for the travel trade

Hello! I'm a qualified Blue Badge Guide for the Heart of England, which covers a large area stretching from Birmingham to Gloucester and Oxford, including the Cotswolds and popular destinations such as Blenheim Palace, Stratford-upon-Avon and Ironbridge.

SERVICES

  • Leading coaching and walking tours, including trips round major sites of the Cotswolds (all the classics)

  • Delivering ‘offbeat’ tours of less-visited but still fascinating places full of surprises

  • Tailoring tours to clients' interests, from ‘Arts and Crafts’ to ‘Wool Churches’

  • Working with you to devise bespoke tours that meet individual needs

DESTINATIONS

  • Birmingham

  • Cheltenham

  • Cotswolds

  • Coventry

  • Ironbridge

  • Oxford

  • Stratford-upon-Avon

  • Warwick Castle

MORE ABOUT ME

I’ve written a book about the quirky, unusual sights of the Cotswolds, drawing on my experience as the author of more than 60 books, mostly information books for children. This and my experience as a teacher makes me particularly suitable for family groups. 

TERMS & CONDITIONS

COVID-19

I follow government and industry COVID-19 guidelines. The group will be able to maintain social distancing on this outdoor walk. I am also certified as a member of the 'We're good to go' scheme.

 

START AND END TIMES

Please note that morning tours will normally need to finish by 13:00 and afternoon tours start after 13:30.

 

FEES

My 2020 fees are £280 for a full day, £175 for a half day. 

 

The fees negotiated will vary from client to client and from guide to guide. Higher rates may be requested for customised tours, or tours that require a good deal of preparation or specialist knowledge, due to a client’s or tour operator’s specific requirements.

Guides will normally charge a 50% increment for tours taking place on the English public holidays of Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. Tours taking place on Christmas Day usually attract an increment of 100%.

Additional increments of 50% may be requested for tours involving double decker coaches and for coaches with more than 55 passengers.

Where guides undertake specialist half-day museum or gallery visits, it is usual for a full-day fee to be payable.

 

EXTENDED TOUR FEES AND ACCOMMODATION

Clients should expect to pay the same level of daily remuneration for extended tours as for single days which require a maximum of 9 hours a day guiding. Extra amounts will normally be charged if the hours of work exceed 9 hours in a day.

 

Guides will normally expect to be provided with all meals, or alternatively with suitable expenses in lieu over and above the daily fee. They are also entitled to expect that suitable overnight accommodation, in a single room, will be provided or the costs of obtaining such a room will be reimbursed.

TRAVELLING EXPENSES

Travelling expenses (including parking fees) incurred by the guide required to collect groups from airports and locations outside of their main area should be covered by the client. In the interests of their personal safety, if guides are required to be in place to start a tour at very early times / finish late (e.g. before 07:00 or after 23:00) and travel by public transport is not suitable, guides will expect to be reimbursed the cost of taxi fares.

CANCELLATIONS

It is the norm within the travel industry that if an engagement is cancelled by a client 7 days or less before the tour is scheduled, that 50% of the negotiated fee is payable. If the tour is cancelled within 48 hours of the scheduled start, then the full fee is payable.

 

These rates apply equally to the guide, when a guide has to cancel and a suitable replacement guide cannot be provided.

 

Similarly, when an extended tour is cancelled with less than one month’s notice, the guide is entitled to claim 50% of the daily touring rate if alternative work on the same dates is not offered.

 

INVOICING

Properly presented invoices should be submitted by the guide, to the client, at the conclusion of each engagement. Invoices should separate fees from claims for disbursements, which must be properly itemised and have receipts attached where appropriate. Full settlement is usually expected within 28 days of the invoice being submitted. From time to time, guides may agree additional Terms & Conditions with clients.

 

GROUP SIZES

In the interests of safety a single guide should not be expected to conduct visits to sites if the group to be guided exceeds 50 (in such cases, a second guide should be engaged).

 

Often individual sites will restrict the number of visitors they permit to enter their premises in a group, similarly some sites impose restrictions on where guides may talk to clients. If the proposed programme is fully discussed in advance with the guide concerned they should be able to provide advice on where such restrictions may be an issue requiring additional guides or alternative solutions.

BOOKING VIA TOUR OPERATORS

All vouchers, or cash, to cover any disbursements the guide is required to make during the tour should be provided to the guide before the start of the tour by the tour operator.

On a coach tour there must be a seat provided for the guide, with a safety belt, and a working microphone and PA system. If there is no working microphone / PA system provided, the operator will be informed as soon as possible by the guide. If the tour continues without a working microphone, the norms for the industry indicate the guide is entitled to be paid an increment of 100% of the original fee until the omission is rectified.

© 2020 by Offbeat Cotswolds