0117 9390741, 0792 3375567
Having lived in London, Surrey, Yorkshire, in the USA as a child, for five years in southern Spain as an adult, and on a boat on a river in Cambridgeshire, I am delighted to now live in the city recently voted the UK's number one city to live in - Bristol. I love the South-West (Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall) - its beautiful scenery, its fascinating history, its food and traditions, and nothing makes me happier than sharing this love with visitors. I used to take students on educational tours across Europe and have taken adult groups all around the world, but I now enjoy showing people marvellous treasures closer to home. When I am not helping people to discover the secrets and stories behind sites across the South-West (from Stonehenge to Salisbury Cathedral, from the street art of Bristol to the wilds of Dartmoor), you can find me performing in Europe's longest-running improvised soap opera at a theatre in Bristol! My experience in the theatre, combined with my love of history and with wanting to open people's eyes to what can be missed, means that I give depth to my tours - I put flesh and bones to the historical personages you hear about, I bring reality to history and make sure that your tour is not only informative but also highly entertaining. I can tailor any tour to fit with exactly what you are interested in and will ensure you have the best experience possible. My absolute desire is to have you leave the tour with knowledge you never had before and also having had a brilliant time! Tambien, puedo hacerlo en espanol - ven a disfrutar de mis talentos y de los lugares hermosos del sur-oeste!
|History and prehistory|
|Walking tours in Bristol, including its astounding street art|
|Good food and lively markets|
|Cathedrals, churches, castles and ruins|
|Real people and their stories, past and present|
|Conferences & Incentives||
I have ten years experience putting together tours for students groups and for adult professionals who are learning English. I also arrange workshops and visits to businesses and places of industry and am happy to deal with the logistics of any particular tour or visit you would like to make. Leave the planning to me and relax, knowing everything will be taken care of.
|Stately Homes & Country Houses||
We have an incredible amount of stately homes in the South-West, each with their own unique history and often sporting incredible gardens, architecture or art masterpieces. I shall make sure that you get the full story of the house and its occupants, as well as making sure yu miss noe of its individual highlights.
I very much enjoy taking people on walking tours; in the city, highlighting places that may well be missed otherwise, putting together in one walk the whole character of the town or city; in the countryside, for wonderful views, admiring the nature, stopping at picturesque pubs or picnic areas. These walking tours can be specifically adjusted to suit the needs of you or you and your group.
As well as being able to arrange visits to the theatre or to theatre or comedy festivals in the area, I can also put together a tour for you where you can find out more about famous actors, playwrights and theatrical productions. I have many contacts in the theatre world and can arrange specialised workshops in everything from puppetry to improvisation, from Shakespeare to dramatisations of Jane Austen.
I take people on special street art tours of Bristol, a city famous for Banksy and for its world-wide reputation for quality street art. There is much to show you here, in many unexpected places in unexpected forms. You can see why Bristolians are proud of their street art and of the vibrancy it adds to the city.
I am a literature fanatic and would be delighted to put together a tour that would suit your interests. Thomas Hardy, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, JK Rowling, Jane Austen, Charles Kingsley,Henry Williamson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Rudyard Kipling...all of these literary greats (and many more!) lived and were affected by their lives in the South-West. I can take you to sites of significance for the writer and their work, I can also arrange your tour to tie in with one of the many literature and poetry festivals we have in this region.
|History & Prehistory||
I love to bring history to life and will leave you having discovered things you never knew before. This includes our most ancient history and the sites of Stonehenge and Avebury, and lesser known circles of standing stones and places of pagan ceremony. I can take you on a tour that takes you to the very dawn of human life on this land and make you feel connected to those distant ancestors.
|Ghosts, Murders & Mysteries||
There are many ghost stories I can make you shiver over on atmospheric Dartmoor in Devon - after all, it did inspire Arthur Conan Doyle to write 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'. I can also arrange tours telling of the lives and deaths of famous pirates and smugglers of the region. There are plenty of juicy and often horrible tales to share with you!
|Churches & Cathedrals||
Besides the exquisite architecture of our churches and cathedrals, there are fascinating stories behind these buildings. I take people on tours of the cathedrals of Bristol, Wells, Exeter, Gloucester and Salisbury, Bath Abbey, the beautiful churches of the Cotswolds, as well as pointing out hidden treasures in the churches of Dartmoor and the wonders of monastic institutions such as those at Lacock Abbey and Tewksebury Abbey. There is so much to see and also much more than meets the eye!
|Geography & Geology||
We see the land we walk and live on as a static thing, yet its changes and altered states create our civilisations. I love to bring this home taking visitors to the World Heritage Site of the Jurassic Coast. The South-West has some of the most varied geography in the whole country - cliffs, moors, forests, hills, rivers, dramatic piles of rocks and stunning coastline...Never let anyone tell you that geography or geology is boring again, after your tour with me you will be buzzing!
I very much enjoy taking people to galleries and bringing the artwork and exhibitions they see to life. We have such fantastic work here in this region, which can be found at the Tate in Cornwall, the Royal Academy West in Bristol, the Holbourne Museum of Art in Bath, to name but a few. If you would like to gain a deeper insight and appreciation into what you see, I would be happy to take you on an illuminating tour in any one of our galleries.
|Food & Drink||
As well as the delicious cream teas, scones with clotted cream originated in the South-West, there are many food festivals and a booming culture of sustainable and quality foods being prepared all over. Cider has been an improtant part of the culture and economy for centuries and there are many opportunities to try it. There are local food markets, exquisite cheeses, fresh fish dishes to explore. The old reputation for bland and inferior British food is dead and buried, here in the South-West, with a watering mouth, you will see why. I can arrange trips to markets, suppliers and producers for talks and taste-tests, and meals at restaurants - just let me know.
|Folklore & Traditions||
There are many fascinating traditions in the South-West, from the carnivals of Weston-Super-mare and Bridgwater, to the wassailing long-thought necessary for the production of apples and cider in Somerset and Devon. There is the rolling of giant cheeses and an alternative circus in Gloucestershire and the very popular tradition of Cornwall and Devon of having cream teas, now spread across the country. Come with me and I shall fill you in on some of the more bizarre stories and traditions of the South-West...and maybe you would like to take part in some of them!
The South-West is deservedly famous for its beautiful scenery and countryside, but I shall also peel back the layers to show you the significance of its agriculture on its culture and history and the changing fortunes of its rural people. I shall take you on fabulous routes and you will discover the true beauty of the British countryside.
|Castles & Palaces||
I shall breathe life into the fantastic buildings and ruins you can see in the South-West - from Henry VIII's Pendennis Castle in Cornwall to the turbulent history of Corfe Castle in Dorset, from Gloucestershire's Berkeley Castle, where Edward II came to an untimely and gruesome end, to Old Wardour Castle in Wiltshire - and all the ones in between!