My interests are history and, more particularly, British Imperial expansion and its impact on the wider world. I have a 1st Class Honours degree in War Studies from King's College, University of London and a Masters degree in Naval History from Exeter.
I am a Blue Badge guide, the highest qualification in the UK and thus allowed to guide almost everywhere that guiding is permitted. I am also a licensed driver-guide with a Mercedes E350 station-wagon and able to take four passengers. Trips can therefore be arranged out of London; for instance to Windsor Castle and Hampton Court, Oxford or Stratford, Bath and Stonehenge or pretty much wherever you would like to go.
London is one of the world's great cities with approximately 8. 5 million inhabitants who speak 300 languages and a story dating back to the Roman invasion in the 1st century AD. Based around two centres, the 'City' to the east which is still one of the world's financial powerhouses and Westminster to the west which is the seat of power, both royal and political. In London we can use the car, or London's great Black Cabs, public transport or we could proceed on Shank's Pony (on foot!).
In the City, the Tower of London contains a thousand years of British history in one site. Castle and royal palace, prison and site of execution, menagerie and armoury, Beefeaters and Ravens and, most famously of all, the fabulous bling that is the Crown Jewels. You have to see to believe!
Just up the road is St Paul's Cathedral, Christopher Wren's masterpiece, burial site of British heroes and venue for the Royal wedding between Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. See spectacular modern buildings set against medieval churches and hidden gardens all squeezed into a square mile on the Roman street footprint.
To the west, we have Westminster set around the Abbey, church of Coronations since Edward the Confessor, and burial place of Kings and Queens, Writers, Scientists, Artists and Politicians. Close by are the Houses of Parliament, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace as well as Royal Parks, great shopping, hotels, restaurants, galleries, memorials and theatres.
In the middle, we find Bloomsbury with the British Museum with its extraordinary collection devoted to human progress. London's legal land is also to be found here with its cloistered Inns of Court and the Royal Courts of Justice where the lawyers get to ply their trade.
And I haven't even mentioned the food and antique markets, the pubs and bars, the regenerated docklands and Olympic Park, spying, World War Two and the Blitz, tea in a smart hotel or a trip on the Thames to Greenwich to see the National Maritime Museum.
Let's go and explore.
A Recent Review of this guide
Mike met us at our Hotel and took us on a full 1 day "on foot" tour of London. Mike carefully picked the route so we were able to get well framed picture of some of London's prize sites. We walked through parks, received detailed history of many of the more important historical buildings. We made a 7 mile walking / underground circumference of the city all while getting a narrative on architecture, art, landscape and history. Was a wonderful experience! Highly recommend!!
London Blue Badge Guide
I guide in English only