Choosing the right guide is hugely important to the overall experience of your tour. All our guides are Blue Badge accredited which apart from ensuring exclusive access to some of London’s biggest attractions, guarantees you a level of knowledge and experience.
There are also obvious requirements, such as do they speak your language and are they experts in the area you’re interested. But there are also many other ‘soft factors’ that can be intensely personal. We asked our guides what their tips would be for choosing a guide.
“Wherever I go, I always book a local guide to show me around. My number one criteria, is ‘friendliness’. It doesn’t matter how clever the guide is if you don’t get on. “
“My ideal guide is somebody who conveys a profound cultural understanding of their location. Somebody who shares a lot more than facts and who really ‘feels’ their city; someone who helps you seek out the poetry of the streets!”
“A great guide knows how to pitch the tour at the appropriate level to make it informative and entertaining. A local guide should be able to spice up the facts with good stories, and up to date topical information that cannot be found in a guide book. It is as much about fun as about facts.”
“Talk to your guide in advance. You may have clear views on what you want to see, but your guide can also give you a lot of helpful advice. They will know what you can realistically achieve in the time you have and take you to places off the beaten track that will surprise you.”
“I’d want someone fun, friendly and relaxed. Of course, I’d want them to know their stuff, but I’d also be looking for someone with a particular interest in the social history as well as the current state of the place I’m visiting.”
“When I went to Rome recently, I booked a guide and I realised that it was not his knowledge that impressed me but the way he delivered it. We were just walking through lesser known areas and I just loved to listen to his stories. His kindness and friendliness was also a great bonus!”