How do I book a Tour or Lecture?
Book a Tour and fill in the Reservation Request and we will send you a Reservation Response. If you are happy, please confirm by email and we will then send you a Reservation Confirmation with instructions on how to make payment.
Is everything included?
Not quite everything; we include the Tour Guide’s expertise and driving, the car and the petrol plus the parking costs…oh, and some soft drinks which we load into the car…and, on Full day Tours, the gifts when we pick you up, and then again when we drop you off.
Can I cancel?
Sure you can: if you cancel any time up to 30 days beforehand you will receive your 25% deposit back. However, if you cancel within 30 days of the start date you will not be able to claim your money back. If you book within 30 days of your start date you will be expected to pay in full.
What’s included in the tour?
- All reasonable background research to give you the experience you want
- Your complimentary gift selected to suit the Tour you choose.
- Use of the vehicle for the length of the tour. If you are 4 people or less we would expect to use a saloon/sedan or a people carrier if you have lots of luggage. For numbers more than four we recommend a people carrier (takes up to seven but more comfortable with six or less depending on size).
- All fuel consumed.
- Access to your Tour Guide for the length of the tour: he or she will normally drive, unless you go by another form of transport (bus, underground, foot or train)
- Access to whatever free soft drinks there are in the Driver’s coolbox.
- Parking and any Congestion Charges (that’s an extra charge for driving into the centre of London).
- Insurance: our vehicles have the required public liability insurance and the required public carriage licenses. You should have your own comprehensive travel insurance too.
- For those booking a Full Day’ or Overnight Tour a CD of Winston Churchill’s speeches, a book on his ‘Wit and Wisdom’ or comparable gift is offered.
OK. So what’s not included?
- Extra hours: we have timed the length of the tour (see The Top Tours: these are the most popular). But if you want to stay longer, stop for a drink or make a diversion then there will be an extra charge. This is at £55 for every complete hour up to midnight and £70/ hour thereafter. We will agree this all in advance.
- All entry charges to the places you visit: these will be shown on the Reservation Response we send you. (There are some indicative prices on the Destination Chart). We will order tickets in advance where possible and at the best prices to avoid queuing (lining up).
- Food and drink generally, like lunches in the pub, and any overnight stays.
- Translators/foreign language tour guides will be an additional cost
- The Lecture Series: there is a minimum charge of £200 for up to 8 people for a lecture excluding the cost of any dinner. This will always be quoted separately: see The Lecture Series for full details.
You mentioned some free gifts: what are these?
First up, we are going to give you a talk on the history of Great Britain
. This will set down key dates in British History
over the last two thousand years. So, as you are strolling around Blenheim Palace
, say, wondering when the Duke of Marlborough was campaigning around Europe (beginning of the 18th century, in fact), this should help.
We have set certain dates alongside key milestones in the history of some other English-speaking nations too (USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand), so there is some context.
At the end of the Tour
we will give you a choice of departing gift: a CD of that Greatest Briton, Winston Churchill’s
speeches, perhaps, a book of the great man’s wit and wisdom or a comparable gift.
If you use our Gift Service,the recipient receives a tailored Invitation to Attend & the donor can select a gift from our collection as a memento of the occasion.We can come to your home to collect you for a Tour, give a Talk or present an Appreciation. We can do the catering in your home too.
What’s this Lecture Series?
We have found that being able to speak with groups together in a relaxed format, often over lunch or dinner, and offer a more in-depth look at a historical or cultural theme gives real texture to a trip. You see, we always try to add something extra whether a gift or a well-researched talk. Whatever we do it’s designed to be entertaining - and a bit educational too.
For instance, let us know in advance if a particular aspect of a school curriculum needs to be considered.
If you want to see one of our Appreciations - of Winston Churchill or William Shaklespeare - that probably needs a bigger, private room, maybe at home, a hall,club or a classroom perhaps.
What does your firm know about Great Britain?
Jonathan Dickins has an MA in Modern History from Cambridge University. He still reads extensively - see his Suggested Reading List in About Us
. He has done extensive public speaking from wedding and anniversary celebrations to product launches and after dinner speaking too. The other Tour Guides
have qualifications in Guiding, extensive experience already or are genuine experts at their subject.
If you don’t get a satisfactory answer to a question you ask us, we will find the answer and let you know as soon as possible.
TAILORING YOUR TIME
How flexible are the arrangements?
It’s your holiday/vacation, so you set the pace from relaxed to intensive. You will have sent us a Reservation Confirmation so we both know what the plan is but if you want to change things around, just give us a bit of warning and we will do our best to help you. If that means it’s going to cost a bit more, we will tell you first, so you can decide if that’s what you still want to do.
Can you do larger groups?
