Jill Durnford

Regional Qualification(s):






Contact guide


Hello - I hope to welcome you to Cumbria and the English Lake District in the near future. It is an amazing county - beautiful and full of interest, with quirky characters and fascinating tales. I have lived here for 19 years and would love to show you my favourite areas - some well-known, others off the beaten track.

I guide on coaches and minibuses and 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.

If you are interested in the Romans, we are lucky enough to have the Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site in Cumbria - a fantastic day out for anyone who wants to find out about the 300 years in which they ruled Britain.

If you enjoy travelling by train, there are two wonderful journeys to be made through Cumbria from our capital, Carlisle. Firstly you could continue the Roman theme and take the train down the coast (also part of the World Heritage Site) to Ravenglass where you can catch a miniature steam railway into the high mountains of the Lake District. Or you could take the picturesque Settle-Carlisle Railway which wends its way through gorgeous countryside and pretty villages. With a Blue Badge Guide on board with you, you will find out about all these wonderful places.

You may not realise it, but if you are interested in England's industrial and maritime heritage, Cumbria is the place to be! From stone axes to the dockyards at Barrow via Medieval England's wool trade and our part in the slave trade, there is plenty to explore and discover.

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:

Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth, Romantic Poets, Literary Lakeland
Arts and Crafts Movement
Hadrian's Wall and the Romans
Stone Circles and Prehistory
Homes and Gardens

Special Interests:

Stately Homes & Country Houses

I have had a personal interest in country houses and their gardens for as long as I can remember. They are a fascinating insight into history as well as a source of pleasure to view. I run specialist garden tours for groups to private gardens as well as visits to well-known gardens open to the public.

Walking Tours

I enjoy taking visitors on gentle walking tours around the county - it really is the best way to appreciate Cumbria. My tours are generally suitable for all abilities and I can organise walks which are suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

History & Prehistory

I have had a passion for history since a young age and love to think about how the present relates to the past. A tour can be brought alive by thinking about the different roles that a location may have had and the impact which different groups of people have had on it. From prehistory through the Romans to the period of the Border Reivers and the beginning of tourism in the 18th century. The last 200 years have seen huge changes in the Lake District in particular and there is much to see and discover about Cumbria's place in the world in the more recent past.

Food & Drink

Cumbria really is a special place when it comes to food and drink. With so much fantastic local produce to be tried, you will need to know the best places to eat and drink - and I enjoy researching this bit on your behalf!


I am particularly interested in the literature of Cumbria - including William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and Arthur Ransome. Whilst not strictly literature, I am also passionate about the writings and works of John Ruskin. However, there is more to the literature of Cumbria than 'daffodils and Peter Rabbit' - why not find out out about some of our less well-known but equally interesting writers?


I have extensive knowledge of working with children, having worked in primary schools for 10 years.

Churches & Cathedrals

From stone circles to Arts and Crafts stained glass to Carlisle Cathedral - with ruined abbeys and monasteries along the way. I run specialist tours for those who are interested in our sacred spaces.

Driver Guide: