Timothy Smyth

Profile updated 17/05/24

Regional Qualification(s):

London

Language(s):

English, German

Phone Number(s):

07720 764019

Website:

http://

Contact guide

Introduction:

Reviews

‘Could you do us another tour of the British Museum’? Mr Strath from England after a 3-hour tour of the British Museum in January 2024.

‘You were phenomenal’. Mr Polosky-Coors from Arizona after a 2-day tour of London in December, 2023.

'We'd like to book you again when we next come to London.' Mr Hitzbleck from Germany after a tour of Westminster Abbey in November, 2023.

'That was great - we are definitely going to recommend you to our friends.' Mrs Friedman from Washington after a tour of Westminster Abbey and the Churchill War Rooms in November 2023.

'A great experience. We wish we could take you with us on our tour to Stonehenge as well.' Mr and Mrs Keenan from the U.S after a 2-day tour of London.

'The best guide we have ever had.' The Rosenberg family from the U.S after a 3-day tour including Hampton Court Palace.

'The most sophisticated guide we could have possibly had' . The Montague family from the U.S after a 2-day tour of London.

'It will be really difficult to live up to today for the rest of our trip'. Mr Jones from the U.S after a highlights tour of London.

'How do you retain all this information? ' Mrs Demetre from the U.S after a 3-day tour of London including the British Museum and National Gallery.

'Thank you so much for an incredible trip! You have an encyclopaedic knowledge'. The Kleban family from the U.S after a 3-day tour of London including Stonehenge

Welcome! I'm a guide of over twenty years’ experience with a passion for history and culture. I studied both History and Art History at university (St Andrews in Scotland), and visitors notice quickly that I know how to bring London and its many sites alive. My walking tours and visits to museums and galleries will give you just the experience you look for in a professional guide.

I have also taught in schools for many years, and tailor each tour individually for families especially - if you have children that need to be engaged (!) then I do scavenger hunts, for example, for which I have had excellent feedback.

In London I offer the following tours as special interests: 

The Tower of London. 

The Tower of London is a fascinating visit that reveals much about English history. The Crown Jewels is a real highlight, and we can see the largest cut diamond in the world. The Tower of London was also a prison, a fortress and is still home to the famous beefeaters - there will be an opportunity to talk to one! The Tower of London also has one of the finest collections of armour in existence , incredible prisoners’ graffiti and a stunning Norman chapel. I offer a scavenger's hunt for the Tower of London, which will keep the kids fully engaged.

Tower Bridge. 

Built in 1894 Tower Bridge is a masterpiece of Victorian engineering. We will cross over using the glass walkway  - the best place in London for selfies! - and I will tell you some of the incredible stories that immortalise Tower Bridge's place in London's history.

Westminster Abbey. 

Westminster Abbey is not only a national church but also a 'royal peculiar' as a church for our king. Learn how Westminster Abbey became our coronation church and the burial place for 3, 300 people including 17 kings and queens as well as the place of rest for the 'Unknown Warrior' since 1920.  Westminster Abbey also has the stunning lady chapel, which holds many extraordinary stories. Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and Charles Dickens (1812-187)  were buried in Westminster Abbey and we will see many important memorials.

St Paul's Cathedral. 

St Paul's Cathedral was chosen by Prince Charles for his wedding to Lady Diana in 1981 and it's not difficult to see why. It was built by a mathematician and astronomer, and I'll tell you how this strongly influenced some of its incredible features. We can, for example, experience the amazing 'Whispering Gallery' - as musicians know well, St Paul's Cathedral has a nine second echo!  In the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral I will also show you the extraordinary tomb of Horatio Nelson, the naval commander who defeated Napoleon's forces a the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and we’ll see where the Beatle Ringo Starr is registered as a knight!

The British Museum

The British Museum, which first opened in 1759 shows objects from all major civilisations in a high accessible way.  We will see the Rosetta Stone, the British Museum's most renowned exhibit, which showed us how to decode hieroglyphs as well as the Elgin Marbles from Greece and the Egyptian mummies - the British Museum has some of the finest example of mummies from Egypt. I do a short and extended children's scavenger hunt for the British Museum. Often adults want to do the quiz as well!

Changing of the Guard and Buckingham Palace. 

The Changing of the Guard is a great way to experience our centuries old pageantry, and we'll get the best viewpoints to see the soldiers close-up. Learn all about Buckingham Palace as well, and get the chance to take some brilliant photographs in St James' Park with its beautiful lake. I’ll tell you some of the unique history, which is connected to this royal park.

The Churchill War Rooms 

The Churchill War Rooms is a particularly special museum that provides an unrivalled insight into how our Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his team steered the country to vicitory in World War 2. The Churchill War Rooms displays the very rooms where top secret meetings were held, and I'll explain how some of the cutting-edge technology worked as well as give you some lesser-known insights into Churchill's life during this period.

The Imperial War Museum 

The Imperial War Museum has won a number of prizes for its brilliant exhibitions, and I will give you a bespoke tour of its highlights. We will see a 'real' V2 rocket from World War 2, a Spitfire plane and even 'Tamzine', one of the British boats that was used to evacuate the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in 1940. The Imperial War Museum has an outstanding First World War section, and an extensive section on the Holocaust, which I can tailor to demand.

