bays.
There is disabled access to all areas at Tolethorpe, including disabled toilets in the hall and adjacent to the theatre, and wheelchair spaces on Row ‘O’ in theatre – please choose these seats when booking. It would be greatly appreciated if anyone requiring wheelchair assistance on arrival could give the office at least a week’s notice.
Enjoy your own picnic in the beautiful gardens before heading into the auditorium to sit back, relax and be entertained. The picnic slope overlooks classic English parkland with historic Tolethorpe Hall in the background.
Grounds open at 10am for matinée performances and 5pm for evening performances.
Sorry, no barbecues, gazebos or dogs (other than assistance dogs) allowed.
Bar & Shop
The Bar, serving a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, opens at 10am for matinée performances and 5pm for evening performances.
The shop, serving hot and cold drinks and an assortment of crisps and sweets, opens at 10am for matinée performances and 5pm for evening performances.
The Rutland Open Air Theatre has a 600-seat, permanently covered, raked auditorium. No performance is ever cancelled because of inclement weather.
The canopy, a high tensile fabric made of PVC-coated, reinforced polyester and designed to withstand winds of up to 100mph, was manufactured in Germany and fabricated and erected by Landrell Fabric Engineering. It is similar material to the high tensile fabric used for the roof of London’s Millennium Dome.
The George of Stamford
A beautiful 16th century coaching inn with log fires, oak panelled restaurants, a walled monastery garden (once the home of the Stamford Shakespeare Company’s outdoor performances), a cobbled courtyard all in keeping with the style of Stamford. The George succeeds in retaining the charm and atmosphere of its long history, yet offers today’s guests every modern comfort.
These FAQ’s are designed to help visitors prepare for their visit to Tolethorpe Hall.
Please read on to find out answers to your questions. We can’t wait to see you!
Is there disabled access and would there be someone to help me to my seat?
There are disabled parking areas, disabled toilets and wheelchair access to row ‘O’. If you require any assistance, please contact the Administration Office at least one week before the performance (01780 754381 / email@example.com).
Is there a LOOP system for the hard of Hearing?
There is an induction LOOP installed inside the theatre.
Are dogs allowed?
Only assistance dogs are allowed.
How do I get to Tolethorpe?
Tolethorpe Hall lies in the heart of the Welland Valley, just five minutes from Stamford and 20 minutes from Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland Water and Peterborough. Follow the brown ‘Shakespeare at Tolethorpe’ signs through Stamford, or pop our address in your sat nav:
Is there sufficient parking?
There is ample free car and coach parking in our designated car park, a moment’s walk from the Hall and Theatre.
Will it be dark when I leave?
During our summer season the evenings start to draw in and it is usually dark at the end of the performances, particularly in late summer.
Could you recommend any taxi firms?
There are numerous taxi firms in Stamford and the surrounding area, we have listed 3 here for you; Silver Cabs 01780 482800, Premier Cabs 01780 766155 and Where 2 Cabs 07762 771960.
Could I walk/cycle to Tolethorpe from Stamford?
Tolethorpe is situated about two miles from Stamford. It is possible to cycle to the venue, but due to a lack of safe footpaths, we do not encourage walking.
What local attractions are close by?
Nearby attractions include Burghley House, Sacrewell Farm, Peterborough Cathedral and Rockingham, Grimsthorpe and Oakham Castles.
Will the show go ahead if it rains? If so, will I get cold and wet?
The covered auditorium means no performance is ever cancelled due to inclement weather. However, some nights may be a little chilly, and so a blanket and/or warm clothing is always advisable.
Are refunds available if I can’t make the show?
We do not offer refunds. However, there is the option to exchange tickets with a transaction fee of £1.50 per ticket. No ticket exchanges within two weeks of performance.
Can I purchase a programme for that night’s performance?
Programmes can be pre-ordered via our website when booking your tickets, and are also available on the night from the ticket kiosk.
Is smoking/vaping allowed on the grounds and are there any designated smoking/vaping areas?
Smoking/vaping is strictly forbidden within the auditorium. We currently have no specific designated smoking/vaping areas. However, we do ask that you act with consideration for your fellow patrons, and dispose of all cigarettes cleanly and safely.
Will I be allowed to film or take photos during the performance?
The filming and photography of any performance is strictly prohibited and may result in you being asked to leave the auditorium.
Food & Drink
Can I reserve an area/table on the picnic slope?
The area for picnics is on a “first come” basis. We do not reserve tables or areas on the picnic slope.
Can I book a picnic/hamper to collect before the performance?
Yes, you can pre-order a picnic hamper via our website when booking your tickets.
Is there a restaurant/café where I can eat beforehand and how do I book?
Sorry, but we are unable to provide this service this year. Our shop stocks a variety of crisps, chocolate bars, sweets and ice creams.
Is there a bar? Can I pre-order interval drinks?
You can enjoy pre-show drinks and order your interval drinks at our fully stocked licensed bar which is open from 5:00pm on evening performances and 10am on matinee performances.
Am I allowed to bring my own food and drink?
Yes, we actively encourage that. It is a ‘Tolethorpe Tradition’ that you enjoy your own picnic on our picnic slope before your performance. Sorry, no barbecues or gazebos allowed.
Can I buy snacks and ice creams?
Ice creams and snacks are available from our shop and Front of House staff, pre-performance and during the interval.
Can I perform at Tolethorpe, and when are auditions?
Yes! We welcome all new members to our theatre, whether they wish to act, be part of backstage, help with costume or be part of the technical team. There are numerous roles involved in putting on each performance. Auditions take place in October each year.
How do I become a Friend of Stamford Shakespeare Company and what are the benefits?
To become a Friend of Stamford Shakespeare Company please click here (with link to relevant page on website). Benefits include early bookings, complimentary programmes and more!
Can I become a Member of Stamford Shakespeare Company?
All volunteers can become Members of the company. Whether you are on stage, backstage, lighting the set, or deadheading in the grounds, if you’re part of the team you can be part of the Company.
Tolethorpe Hall lies in the heart of the Welland Valley, just 5 minutes from Stamford and 20 minutes from Oakham, Uppingham and Peterborough. Nearby attractions include Burghley House, Sacrewell Farm, Rutland Water, Barnsdale Gardens, Peterborough Cathedral, Nene Valley Railway and Rockingham, Grimsthorpe and Oakham Castles.
On the outskirts of Stamford, Burghley House is the largest and most romantic Elizabethan mansion with stunning gardens and events throughout the year.
With cobbled streets and unique shops, the picturesque Georgian town of Stamford is ideal for a day’s outing or a short stay holiday.
Covering 4,200 acres of open country and offering everything from walking and cycling to fishing and watersports.