British Tours Twitter interview with Concierge99

We’ve had many interviews over the years and very recently we had our first twitter interview! For those of you not familiar with the format, Twitter interview questions and answers must be under 140 characters, so quite a challenge!

Our interview was hosted by the brilliant online concierge service Concierge99. They make it their mission to put their clients in touch with the experts, from everything from yoga instructors to private tours. While we’re not so great on the yoga front, we pride ourselves on the bespoke tours we create. I could go on, but the fantastic folks at Concierge99 had some pretty great questions for us that will give you a bit more of an insight into the work we do.

Exciting times! To get us started, Concierge 99 asked us some basic ‘getting to know you’ facts.

Concierge99 asked a question many of our clients want to know – how do we pick such great guides?

We have several wonderful guides on our books who love taking visitors to see London’s highlights on a bespoke London tour, and Concierge99 we keen to know more about them! We gave them a bit more information about their backgrounds.

 

You can read more about our driver-guides here We’ve also had a few famous faces, both as vistors and as guides.The actor Tom Conti was also once one of our tour guides!

Then, it was time for one of the most important questions of the interview – what makes us a good fit for our client’s needs?

Over the years, we’ve arranged many personalized services, including family heritage tours, tours to WW2 bases for the descendants of American soldiers stationed in the UK and even tours relating to some of England’s famous literary figures from Shakespeare to J.K.Rowling!

Concierge99 gave us a chance to demonstrate just how British we are!

Certainly a hard question – Just three things!! What about the essential jam and clotted cream to go with those scones!  Finally after an enjoyable twitter chat, it was time for a goodbye from Concierge99…

 

…and a goodbye from us!

To see the full conversation, please click here to go to our Twitter page. We’re also on Facebook and Pinterest too! If you’d like to listen to one our radio interviews, please see the below tweet to our interview with Share Radio!

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Exploring Eltham Palace

Richard II’s 14th Century moat bridge at Eltham Palace – Photo used with kind permission of English Heritage.

Recently re-opened after a major refurbishment in 2015, Eltham Palace is conveniently located between London and the country. It is also a fantastic site to visit during the spring and summer months, when the gardens are in full bloom. The site was formerly a medieval ruin, until it was rescued by Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in 1932. It was transformed into a luxury art-deco palace, with large beautiful rooms fit for entertaining guests. The Courtaulds also restored the gardens at Eltham, which make for great photos for the photography enthusiasts in your party! On a sunny day in front of the palace you can even see sites such as the Shard and the London eye on the horizon, all from a quiet suburb in London.

 

Eltham Palace is a short drive away from London, and can be visited with one of our private driver-guides on a London tour, and combined with nearby sites such as Greenwich. 

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What to see when you only have a few days in London?

Whether you’re visiting for a business trip, or taking that much needed vacation with the family, we understand that you’ll want to maximize your time efficiently. As well as advice and suggestions, we often are asked about which tours from our range are the most popular ones, and which ones we would recommend for clients who only have a few days in London. While all of our tours are quite special in their own way, there are three that stood out to us as key for first timers and those with a limited amount of time in London.

London Sightseeing tour

The view of St Paul’s Cathedral taken from Bankside near the Globe Theatre.

It’s the perfect way to get to know the city that you are visiting. London is the nation’s capital, and it’s cultural and intellectual hub, with some of the best museums, galleries located in its heart. When touring in the UK, London cannot be missed.

Stonehenge and Bath Tour

Stonehenge is a large henge or stone circle in Wiltshire, and an internationally recognized travel destination. Huge standing stones were dragged to the site and placed in the landscape in the era 2,500 BC. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. Photo used with kind permission from Visit Britain.

Known internationally for the theories on its construction, Stonehenge is of course a popular touring choice. It is a key part of England that can’t be missed! You’ll be able to see the stone circle, as well as the new visitors centre and exhibition. After Stonehenge, you’ll visit the beautiful town of Bath, known for the hot spring baths built by the Romans. You will be able to visit these, as well as the other sites, such as the Royal crescent, a famous crescent of beautiful houses in the city. You’ll return to London, having seen one of the Europe’s most famous Neolithic monument, and one of the more beautifully crafted cities in the UK.

Paris

Montmartre in Paris.

France and England both benefit from a passenger train running through the channel tunnel; The Eurostar, allows clients to travel from London to Paris in just two hours and 15 minutes! You’ll be able take a tour to Paris in just one day, leaving London in the morning and returning back in the evening. Once in Paris, your private tour guide will take you on the highlights tour of the city, before dropping you back at the station at the end of your 7 hour tour. It’s a great way to see two capital cities in your three days!