The National Gallery

The National Gallery of art with some 2, 300 paintings is one of the finest national art collections. Since its inception in 1838 the National Gallery has been renowned as a collection created by experts and we can see the iconic 'Sunflowers' by Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet's 'Waterlilies' and John Constable's 'Haywain' of 1821, which remains a national symbol of England.,This is not to forget the outstanding canvases from the Renaissance period. I'll also tell you about some jaw-dropping thefts, and other incidents from the National Gallery's history so there won't be a dull moment.

Kensington Palace. 

Kensington Palace is often associated with Lady Diana, and it has also been home to many royals including Queen Victoria who was born there in 1837. Kensington Palace is really two places in one and we can explore the beautiful Georgian apartments as well as the earlier residence of our Dutch king William III (r. 1689-1702) and his English wife Mary II (r. 1689-1694). William III chose Kensington Palace as his preferred home to get away from the pollution of central London, and it has a charm of its own. Kensington Palace is also where Lady Diana sat in her own private garden, and we can take photographs of this with its new sculpture dedicated to her.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is a 'must' for children and I do a scavenger hunt that covers the incredible displays on the dinosaurs in particular.   At the Natural History Museum we will find out  about Mary Anning (1799-1847) who made some of the earliest discoveries of dinosaurs in England.   We’ll also be able to see the special highlights room and the 'vault' where you can see some dazzling precious stones and powder that pre-dates the solar system!

The Victoria and Albert Museum.

It’s the world’s premier museum of art and design and we’ll soak up the gorgeous Victorian architecture. 56, 000 objects are on display, and we’ll see the great highlights such as the Ardabil carpet from Iran, the Bed of Ware immortalised by Shakespeare and the Casts Court with its vast Trajan column much revered by historians.

The Royal Mews. 

The Royal Mews is part of Buckingham Palaceadt and is where the main royal carriages and some of the horses are trained. At the Royal Mews you'll marvel at the unbelievable 4-ton gold coach and see the very impressive modern version which has lots of high tech to keep the king comfortable on his royal outings. Also learn about the day to day life of the Mews where its dedicated staff are housed.

The London Eye. 

The London Eye is perfect for families and is such a good way to get a panoramic view of London.  From the top of the London Eye you can see beyond London I will explain all the major landmarks that meet the eye.

Borough Market. 

Borough Market is arguablythe best food market you'll visit in England - - it's been on this site for over a thousand years. Delicious cheeses, breads, paella, truffels, donuts and of course fish and chips (!), the list is almost endless, and you won't be disappointed. You'll have to be hungry…

Royal Greenwich.

A great day out and we take an Uber clipper boat from Westminster down the River Thames, London’s ‘golden thread as Winston Churchill called it. Visiting the ‘Cutty Sark’ once the fastest tea clipper in the world, the National Maritime museum with its displays on Horatio Nelson in particular and the Royal Observatory. In 1884 Greenwich was made the centre of world time, and we’ll step over the line of longitude…

Street Art. 

If you'd like to try 'something different' then the East End is overflowing with the creative work of the coolest street artists around.  Banksy, Stik, Jimmy C, Mr Cenz, and Ben Eine all rub shoulders in the East End's Street Art scene and the standard is very high. It's a heady mix and is always changing. We can even meet one of the street artists and visit his shop to get a feel of how this dynamic world ticks. There are also the lively markets to browse, which give so much life to the area.

Beyond London I can similarly give you a perfect day out:

 Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle has often stood out as the favourite residence of our kings and queens. St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle is a personal chapel of King Charles and is also where the late queen Elizabeth II is buried. It is also home to the knights of the Order of the Garter (1348), and I will explain how this ancient tradition still shapes our monarchy. The state apartments at Windsor Castle are equally spectacular, and we can immerse ourselves in its sumptuous decorations and art collections.

Bath

A trip to the Royal city of Bath is a wonderful day out from London. We will explore the ancient Roman Baths and even try some of its ancient water, which still bubbles to the surface at a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius! There are lots of eye-catching Roman artefacts to see in its museum, and there’s the opportunity to enjoy a delicious English afternoon tea in the historic pump room. Also, there is the gorgeous Georgian architecture of the City itself which was once home to the writer Jane Austen (1775-1817).

Stonehenge.

Stonehenge is an exciting trip from London and its mysterious secrets have exerted a fascination on the visitor since Roman times.  We will learn about why the stones came to be there in the first place, and also about some of the more important discoveries that archaeologists have made. A visit to Stonehenge combines perfectly with either Bath or Windsor Castle.

Hampton Court 

Many visitors rate Hampton Court as one of the best sites outside London.  It is two palaces in one. The Tudor Palace from the time of King Henry VIII (1509-47) is unforgettable in showing how the Tudor court worked and lived, and you will be blown away by the scale of its kitchens with its enormous fires used to prepare 16 course meals! Hampton Court also has a stunning Georgian Palace with beautiful baroque paintings and we will get lost or nearly (!) in the famous maze. A 'must' for children especially.

In addition I happen to be a fluent German speaker and am licensed by the Institute of Tourist Guiding to take tours in German so do be in touch if that is of interest.

Personal Interests:

History, fine art, military history, politics, classical music.

Special Interests:

London Areas in Depth

The City of London, Westminster, The Royal Parks, The East End.

Galleries

The National Gallery, The British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum.

Walking Tours

Westminster, The City of London, East End.

Literature

Charles Dickens' London

Driver Guide:

No