Author Archives: Sally-Jayne

A Tour of Birmingham

Recently I did a tour of Birmingham for some Year 6 pupils. Here is the amazing report written by one of them afterwards.

Year 6 Geography Field Trip

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Blue Badge Tour Guide FAQs

blue badgeWhat is the Blue Badge?

What is the benefit of hiring a Blue Badge Guide?

What is the difference between the Blue Badge and a Green Badge?

How much does it cost to hire a Blue Badge Guide?

Can I book a Blue Badge Guide for just one day?

How can I tell if my guide really has a Blue Badge?

Can anyone join your tours?

Are there any hidden extra costs?

If you would like to book a Blue Badge Guide, contact me to discuss your requirements.

The Burley Court Hotel

This is a guest post from Ron, who has recently spent a few days in Cornwall.
Anyone planning to holiday in Bournemouth may like to consider staying at The Burley Court Hotel. It has ample car parking spaces which was the main reason for us choosing this hotel, as we just like to leave the car and explore on foot or use the excellent bus services (which happen to stop right outside).
We recently stayed for four nights and were given a large family room just for the two of us and we had a very warm welcome by the very friendly and helpful staff.
Breakfast was quite adequate and served efficiently by a very smart and well mannered young man. Although we didn’t partake of the evening meals many people did and they looked very appetising. The bar was well stocked and the lounge very comfortable with WiFi access. Prices per night for B&B were quite reasonable.
Located just 15 minutes walk from either the beach or town centre and only five minutes from numerous restaurants made it an ideal place to stay.
Bedroom

Bedroom

Lounge

Lounge

Dining

Dining Room

Rushton Triangular Lodge

Rushton Triangular Lodge is an oddity set in the middle of nowhere. As its name suggests, it’s built in the shape of a triangle. Everything about it relates to the number three: there are three floors, three windows per wall per floor, with three triangular gables on each side.

It only takes a few minutes to look around, and there are no grounds to speak of, so it isn’t worth making a special journey to visit. However, if you happen to be in the general area it is quirky enough to warrant a slight detour to take it in.

Burghley House

Burghley House is, in my opinion, one of the most impressive stately homes in the country.

On entering the building via a converted barn, visitors are treated to a history of the house, recounted by the family themselves, projected onto the stone walls. From here you exit into a courtyard and then into the main part of the house through the enormous kitchen, which is decorated, believe it or not, with a moose head and turtle skulls.

The artwork throughout the house is stunning – especially the Heaven and Hell rooms

BurleighsurpriseThe outside is just as amazing as the inside: the Garden of Surprises lives up to its name, with mirror mazes, fountains and grottos all hidden from view until you get right up close. If the weather is nice and you have young children, be sure to take their swimsuits.

The sculpture garden is beautiful to stroll around, especially in the height of summer, and is also full of unexpected surprises such as the ice house. It’s definitely a place where you could pass a whole day.

What is the benefit of hiring a Blue Badge Guide?

blue badgeWhat is the benefit of hiring a Blue Badge Guide?

As the highest guiding qualification in the UK, the Blue Badge amounts to a quality mark for guides.  While guiding styles and personalities differ hugely, the badge shows that the guide has studied the Blue Badge course for their region, and has passed the written and practical examinations.  You can be assured that they have a thorough background knowledge of English history, culture, architecture, literature and many other topics, along with very specific knowledge of the region they are qualified to guide in.  It also means that they have been trained in guiding techniques – how to present information effectively for different kinds of tours, how to plan and organise a tour, how to research areas and locations, how to manage a group safely on a tour.  Equally important, but often overlooked, is that the Blue Badge means the guide has full public liability insurance cover through their membership of professional associations.  Other guides may indeed have insurance, but you have no way of knowing unless you specifically ask them to prove it.  All in all, by hiring a Blue Badge guide you can be confident that you are in the best and safest possible hands to help you make the most of your trip, combining in-depth knowledge, practical expertise and the reassurance that comes from working with a highly qualified, accredited and insured professional.

Are there any hidden extra costs?

blue badgeThere are no hidden costs, but there may be additional ones. If you book a Blue Badge Guide for a tour that involves staying away from home, you will be responsible for the cost of the guide’s accommodation, evening meals and soft drinks. You may also be required to pay the guide’s travel expenses to and from your meeting point, and you will need to pay for their entry ticket to any places that do not offer free entry to Blue Badge Guides.

However, your guide will agree all charges with you beforehand, so there will be no nasty surprises at the end of your tour.