For advice on some of our more specialist tours, please contact us at tours@britishtours.com today. For those with a bit more time in the UK, we can also arrange custom made overnight tours, based on your timings and requirements, so please do feel free to e-mail us to discuss your plans!

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Regent Street Cinema

 

Regent Street Cinema

A little down the way from the excitement of Hamley’s Toy Store, just off from the BBC’s Broadcasting House sits Regent Street Cinema, the first UK Cinema to ever broadcast film to a paying audience. After extensive restoration work, the cinema re-opened its doors to the public, carefully returned to its art deco styling. Its foyer nods to this art deco theme with a gold and black colour scheme, and is a pretty great place to relax before watching a film.

The cinema has been refurbished to a high standard and is certainly a comfortable way to watch a classic film.

We’re all big film goers here at British Tours, so it’s exciting to visit a place that caters to our varied interests. From cult classics like The Big Lebowski and Withnail and I to the modern blockbusters such as Star Wars: the Force Awakens, this cinema has us covered. A minute walk from Oxford Circus tube station, the theatre is perfectly located for an evening film after a busy day of touring London’s great sites.

Regent Street Cinema holds regular screenings throughout the year and several film festivals. For more information click here to see some of their upcoming films.

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See the Changing of the Guard with your Private Driver-Guide

The Changing of the Guard in London

While on tour, ask your British Tours guide to take you to see the Changing of the Guard! The guard change is the hand over between members of the Queens guard, which takes place every day from April to July, and every other day in August to March. It always takes place in the morning, and your guide can take you to a good spot to see the guards in full regalia as they carry out this ceremonial hand over!

Contact British Tours to arrange a private tour of London on a guard change day. 

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Big Ben Tours – Why Big Ben is the most iconic London sight

A visit to London is never complete without a mesmerizing tour of this lovely and historic city; Big Ben is by no means an exception.  Big Ben’s official name is the Elizabeth Tower, but local residents have affectionately nicknamed her “Big Ben” after the nickname of the Great Bell that is housed within the stunning Elizabeth Tower. This massive clock tower is considered by many to be the most iconic sight in the city, not only for its spectacular view, but also for its colourful and inspiring history.

Guided tours of Big Ben will take its visitors up 334 spiral steps to the top of the 62 metre high clock tower to hear Big Ben strike the hour, as well as a unique opportunity to visit the mechanism room where you can learn about how Big Ben’s clock works. These tours are available free to UK residents, but require to be sponsored by a Member of Parliament or a Member of the House of Lords.

The actual origin of the nickname is not known; however there are 2 theories; one that is was named after the commissioner of works Sir Benjamin Hall who because of his large size was lovingly known in the house as Big Ben. The other theory is that it was named after heavy weight boxing champion Benjamin Caunt who was also referred to as Big Ben. Historians and landmark enthusiasts have argued these theories for decades.

Aside from its timeless beauty, masterwork construction, and unfaltering timekeeping, is the sensational history that surrounds it. Most notably its role in the Second World War, during this time Big Ben’s chimes were heard the world over on the BBC World Service radio. During the blitz people would listen for Big Bens uplifting chimes, it was these chimes that let the world know that Great Britain had not yet been defeated, which offered people a much needed feeling of comfort and hope.

Black Taxi Tour – Seeing London from an iconic mode of transport

London boasts a truly overwhelming amount of historic, iconic, and cultural sights to enjoy. Touring these exciting and momentous sights of London from the comfort of one of London’s iconic Black Taxis will allow you to fully appreciate the city’s endless landmarks in a comfortable and timeless mode of transport. Guided Black Taxi tours is a fun and unique way to enjoy all of the breath-taking sights and attractions that London has to offer.

Black Taxi tours offer visitors a cosy and personalised tour to allow guests to better take in all of London’s historic buildings and famous hot spots. Take a cruise through Downing Street or stop by Buckingham Palace, all from the comfort of your very own guided and chauffeured Black Taxi.

Those who love to view historic sights and significant landmarks will get an added sense of authenticity to their London tour when viewing these sites from one of London’s classic Black Taxi’s.

Black taxi tours offer a relaxing and stress free option for viewing the city in its entirety, and are an excellent alternative to being in a crowded tour bus that can pose a variety of distractions from the sites and scenery that London has to offer. The personalised approach to touring that Black Taxi’s offer will give visitors the option of stopping to take photos, and the opportunity to spend as much time as they like at each of London’s lovely tourist attractions. Black taxi tours allow tourists to take in all the sights that London has to offer while taking a cruise in one of London’s most characteristic and historic public transportation vehicles.

Have you already decided what sights in London that you wish to see? Touring London from a Black Taxi often allow visitors to customise an itinerary to include the specific sights that they wish to see.