I am a sensitive, attentive, friendly and enthusiastic London guide! Patient with a sense of humour and a talker. Encyclopedic wide ranging knowledge, with many memorable stories to tell, and an ability to provide so much practical advice to enhance your visit and maximise use of time and the overall experience. I am from the same locality of London as Charlie Chaplin, actor Michael Caine, and pop star David Bowie.
I am well educated, not only trained as a Blue Badge guide (the highest UK guiding qualification), but with a politics, philosophy & economics degree from the London University-London School of Economics (LSE), plus another from the University of Westminster in real estate. My profession until 2012 was "chartered surveying". This terminology means little to those outside the UK but is essentially "commercial real estate". Because my job was property investment and development for decades, I can "read" buildings from their appearance, assess, their age, architecture and construction, from any period of history. "Handy" when you realise London has been in existence for around 2, 000 years, and it has building structures from virtually every time period since its origins!
I love history, culture, royalty, historical figures such as Churchill, Shakespeare, Dickens, and the military men - Wellington, Montgomery, Nelson. Some of my tours are closely associated with Shakespeare and Dickens and the London locality that inspired them. There is so much to see in London and the wider UK, and it is always a pleasure to share as much as I can with visitors, and tailor their time, experience, aspirations, to engagingly entertain them irrespective of age or origin.
Over recent years it has been my pleasure to guide families, groups, and individuals. If you want someone flexible, friendly, fun and professional, then I am here to help.
My in-depth knowledge extends to nearly all of the London major visitor sites, shopping and theatre areas and museums. For example I undertake Tower of London tours and City walks to include the nearby St Paul's Cathedral. Likewise I combine visits to see Buckingham Palace (and the changing of the guard) with tours of Westminster Abbey. It is the national place of coronations of Kings and Queens for nearly 1, 000 years, and burial place and memorials to many notables from British history (said to be some 3, 300) who have left their "mark". There is much much more to London than the obvious visitor haunts though! I can take you to any one of the 33 London districts many of which have an especial local character of their own with local specialist shops and markets. These accommodate an overall population thought to be currently around 9 million people.
Outside of London I have special affection for some of the nearby historic towns such as Oxford, Bath, Salisbury, Canterbury, Stratford upon Avon where I also guide. My knowledge of castles, cathedrals and palaces around England is wide and Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace is a particular specialist subject which are easily visited by train or private motor vehicle. Other locations include Leeds and Hever Castles, which have particularly beautiful settings and surrounding gardens and parkland. There is Arundell, Bodium, Dover, and Rochester castles that come to mind. These can all be seen on a day trip combining one or more.
If you wish to see some of the beautiful English Countryside and its villages then this can be arranged combining it with some of the notable historic locations outside of London.
I look forward to discussing and arranging something that you will find unforgettable and authentic
A Recent Review of this guide
Barry possesses encyclopedic knowledge of London and the surrounding favorite tourist sites (Hampton Court, Windsor, Bath, , restaurants, etc). He was also able to advise us on places to see which were not in our original plans. He obtained tickets for us in advance so we could bypass the queues. If we were not separated from Barry by the Atlantic Ocean, I truly believe we would be friends.
Trained London Blue Badge Tourist Guide (M.I.T.G.)
Fellow Of The Royal Institution Of Chartered Surveyors (F.R.I.C.S.)
Authorised Local Islington & Clerkenwell Guide
Windsor Castle & Eton Guide - Special in depth accreditation 2017
London University & University of Westminster Degrees
Charterhouse (former monastery and school) Smithfeld & Clerkenwell - an accredited guide
There are no restrictions and I can arrange car transport if required in a private vehicle.