Profile updated 27/11/23
South West, Wales
From cathedrals and cities, to coast and countryside, in Wales (Snowdonia, the Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire, Powys) or the counties of England's West Country (Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucstershire and Wiltshire), I love meeting people and awakening their interest in all the folklore and traditions of the local area as well as the landscape and current affairs.
Whether it is enabling discovery of the fascinating industrial heritage that is the World Heritage of Cornish Mining or the Slate landscapes of North Wales - visiting the evocative Poldark and Doc Martin Country at Botallack or Port Isaac, exploring the splendid Minack Theatre,or telling stories of Giants or ancient Kings, it is always fun to encourage people to explore the landscape of Wales and the West Country, in the South West of England. The separate country of Wales and its Celtic cousin of Cornwall in the Far South West are very different lands from the industrial north of England, or the bustle that is London, the capital city. Easy to get to by train, road or air, I can advise on best routes and venues.
In 2019 when we celebrated 100 years of women sitting as Members of Parliament, Plymouth's MP, the Virginian Nancy Astor, a member for 25 years, had a statue erected on Plymouth Hoe to commemorate her being the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons...
The events for the commemoration of the sailing, from Plymouth Devon, of the Mayflower 400+ years ago in 1620 were postponed, and are still relevant for all those visitors who would like to learn more about the Saints and Strangers who were some of the pioneers of emigration. This year in 2023, we celebrate 300 years of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the famous portrait painter who hailed from the Plymouth area.
As a Blue Badge Guide for Wales/Cymru... and having lived in Snowdonia in North Wales for several years (when working for the Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri/Snowdonia National Park) it is lovely to go back to old haunts such as Portmeirion, Conwy, Porthmadog and the Lleyn peninsula (following the Pilgrim trail to Bardsey) and share the wonderful scenery and stories. I have a special affection for the Great Little Trains of Wales, especially the Ffestiniog railway, and have done many extended tours which can include as many as 13 railways in a week...I enjoy doing walking tours of several of the towns, such as Caernarfon and Lampeter and then there are the Castles such as Harlech and Montgomery...difficult to choose from over 600. I can devise itineraries and days out in Wales...just ask.
Also watch this space for exciting new itineraries in England's West Country...walks of Falmouth, Fowey, Truro, Tavistock, Plymouth, Exeter, Newquay, Tintagel, Bath, Weymouth, Dartmouth, Taunton, Bideford, see the cathedrals in Truro, Exeter and Wells, take a hike out to the most southerly point on the Lizard in Cornwall, visit and join a theatre trip to the iconic Minack Theatre overlooking the sea, and try fossil hunting along the Jurassic coast in Devon and Dorset...just ask and I can devise something for you or your group
'Chrissie, you are the gift that keeps on giving'. Bob Loveland, Georgia Overseas Hiking Group
' The Spark that made the Tour' Senior Discovery Tours
'Guide Chrissie absolutely fabulous, interesting and informative. Well worth attending this historic working MoD establishment' Royal Citadel - Trip Advisor
|Mining Heritage - 6 million descendants of Cornish miners - are you one of them? Have you enjoyed the new Poldark series|
|Archaeology - the ancient past is all around us and very easy to overlook|
|Towns and Harbour walks- Plymouth, St Ives, Penzance, Bude, Launceston, Callington, Tintagel, Exeter, Tavistock, Taunton, Bideford, Totnes, Falmouth, Newquay and the mythical Glastonbury|
|Coast and Moors- From Hartland Point to the Lizard and Land's End, via the Somerset Levels,Dartmoor, Exmoor, Bodmin Moor and of course Kit Hill|
|Story telling - from Giants via Spriggans to Mermaids, we have them all...|
|Plymouth - tours of the Royal Citadel on Plymouth Hoe, walks around the Barbican and 90 minute panoramics by coach. I may even be dressed as a pilgrim or a pirate...|
|Poldark and Doc Martin - iconic Cornish landscapes captured in TV shows|
|Virtual walking tours of favourite West Country towns|
|Cruise Calls-Falmouth, Plymouth, Fowey, Dartmouth, Torquay, Ilfracombe, Portland, Penzance, Bristol...bespoke tours|
|Castles & Palaces||
The walk to Tintagel Castle is one of the most spectacular in the country, especially across the new bridge...Similarly making the pilgrimage to St Michael's Mount takes your breath away...watch out for the tide coming in.
An enviable climate and landscape aspects makes West Country gardens unmissable, especially in the spring. Try Hestercombe, Trelissick, Rosemoor and others not quite so famous
|Geography & Geology||
In a previous life, I have worked extensively in Gold Mining, Prospecting & Civil Engineering. I can provide a very comprehensive tour around any of the 10 areas of the Cornwall and West Devon World Heritage Site
I have until recently managed a 152 hectare country park which is predominantly Lowland Heath but also includes protected plant and bird species. There are miles of walks along country paths... Can you spot the difference between heath and lady's bedstraw, and what could you use it for?
|Stately Homes & Country Houses||
Unmissable should be Cotehele (tapestries), Lanhydrock (plasterwork), Pencarrow (family residence) & Mt. Edgcumbe (rebuilt after war time bombing).
I can do railway tours to preserved narrow & standard gauge lines all over the U.K. Including the the Launceston steam railway and the Gunnislake branch up the Tamar Valley. There are over 100 preserved railways and mostly run by volunteers
I specialise in city (Plymouth Exeter, Truro) town (Tavistock, Launceston, Saltash, St Ives, Padstow) and village walks particularly in the Tamar Valley AONB on the Devon Cornwall border, and in the city of Plymouth, famous for the departure of the Mayflower in 1620
I really enjoy designing themed tours of the West Country and further afield. Let me help make your holiday or visit special...nature, heritage, shopping, antiques, genealogy, churches
I live in an area which contains 19th C Industrial Mining Heritage remains and organise tours around the Cornish Mining 'World Heritage Site'. The Real Poldark Country
|Churches & Cathedrals||
We have a wealth of ruggedly solid granite churches in nearly every village, each one telling its own story plus the amazing cathedrals of Truro and Exeter
Scratch the surface anywhere in the West Country and you can find man's effect going back to Neolithic time, the more iconic standing stones and circles like Stonehenge, Avebury, Stanton Drewe, the Merry Maidens and Silbury Hill are all there to be explored
|Conferences & Incentives||
Coming to the West Country for a conference but need to learn more about the wonderful area you are staying in...bespoke tours for participants and partners can be arranged
|Folklore & Traditions||
Hurling silver balls, Midsummer bonfires, Flaming Tar barrels, Holy Wells, spriggans and giants...lots of ancient traditions and stories to be discovered and told
The 630 miles of the South West Coast path passes through the significant ports and numerous beaches on the English Channel and the wild Atlantic. Sailing, kayaking, surfing as well as the new Plymouth Maritime park are some of the offers...explore the historic towns on the coast by coach or walking
With a ring of fire Palmerston forts, a 17thC Citadel and the largest naval Dockyard in Europe, Plymouth has a lot to offer the military enthusiast, Falmouth has two amazing Henrician forts
Cornish Mining, 2012 Venues, Virtual Tours
BSc PGCE MITG