Heart of England
I have been awarded the 'Good To Go' accreditation, which means I am putting in place safety procedures to combat COVID19 in my tours and you can rest assured that I have your wellbeing as a priority.
I live in a fascinating area here in the Heart of England, rich in beautiful countryside, historic castles and houses, hidden Cotswold villages as well as the iconic towns and cities such as Oxford, Stratford upon Avon, Warwick, Worcester and Birmingham
Whether you would like a coach panoramic of the Heart of England countryside, Cotswold villages, or a walking tour of a town or city, I can tailor tours to suit any size group.
I have a history degree background and a love of discovery about the stories of the men and women who have made their mark on our landscape and buildings.
I have a particular expertise in Shakespeare's life and works and deliver talks to students at the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford upon Avon.
I have a love of drama, theatre, literature and the arts.
I am currently delivering virtual tours for Arts Societies or History Groups, so contact me for further information about those.
Specialist tours include Stratford upon Avon and Shakespeare, Oxford, Cotswold villages, gardens, literary sites, TV and film locations, Arts and Crafts Movement, Methodism, architecture and industrial heritage.
Endorsements held: Windsor and Eton.
I can tailor any tours to your interests.
I have training in describer tours for visually impaired.
'The best we've ever had!' Greg, US
'Great knowledge' Education First
'..your wisdom, knowledge and lovely spirit made this trip so enjoyable' Paige, US
'..sincere appreciation for the lovely, brilliant, splendid guidance you gave us on our trip to the sites of John Wesley' Tom, US
'Helen’s delivery and style was perfect, particularly for those in the Group for whom English was not the first language. Without doubt this was the highlight of the activities arranged for our Group’s reunion weekend.' Iain, Birmingham
'There was a big group of us (20?) and Helen manged to keep our attention on Stratford -upon-Avon's story and William Shakespeare's life. Her lovely and calm personality and knowledge made our walk so interesting and enjoyable. Looking forward to having Helen as our guide again on another tour.' Alina, Croydon
Helen was friendly and welcoming. She explained things well and we could hear her clearly. We went on a relaxed walk around Stratford upon Avon with Helen pointing out and explaining various places with Shakespearean connections..., we thoroughly enjoyed our visit and I would recommend Helen Smith as a Guide. Sally, UK
|history and legend|
|gardens and landscapes|
|cathedrals, churches and historic houses|
|arts and literary subjects|
|methodism and the Wesleys|
|pre-raphaelites and William Morris|
|music of Elgar|
|local food and drink|
Ironbridge Gorge;the cradle of the Industrial Revolution and now a World Heritage Site.
It's not just Shakespeare. George Eliot, born in Nuneaton and living in Coventry, Laurie Lee and Cider With Rosie in the Cotswolds. Tolkien in Birmingham and Oxford.
A very English obsession and a fascinating insight into the culture and fashions of our 'outdoor rooms'.
|Castles & Palaces|
From the romantic ruins of Kenilworth to the opulence of Blenheim, these magnificent buildings have a rich and sometimes violent history.
|Art/Paintings & Sculpture|
Whether it's Gallery tours or public art; Pre-Raphaelites or Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship, I can provide context and tailor a tour to your own interests.
|Churches & Cathedrals|
There are a wealth of hidden treasures in our churches which tell the story of over a thousand years of lifestyle and belief. The region is rich in cathedrals and abbey churches, from Gothic Gloucester to contemporary Coventry.
|History & Prehistory|
I can put together tours to cover subjects from Roman Britain, wars of the Roses and Richard III, Civil War.
Elgar was born near Worcester and lived in Worcester and the Malverns most of his life.
Would you like to send time exploring hidden places and going off the beaten track on foot?
|Food & Drink|
From bread to beer and jam to gin; experience the taste of local products.
Film and TV locations: Morse, Lewis and Endeavour, Downton Abbey, Father Brown, Harry Potter and His Dark Materials have all been filmed Oxford, Cotswolds and the Heart of England.
Windsor & Eton