Category Archives: North East

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.

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.

Can anyone join your tours?

blue badgeI offer two types of tours: public and private. The public walking tours are run by me and a colleague, Michael, and take place in Birmingham on Saturdays, and anybody is welcome to join these. You will find details of times and prices at Midlands Discovery Tours. Michael and I also offer public ghost walks in Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield and Warwick and details of these can also be found at Midlands Discovery Tours.

Private walks are ones I have been booked for by a particular group or organisation, and these are limited to people that belong to that particular group.

Anyone can book a private tour – I have done tours for tourist groups, corporate incentive schemes, schools, birthday parties, business trips, office nights out, book clubs and music fans, to name just a few examples – so if this is something that would interest you, get in touch

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

blue badgeOf course! You can book a Blue Badge Guide for as long or short a time as you like – there is no minimum or maximum time limit. There may be a minimum charge however – if you book a Blue Badge Guide for just a one hour tour, you are likely to pay a half-day rate.

As with all issues regarding pricing, the best advice is to contact the guide and talk to them about your booking.

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

blue badgeThe price for hiring a Blue Badge Guide varies from region to region, with London being the most expensive. It will also depend how long you require a guide for –  booking a Blue Badge Guide for a 10 day tour will work out cheaper per day than booking for just one day.  Tours in a language other than English are generally more expensive.

The best way to find out specific prices is to contact the guide, talk to them about what you want and let them give you their price.

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

blue badgeThe Green badge is the second highest level of guiding qualification and shows that a person is qualified to guide in one particular city. The Blue Badge is the highest level of guiding qualification which covers several counties.

A Green Badge Guide may hold a badge for more than one city, and a Blue Badge Guide may hold a badge for more than one region. The badge will state where the qualification is held for, for example the one shown is for the Heart of England region which covers Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire.

In addition to the badges, guides can train to receive an endorsement, which is for a particular building or place. I have the 2012 Venues endorsement which covers the places used for the London Olympic games.