#TourLocal: Exploring the hidden histories of our own neighbourhoods

Many of us are starting to take our first tentative steps back into the guiding world. We’re running socially-distanced, risk-assessed Good-to-Go walking tours or delivering online talks from kitchen tables. A number of us are offering virtual tours, where we live-broadcast a trip through a neighbourhood to real audiences – people following the journey from the safety of their homes in all four corners of the globe.


Overseas tourists are pretty absent just now and visits to the bigger sites are hard – or impossible – to organise right now, so let’s think local. We’d love to see colleagues across the UK develop tours revealing the hidden histories of their own neighbourhoods. Key to this is establishing new partnerships with local pubs, restaurants or businesses to help bring content alive and broaden the offer to guests. Additionally, guides might also consider tours based on their own private passions, be that food, fashion or photography and much, much more besides.


To this end we’re launching the campaign #TourLocal, in which we are asking colleagues to promote their new offer through blogs, websites and short films, using the hashtag #TourLocal. This way we can connect all this social media content to a specific topic, making it easier to discover posts, videos and suggestions around those specific passions and local tour ideas, and hopefully encouraging everyone to discover more of what the places close home has to offer.


The Guild has already put this idea into practice. We are about to launch a YouTube channel.  And we plan to provide advice to members. This will cover writing punchy blogs (you can find some content here, here and here), developing concise narratives and creating professional-looking films, using regular smartphones, free-to-download software and even rights-free music.

London guides Antony Robbins and Marc Zakian made the first of these home-grown films, here (see below). Click here to learn more about how they did it. More will follow. Please do watch this space as we look to develop a programme to help guides get their message out there.


Antony Robbins Secrets of Highbury 2020 from British Guild of Tourist Guides on Vimeo.


About the author:

Antony Robbins is Mr Londoner, Blue Badge guide and a frequent content producer for the Guild blog. He has lived in the Highbury for 18 years – and in London all his life and is keen to share the hidden stories of his home with us on his tours. Find more about in his website Mr Londoner.