Profile updated 10/02/18
0044 (0)7939 076514
"The Best Blue Badge Guide in England" says John Murray of Oregon, USA. "It is evident to us that John Blakey's aim is to exceed the expectations of his customers."
A professional guide, John is also a writer and television and film actor with a 20 year career - so he likes to concentrate on the great stories and characters associated with any particular place.
'Bring it to life, is my motto. Everywhere has a history and history is made of real flesh and blood people of all shapes and personalities both noble and ignoble. Wars, love affairs, treachery, sacrifice, avarice, ego, greatness - it's all here and I like to make sure my clients are taken to the heart of it - whatever their interest might be, and WHEREVER it might be. London, Oxford, The Cotswolds, Canterbury, Windsor Castle, Bath, Stonehenge, Hampton Court, Stratford, The Tower of London, The British Museum, Westminster Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral... If I can inform AND entertain - I love to make people laugh - I've done my job.'
Katey Hartwell, named Top Travel Specialist for 14 years, 2000 - 2013 by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, says of John:
"I have been in the business now for more than 30 years, and have spent a lot of time sourcing guides for clients. At the end of the day, I find that is what people most remember about their trip - their time with a wonderful guide. John is perfect. You will be wowed.”
One happy client says, "A thousand thank yous John, for all your insight and experience. We had such an enlightening and unforgettable time. We could never begin to peel as much skin off of London if we were not guided by such a wise and eloquent companion. You made London come alive for us, and I will never forget these days." Janet Dahl, Chicago
But it's not all ancient history... the London of today is bursting with fascinating things and John can show you places that you might not find yourself.
'It's the extraordinary out of the way places - pubs, shops, restaurants, parks, architectural gems - that capture the imagination. And London is full of them!'
From 2014, John is also introducing 'Gastro Tours' - 'I noticed that many of my clients like their food, and now England has some of the best food in the world. So I have developed tours outside London, in The Cotswolds and The South West of England; the areas most famous for their natural beauty and for their food. So during the day we would be touring around the most beautiful countryside, attractions, towns and villages in England and at lunchtime and / or in the evening, you would eat wonderfully. The beautiful counties of Devon, Dorset and Cornwall await your arrival! The seafood alone is worth coming for, travelling all of 200 yards from boat to table in some instances.'
Your Gastro Tour could last anything from 2 days and nights to 10, depending on your availability. John can recommend superb accommodation too - anything from an ancient inn (a pub with rooms) to lovely old manor houses converted into beautiful hotels.
I really want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, for showing Kris and me around Hampton Court Palace, and the “nooks & crannies” of London. Not that I ever doubted it, but a group tour doesn’t begin to do justice to sightseeing the way your personal service does.
Debbie Daly – American Express 'Insider' Travel Agent, 'The Travel Authority'
|Gastronomic Tours Outside London|
|Churches, Cathedrals, Castles and Palaces|
|Jack The Ripper and Historic Walks Around London|
|Hunting Antiques And tours of art galleries|
|Churches & Cathedrals||
Westminster Abbey. St Pauls Cathedral. Salisbury. St Bartholomew The Great. Bath Abbey.
|Castles & Palaces||
The Tower of London is a must! Also guided car tours of Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle, Blenheim Palace, Buckingham Palace and many other 'out of town' Palaces and Mansions.
Jack The Ripper's London. The River and its secrets. Royal London. The Roman City of London. Old Westminster and the Palace Quarter. Westminster at War. Luxury Shopping In London. Antique Hunting.
Up to 2 hour tour of the highlights at The British Museum and various other museums and galleries in London.
John's family dealt in antiques and have passed on a passion for antique hunting. Within London or in the great antique towns outside, John can show you all the best places to start looking. Why not tour England by car, sightseeing along the way, while hunting for antiques?
|Art/Paintings & Sculpture||
Highlights tours of The National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern and the amazing Impressionist and Post Impressionist collection at the Courtauld Gallery.
|Folklore & Traditions||
Most people can be taught to dowse for ley lines, so how about trying your hand at Stonehenge and Avebury? Or even down into deepest dorset? And what is the link to crop circles? Hmmm.
|London Areas in Depth||
Delve into Old Westminster or The City of London on a two or three hour walk around the areas. We'd see all the 'big stuff' and wonderful nooks and crannies you might never find yourself. Can combine with interior visits to some of the most famous sites.
John knows many of the most beautiful areas of Britain, especially picture perfect Cotswolds, Bath & the West Country, The Jurassic Coast, Cornwall, Kent, York and Yorkshire and many bits in between such as Oxford and Stratford Upon Avon. His privately guided car tours around England are for up to four passengers.
Secret Dorset. Stay in beautiful old hotels, visit country gardens and ancient Manor Houses. Renowned for food & unspoiled countryside and beaches. John Grew up here so knows all the best spots to take you. 3 to 5 days recommended.
Gastonomic Tours of England.
Member of the Institute of Tour Guiding
|Type||Make / Model||Passengers||Air Conditioning||Disabled Access|
|Car||Mercedes E Class 220 2015||4||Yes||No|