Jill Durnford

Profile updated 12/02/24

Regional Qualification(s):

Wales, Cumbria

Language(s):

English

Phone Number(s):

0755 764 5078

Contact guide

Introduction:

Hello - and welcome! Originally from London, I lived in the Lake District for 20 years and now live in Wales. It’s fair to say that I love stunning scenery!

As a Blue Badge Guide for both Wales and Cumbria (which includes both the Lake District and Hadrian’s Wall) I love showing visitors around these exceptional places. They have a lot in common - farming (sheep!), hills, lakes and coast. The climate on the west of Britain makes for beautiful gardens and if you are visiting either place in late spring you would be in for a real treat if you include a garden in your itinerary.

Two of the most famous names associated with the Lake District are William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. I would love you to join me in following in their footsteps and visiting their special places. But did you know that they both have connections with Wales too? William and his sister Dorothy were some of the earliest tourists in the Wye Valley - just one of many hidden gems in Wales. If you want to discover the secret garden connected to Beatrix Potter you’ll just have to come on a tour!

The World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall is a ‘must-see’ for lovers of Roman history. Continue the Roman story into South Wales where you will find a Roman town, the best amphitheatre in Britain and the best bath complex outside… well, Bath!

For such a compact county, Cumbria has an abundance of lived-in homes to visit. All with fabulous gardens. There are ruined castles too - but if castles are your thing then really, it is Wales which you want to visit. Every type of castle is here - from ruins perched atop cliffs to Victorian fantasy homes. The World Heritage Site of the Castles of Edward I is another ‘must-see’ if you are in North Wales.

My personal passions / hobbies are The Arts & Crafts Movement, gardens and prehistoric stone circles / burial chambers etc. If you share any of these interests, do please get in touch for a very special tour.

I am also a qualified guide for Windsor Castle and the neighbouring town of Eton.

If your travels take you to Somerset then I am a qualified guide for the tiny but goregous city of Wells where you can explore the Cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace, Vicars’ Close or the enchanting market square.

I guide on coaches, minibuses and in chauffeur-driven cars. I also lead walking tours which can make use of public transport. I love planning itineraries to make the most of your particular interests so if you know you want to visit but aren't sure what to include in your trip, get in touch - I'll be happy to help.

I can guarantee you exceptional service and customer care, coupled with a fun and interesting tour.

Please email me: jilldurnford@yahoo.com or call 0755 764 5078

Personal Interests:

Castles of Wales
Gardens of Wales
The Wye Valley
Prehistory in Wales
Churches and Hidden Gems
Traditional heritage
Arts and Crafts Movement
Hadrian's Wall and the Romans
Homes and Gardens
Literature
Countryside Walks

Special Interests:

Countryside

The best way to experience a place is to take a gentle walk through the countryside.

Gardens

Holker Hall, Brantwood, Sizergh Castle, Levens Hall, Muncaster Castle

History & Prehistory

Stone circles and burial chambers

Literature

Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth

Regional Tours

The Lake District, Cumbria, Hadrian’s Wall, Wales

Stately Homes & Country Houses

Dove Cottage, Wordsworth House, Rydal Mount, Blackwell: the Arts and Crafts House.

Walking Tours

There are so many easy rambles in the Lake District: gentle strolls along the shores of Windermere or Coniston Water; amazing views from the Coffin Route around Grasmere and Rydal Water; ancient woodland in Borrowdale and alongside Derwent Water.

Wales is full of gentle walks which will enhance your visit - whichever part of the country you are visiting.

Architecture

I love the vernacular architecture of the Lake District where the houses feel like they have grown out of the hills.

Decorative Arts/Arts & Crafts

Arts and Crafts Movement and Pre-Raphaelites. There are many churches in Cumbria with windows by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. There are also local craftsman whose work is equally special.

Agriculture

Farming is a huge part of what makes Cumbria and Wales special. The native sheep of Cumbria: Herdwick, Swaledale and Kendal Rough Fell not only impact the environment but the visitor experience.

A farm visit in either Cumbria or Wales will enhance your understanding of the important part farming plays in our national psyche.

Environment

I have the Eco-Tourism Qualification for Cumbria which involved looking at how tourism impacts the countryside and the lakes such as Windermere, Coniston Water, Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake.

Endorsements:

Windsor & Eton, Virtual Tours, Wells Cathedral

Driver Guide:

No