Sure. Normally our tours
cater for up to 10 and would need a small bus to take such a group unless we travelled by public transport, say. However, let us know how many you are considering; we can then calculate how many Tour Guides
we may need and the best kind of transport arrangements: obviously, a bigger bus needs a specialist driver; we may need to fix rooms too.
Of course, a bigger group makes the Lecture Series
really excellent value too.
We pledge to give all our Customers a genuinely added value, personal, entertaining experience. You can’t do that over a bus PA system.
Your tours seem to be a whole day: can we do a shorter tour?
You can, of course, opt for a shorter Half Day Tour but we don't think you get so much value and insight from the Tour Guides. We are really keen to give you an added value, entertaining experience which you will cherish for a long time. Shorter tours are a bit more expensive per person too and you won’t receive the gifts. Anyway, you decide.
We want to walk not go by car: can we do that?
Sure: in London we can travel by foot, underground (metro/subway), bus or boat too to get the most value from the day. We will take off all the costs relating to the car but don’t worry, for Full Day Tours you will still get your gifts and the drink we promised you. If you do not wish to go by car on Tours outside London, we can travel by train.
We’ve got plenty of time so can we choose whatever we want to see?
Of course. Many of our overseas Customers, for instance, are keen to see the parts of the country where their ancestors lived or maybe were billeted in World War II. You just need to complete the section in the Reservation Request to let us know where you wish to go. We can work out the rest.
Can we do a number of days together?
Well, if you work as a tour guide on a day rate of around £560 for 4 adults excluding accommodation and meals that won’t be far off. This reduces if there are children under 12 – they receive a 20% discount, and if you are a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children under 12) you will qualify for the Family Savers Pack (worth up to £180). Of course, more time together on an Overnight Tour would mean an additional discount off the quoted rate.
It will also depend on how the itinerary stacks up in travel distances; we will sort out the most efficient way to move around. Edinburgh by train could be best, for instance. Days on foot in London will be less expensive too. Go to Book a Tour
for all discounts: these will be confirmed in the Reservation Response.
Can you provide an interpreter or translator?
Our main tour guides speak a variety of languages apart from English but not necessarily to a fluent standard. If you need someone fluent in a specific language, make sure you tell us when you place your Reservation Request to make sure we can set it up for you. This will be an additional charge.
Are there any simple travel tips to consider?
In London you can buy an Oyster card for £2 and load it up according to how long you wish to travel around London or use a One Day Travelcard. Best value is if you use Buses and the Underground after 09.30 from Monday to Friday and all day on Saturday and Sunday in central London (Zones 1 and 2): £5.60 at the moment. These zones cover most of the major monuments. Pick up an Oystercard form from the airport or one of the 250 Underground stations or go online to visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk
; you can buy your London Travelcard online too (same as for Oystercard) or on the day of travel. Family cards, day/week travel cards, day/week bus passes are all there in the leaflet.
There are some good (private) riverboat services too - with flexible tickets; we can help you with these.
What do I wear?
Keep an umbrella or hood handy: the weather is generally changeable but rarely dramatic. Best to adopt the “onion” strategy: clothing in layers is best for all seasons. Most important of all – wear the most comfortable shoes you possess.
Are accents a problem?
Great Britain is no different to other countries: some accents are impenetrable to certain people. It’s quite possible, for instance, that you will have no idea what a Glaswegian is saying to you or perhaps a Geordie (folks from the Newcastle upon Tyne area in the North East of England). Just ask them to try again a bit slower this time. Of course, if anyone includes rhyming slang - bad luck!
(Here’s an example of rhyming slang: ‘I’m taking the trouble and strife for a Ruby ‘cause she’s done up her Barnet’……Translation: ’I am escorting my wife (trouble and strife=wife) for an Indian meal (Ruby Murray= curry) since she has had her hair styled (Barnet Fair=hair).
We want to understand better how the British live.
Certainly: when you complete the Reservation Request, let us know the kind of thing you want to find out. We can give you insights into the political life of the country, how rural communities get on, the tensions, likes and dislikes between different parts of the country. For instance, do the Scots really dislike the English, and do the English really not get on with the Welsh? Well, of course, it depends, but we certainly all have our moments on match days!
Why have you forged a link with Churchill?
Winston Churchill was not only at the heart of British public life for the first 60 years of the 20th Century, he was a historian of considerable reputation who saw ‘the big picture’. His History of the English Speaking Peoples recognized a central role, like it or not, that Great Britain has (or perhaps had) played in the development of the civilized world.
By leaning on his skills we can give perspective and balance to this island’s history.
Anyway, though he was not always on the right side of the argument (what politician is?), he was a marvellous speaker, user of language and funny with it. Seems a good enough reason to us.
Do you work with larger groups?
We are happy to create a partnership with a firm or organization to present our Tours and Lectures. These relationships may be through business organizations, the travel and tourism trade or clubs, membership groups or educational institutions.
Let us know what you have in mind and we will be happy to discuss it.