Helen Smith

Profile updated 7/06/24

Regional Qualification(s):

Heart of England, City of Oxford Green Badge



Phone Number(s):

07821 920367

Read more about me:

Contact guide


"5 stars for Helen's Oxford tour. She is personable, responsive, interesting and knowledgeable. Our family all enjoyed her tour very much. Our older teen was especially interested in the school and Helen gave us a useful overview and many anecdotes and facts." Travellers from US

"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

"Helen's job was exceptionally good, outstanding. She tried to adjust the tour at everybodie's interests in the family. She was so kind with children and took care or every detail. Thanks Helen!" family from Argentina

"All great guides make you want to come back for more and Helen certainly did that. Oxford is a place with centuries of history and Helen made it simple and interesting, not the least overwhelming. I enjoyed her company and learned a lot! I highly recommend Helen." Visitor from Canada

Hello! I'm Helen

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.

I have a particular expertise in Shakespeare's life and works and previously worked delivering talks to students at the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford upon Avon.
I have a love of drama, theatre, literature and the arts.

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.

Specialist tours include Stratford upon Avon and Shakespeare, Oxford, Cotswold villages, gardens, literary sites, TV and film locations, Arts and Crafts Movement, Methodist heritage tours, architecture.
Endorsements held: Windsor and Eton.
I can tailor any tours to your interests.
I have training in describer tours for visually impaired.

'Fantastic tour. She was knowledgable. Catered to our interests. Personable. Went above and beyond. Can't rate her highly enough.' Harold, Winnipeg, Canada

'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

Personal Interests:

history and legend
gardens and landscapes
cathedrals, churches and historic houses
arts and literary subjects
film locations
Methodist tours and the Wesleys
pre-raphaelites and William Morris
music of Elgar
local food and drink

Special Interests:

Industrial Heritage

Ironbridge Gorge;the cradle of the Industrial Revolution and now a World Heritage Site.
The Potteries, perhaps a visit to the Wedgwood factory or the Gladstone museum.
Birmingham & Black Country with the story of the Industrial Revolution and the growth of a city in the Nineteenth Century, canals, and now the site of exciting Twenty First Century architectural development.
The Cotswolds with its fascinating history of the wool trade and cloth industries.


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.
C S Lewis, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter...


A very English obsession and a fascinating insight into the culture and fashions of our 'outdoor rooms'.
Enjoy visits to the important gardens of Rousham and Hidcote or the more unusual Sezincote, and combine with a coach tour of the Cotswolds.

Castles & Palaces

From the romantic ruins of Kenilworth to the opulence of Blenheim, these magnificent buildings have a rich and sometimes violent history.
Warwick Castle is the iconic medieval edifice, but has been a family home into the Twentieth century.

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.
The eighteenth century age of enlightenment, Lunar Society, Industrial Revolution to the post war development of Coventry and Birmingham.


Elgar was born near Worcester and lived in Worcester and the Malverns most of his life.
The venues for Three Choirs Festival; Worcester, Gloucester and Hereford are fascinating cities. I can provide walking tours of the cities and join you for a coach panoramic of surrounding areas.


Would you like to send time exploring hidden places and going off the beaten track on foot?
The best way to experience the Cotswold countryside is to find the hidden gems not accessible by coach.
I can plan a walk to suit any group.

Food & Drink

From bread to beer and jam to gin; experience the taste of local products.
Or round off your tour with a traditional afternoon tea.


Film and TV locations: Morse, Lewis and Endeavour, Downton Abbey, Father Brown, Harry Potter and His Dark Materials have all been filmed in Oxford, Cotswolds and the Heart of England.


Windsor & Eton

Driver Guide: