Personal Tours for families, couples & small groups, Clubs & Societies, Corporate Tours & Educational Groups
Whether you are looking for an introduction to London on your first visit, a visit to one or more of its attractions, or a tour planned around a particular theme, I can organise it. And if you know London and are looking for something unusual then I can reveal the hidden corners and less well known stories of this city. Whatever interests you, I can plan your tour, tailored to suit your interests, wishes and schedule. What you will get is a fun, informative day, taken at your pace. This is your tour, so you won’t have to worry about other people in the group or keeping to a particular timetable.
My tours are flexible so that if something catches your interest on the day, we can linger longer, If the weather is less than kind or something unexpected happens, we can adapt our plans. You never know what you are going to see in London. Visiting a Museum or Gallery, I’ll make sure that you see the highlights, and anything that particularly appeals to you. I know where everything is, so you won’t waste time searching for a particular exhibit or painting.
Let me know your requirements, what you’d like to see, and I can plan an itinerary made to order. If you’re not sure what you want, contact me and I will give you plenty of ideas. And I will be honest with you, and let you know if what you want is not feasible. You can't get the Underground to Stonehenge or Cornwall!
If this is your first time to London and you only have half a day, it’s probably best to explore the City of Westminster as it contains many famous London buildings and sites. If you have a whole day, then it would also be worth going to the City of London, which is both the oldest part of London and the most modern. The country’s financial hub, it is home to strangely shaped glass and steel skyscrapers as well as hidden mediaeval churches and the Tower of London.
For families, couples and small groups
I specialise in private tours in London and elsewhere for families and small groups.
These are loosely planned, tailored sightseeing guided tours of London, where you’ll see some amazing sights, hear some wonderful stories and learn some fascinating history. And if you aren’t sure what you want to do and see, I have plenty of great suggestions. I’ll steer you through the London streets and transport system and make sure that you see all the interesting sights and understand what it is that you are looking at. And I know the best places for taking photos of all that London has to offer.
I will meet you at your hotel or wherever else you wish and say goodbye to you back at your hotel, a restaurant, or somewhere else.
You don’t need to worry about anything, and I’ll make sure that we have a rest if you need it, as well as stopping for any coffees or cold drinks that you need. I can organise a tour themed around Royalty both modern and historical, Roman London, the Guard change, food markets, West End theatres or London at War. Or perhaps you’d like to see one of London’s upmarket districts such as Mayfair and St James, or see inside several of the delightful churches in London.
If you have an interest in a particular subject let me know and I’ll include it in our plan. For example, not too long ago I took a retired Los Angeles police officer around London for the day, but at his request we included a visit to a small Police Museum hidden away in the City of London, and the public gallery of the Court of Appeal to see the English legal system in all its bewigged glory.
Two and three generational family groups are particularly welcome. I can engage the interest of teenagers, having had four of my own and I am very happy to guide groups with children. They have an eagerness and excitement for new things in London that is always a joy, and I get them to help with journey planning using with the Underground map. Children pick it up surprisingly quickly. I actively encourage the children, or anyone else, to ask me questions. I’ll try to answer them simply and if I don’t know the answer, I will try to find out. I certainly will not make something up. If you think that the children would not enjoy an art gallery or Museum, then let me prove you wrong.
Most of London’s galleries have free entry, so there is no need to spend a whole day in them to get your money’s worth. I can show them two or three paintings or objects and engage them about what they are looking at. It is entertaining to take the kids to the gallery shop and let choose one or two postcards of paintings to take home for their pinboard. And as well as surreptitiously educating the kids, it gives grandparents a chance to sit down for 5 minutes. I can recommend child-friendly places for lunch, whether you want a pub meal, fish & chips, a visit to a pizza restaurant or a burger chain, or just a quick sandwich.
Clubs and Societies
If your social club is looking for a morning, afternoon or full day excursion, I’d be delighted to assist. Whether you want a visit to one of London’s well-known or less visited attractions, or a walk around a district of London, let me know. I have led guided walks of St James and Mayfair, for a ladies retired group from Surrey, looked at the history of Whitehall with a group of Civil Servants and provided a history group from Essex with a guided tour of the Science Museum. Also popular are walks that finish at a venue that has been booked for lunch. I can pull together an interesting walk from any meeting point to the venue and include sites that are of interest to your members. Contact me with your requirements and I’m sure that I can come up with an interesting and fun tour that builds up an appetite in time for lunch.
