© 2017 ING TOURS | RICHARD ING - LONDON BLUE BADGE TOUR GUIDE

richard@ingtours.co.uk  |  +44 (0)7764 200118

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DRIVER GUIDED TOURS

Join me in my comfortable, spacious, air conditioned and eco friendly SUV.  I offer a range of tours both in London and further afield. A selection of my driver guided tours can be found here. I also provide extended tours over several days covering more ground without having to return to London at the end of each day.  If you don't see a destination that appeals to you, please contact me direct. Please note that admission fees are not covered by the guide price. Prices are per vehicle, not per person. My vehicle is fully licensed to carry 4 passengers by Transport for London. Please contact me for a price quote.

London (Full or half day)

From your hotel we will take a tour of all of London’s great sites. Buckingham Palace, The  Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, The Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Royal Parks, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and so much more.  I recommend that we see at least one of these sites(Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s or The Tower)  in greater detail and it’s good to spend some time out of the car.

Windsor Castle

No visit to England is complete without a visit to Windsor. This pretty town located on the banks of the lovely River Thames is only around 20 miles from the centre of London and is where the Queen spends many of her weekends. The Castle is very impressive and dominates the surrounding landscape. Within the Castle precincts can be found the fabulous Saint George’s Chapel containing the tombs of no less than 10 monarchs including Henry VIII and Charles I. In addition the opulent State Apartments are a wonder and still in use.  If you know nothing about the Knights of the Garter, you will do after your visit to this extraordinary place.

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is a remarkable survival and is located to the South West of London on the banks of the Thames. Built originally for Henry VIII’s Chancellor , Cardinal Wolsey.  Following Wolsey’s fall from grace, the king appropriated the Palace and Kings and Queens have spent time here up until the 18th Century. Hampton Court comprises several buildings all combined into one super Palace. Much of the 16th Century building survives including the sumptuous Great Hall, Chapel and vast kitchens. Christopher Wren was here too and built a huge baroque extension for joint monarchs William III and Mary II. The Palace is stuffed with incredible artwork from the Royal Collection and the gardens are stunning. For the younger visitor, if the history all gets a bit too much there is a Magic Garden where excess energy can be run off. And try not to get lost in the Tudor maze, (your guide might be able to help with this!)

Stonehenge

Travel back to prehistoric times and gaze in wonder at this remarkable and enigmatic monument. Much still remains mysterious about this unique arrangement of stones but we do know that it was of huge significance to the people who lived here around 5000 years ago.  The entire surrounding area is dotted with ancient burial mounds and other prehistoric monuments and your guide will attempt to explain some of the more recent theories about Stonehenge. In the Summer, when the larks are singing and the wildflowers are all out, it’s a beautiful place. Even in winter, there is a really intriguing atmosphere (and also fewer visitors). 

Please note that tickets to Stonehenge must be booked in advance online.

Canterbury & Kent

Travel to the Garden of England to enjoy the rolling green and pleasant land that is typical of Southern England. Canterbury is the jewel in the Kentish Crown. A Roman City that demands full exploration. The Cathedral is the centrepiece and together with the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church, comprise a Unesco World Heritage Site. This is the birthplace of Christianity in England and the influence and reach of Canterbury remains of huge importance in English religious and cultural life. Other sites that deserve attention in Kent  include Leeds Castle, Hever Castle and Dover Castle. The spectacular gardens of Sissinghurst or the country home of Winston Churchill at Chartwell are all well worth making  detours for.

Stratford upon Avon

A journey to middle England to the landscape where William Shakespeare was born and bred. Stratford retains an old world feel with it’s ancient buildings and pretty pubs and restaurants. No less than three theatres compete for prominence and all the great actors and actresses have at some point in their careers performed in the Bard’s home town. Shakespeare’s Birthplace is here (a must see) as is his last resting place in Holy Trinity Church. His own home of New Place hasn’t survived but a wonderful garden in which to reflect or meditate exists on the site. The houses of his wife Anne Hathaway and his  mother, Mary Arden are also close by and well worth visiting. The kids will love Mary Arden’s house with its working farm and displays by fearsome birds of prey. This tour can be combined with a visit to Warwick Castle or the beautiful rolling Cotswolds with its chocolate box villages and historic inns, pubs and hotels.

Oxford & Blenheim Palace

Oxford with its “dreaming spires” retains its reputation as a pre-eminent University with global reach. More Prime Ministers have been educated here than anywhere else. The architecture is stunning and many of the Colleges are open for visiting at certain times. This is a place to wander around and to soak up the learned atmosphere. The Divinity Schools in addition to being the site of King Charles I’s Court during the English Civil War was also, rather more prosaically, the setting for the infirmary in some of the harry Potter movies. England’s smallest Cathedral is here tucked away within the precincts of Christchurch. A trip onwards to Woodstock takes us to Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough and birthplace of Winston Churchill. This is the stately home to end all stately homes set in spectacular parkland. For the Churchill fan, no visit is complete to this part of the world without a visit to his resting place in the modest churchyard at Bladon.

Bath

The remarkable town of Bath nestles within the folds of the seven hills that surround it. This ancient City, has been a magnet for those seeking the healing powers of the magical spring that emerges and feeds the baths, springs and Pump Room. The Romans thought this to be a very special place and constructed the extraordinary complex of plunge pools, hot rooms and cold rooms that still exist albeit in a restored setting. Bath is all about water, but it’s also about the golden age of English fashion that was the Regency. Anyone who was anyone at the turn of the 18th Century came to Bath to be seen and to take the waters. There followed a period of building in a style that still brings gasps of admiration. The Circus and the Royal Crescent are real show stoppers but around every corner are great examples of Regency style architecture. It’s atmospheric with a buzz all of its own. Just make sure you take the waters too!

Salisbury

Take a trip West to the bustling market town of Salisbury. The centrepiece is the outstanding Cathedral, the most perfect example of Early English architecture, immortalised by English romantic landscape artist John Constable. The Cathedral deserves a leisurely and lengthy discovery. The town retains a medieval feel with lovely shops and olde worlde pubs and restaurants. On market day the Market Square hums with activity and provides an atmosphere probably unchanged for centuries. We might also take in Salisbury’s former location at Old Sarum, a couple of miles away. This amazing hill fort was a castle, prison and religious centre until the early 13th Century when the New Cathedral was built. A superb elevated position provides spectacular views across Salisbury Plain.

Cotswolds including Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey)

The rolling and evocative countryside to the North West of London is packed with honey coloured stone villages. Small settlements like Bourton on the Water, Burford, Broadway and Bibury are all lovely places to visit and get to the heart of what an English Village really looks like. We can spend a leisurely day taking in some of these glorious places and enjoy a relaxing lunch at one of the many historic inns to be found throughout the area. Highclere Castle on the edge of the Cotswolds is a great destination for all Downton Abbey fans and this can easily be incorporated into a Cotswold tour.

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