Would you like to explore London and beyond with a highly qualified and enthusiastic Blue Badge Tourist Guide?
Tony McDonnell a member of the Association of Professional Tourist Guides explains that long and rigorous training is required before people become Blue Badge guides. "Guiding isn't just about facts," he says. "It's about relating to people, being adaptable and flexible. People are paying for the guide to interpret places rather than recite facts.”
"Working as a full time London Blue Badge Tourist Guide for more than twenty years still seems the best job imaginable. London has seen many changes in that time yet retains its inimitable style.The great historical sites and areas remain and still enchant. The sheer variety of its cultural life in terms of its theatres, concert halls galleries or museums is simply breathtaking.The transformation and revival of the old East End, the Docklands, the Southbank or the building of the Olympic Park is staggering. London's diversity in terms of its population has few equals worldwide. Its all these diffuse elements that make the place so rich when it comes to guiding around the place. Where to start on such a huge canvas?
As the son of Irish immigrants to London after the second world war might be seen as providing a particular perspective on London's past and institutions, extended stays in the US and other parts of the UK have, I hope, helped to broaden my experience and enrich my tours.
Any tour I undertake, be it on a coach, in a car or on foot, I try to bring a sense of excitement and amazement that this astonishing city still evokes in me. From the Irish contribution to London, to Shakespear's time in the capital. From the complex lives of the Bloomsbury Group to the struggles of working people in the East End. The gleaming towers of Canary Wharf or the Vanished Empires of Camden Town there is no end to the excitement of exploring - "The Flower of Cities All"- London!"