If you want something different, how about a walk around some of the intriguing regeneration going on in London, in districts such as the Kings Cross, Canary Wharf or the Olympic Park in Stratford? If there are more than 25 people in a group, for everyone’s benefit it is much better to hire a second guide, which I can organise. I can also arrange for the hire of devices that allow me to talk to your group via individual earpieces.
Evening guided tours of London are very popular with conference delegates, either to take them from the meeting venue to the evening restaurant, to give them a flavour of the area that they are in, or to provide an overview of London. If you have clients, or foreign colleagues visiting you, make their visit memorable by including a personally guided tour. London is one of the great cities of the world, and it would be a shame not to let your visitors some of its highlights. For your staff, you could arrange a guided walk in the area around your office, and I’ll show them the still visible traces and tales of its history, as well as those little details that they walk past everyday but never notice. I have found these are particularly popular, especially if the walk is designed to finish in a pub with its own history.
All walks can be adjusted to start and finish where and when you wish, and can take place at lunchtime, in the afternoon, or in the evening. If the group is more than 25 people in a group, I can arrange a second guide. For a small extra charge I can also arrange for the hire of devices that allow me to talk to your group via individual earpieces.
I am often asked to guide students from early teenagers to college students around London. I cover everything from an introductory trip around London for international students spending a semester here including skills needed such as how the transport system, to a tour organised around a particular theme. I have put together student tours around subjects as diverse as Winston Churchill, Gothic architecture or the British National Health Service. I also offer walks to teenage English language student groups from Europe and elsewhere whose English skills are at a reasonable level.
As I do not speak any foreign languages to any proficiency it means that the students must listen to and converse with a native English speaker. I will of course speak slightly slower than usual and leave more spaces in my commentary to help them, and I let the dialogue flow wherever the students wish. I have found myself having conversations about the difference between ducks, geese and swans with Czech language scholars, why Hermione is pronounced the way it is to some Spanish Harry Potter devotees and the physical location of English premier league football teams to a group of Italian teenagers. Or if you prefer, I can organise an enjoyable half or full day in London seeing many of the famous sights and taking the obligatory group photograph.
LONDON TOURS ARE TAILORED TO MEET MY CLIENT REQUIREMENTS
Here are some examples of what we could cover in a half day tour, full day tour and a 2 day tour.
HALF DAY TOUR
Guided walk around Westminster seeing the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, as well as the entrance to Downing Street, home of the British Prime Minister.
Tour around the Churchill War rooms,
Walk through Horse Guards parade, St James Park and the Mall for a view of Buckingham Palace.
Then via Trafalgar Square, and an alleyway of old-fashioned shops finishing in lively, traffic free Covent Garden.
Here I would say goodbye, ensuring that you knew where you could get a meal, and how to get back to your accommodation. You would have seen lot, learnt a lot and have plenty of great photos.
FULL DAY TOUR
The Tower of London in time for the 9 o’clock opening.
The Crown Jewels before the crowds arrive, the stories and history of the building, photos of the Beefeaters and the Guards.
Walk across iconic Tower Bridge.
A short walk to the foodie heaven of Borough Market lunch in the market or at a historic 300 year old pub
Globe Theatre and cross the Millennium Bridge.
Views of St Pauls cathedral.
A short Underground journey
Highlights of the National Gallery
Guided walk though the small but exclusive district of St James.
Finish at Piccadilly Circus. You will have seen a lot of London and be able to find your way around and explore further.
2 DAY TOUR
A 40 minute train journey from London Waterloo to Hampton Court
A morning tour of the Historic Royal Palace at Hampton Court, home of Tudor and Stuart monarchs.
A 40 minute car journey from Hampton Court to Windsor.
Lunch at one of a choice of eateries in Windsor.
Afternoon guided visit to Windsor castle, home to the Queen. By going in the afternoon, most of the tour groups from London will have left.
A 50 minute train journey from Windsor back to Waterloo
After two days you will know all about the British monarchy both historically and in today’s world, and you will have seen some fabulous building
What my clients say of my Custom Tours
“........he was amazing. He mixed my desire for super nerdy British insight with my boyfriend's need of pubs and ancient armor. The time we spent with Mike really felt like we were on the receiving end of some super secret insider knowledge. Mike provided us with all the background we could want along with amazing British charm." Kiersten, USA