London Private Tour Guide

Old Jun 8th, 2011, 03:10 PM
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FJP
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London Private Tour Guide

My family of 4 adults/teenagers would like to hire a tour guide to take us to the major sites of London by walking or public transportation. We will be in London the first week of July. Any recommendations?
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 03:40 PM
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We have used Context in the past and I highly recommend them. We have not done a Context tour in London, but we did in Rome and Venice. They are a bit pricey, but we thought they were well worth the cost. Here is a link to their website:

http://www.contexttravel.com/

Have a great trip!

A
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 03:52 PM
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Are you looking for a private tour guide? If not, take a look at London Walks - www.walks.com

Lee Ann
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 05:24 PM
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It will take you several days to see the major sights in London - and the cost of a private guide for all that time would be astronomical (in terms of my budget anyway). Suggest you joins a couple of the better London walks to se specific areas - then sort out the rest on your own.
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 05:39 PM
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You could try this company, £210 per day for walking tours, £410 for driving. http://yourlondonwalks.com/
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 05:53 PM
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You can get a private guide of course -- but for me personally, London doesn't lend itself to that like some other major cities might.

For one thing - the city is HUGE and the sites are spread over quite a large area. One can't see more than two of the really major sites on the same day (or in a few specific cases like the National and National Portrait galleries which are next door to each other you could manage three). So to get good coverage ofeven a few of the sites -- you'd need to hire the guide for several days --very VERY pricey!

If the guide says you can see 5 or 6 sites in a day -- then run, don't walk, away since that means cutting most of them very short or just glimpsing them from the outside.

Plus there is the little item of language. Lots of folks do use guides in say Rome or Florence or Prague because they aren't comfortable w/ the language difference. Not an issue in London.

I just think private guides are a huge, unneeded expense in London. London Walks are a different matter -- they are walking tours of small neighborhoods - not the entire city in one go.
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 02:54 PM
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Thank you for your helpful feedback. If we elect to hire a private guide, is there one you might recommend?
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Old Jun 9th, 2011, 03:55 PM
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The best are the Blue Badge guides -- and they are terrific. But recommend them -no. My comments above still stand - even for the blue badges.

http://www.blue-badge-guides.com/
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Old Jun 10th, 2011, 09:36 AM
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We used a company called UK Luxury Vacations to take us to Bath and Stonehenge since we didn't want to rent a car but wanted to see those places. We also had four people and they are not cheap but they provide a blue badge private guide in an MVP (minivan) and we saw the white horses and silbury hill among other things along our route. We covered a lot of ground on that day. The tour guide was fabulous providing all sorts of historical information.

For London proper we took the London Walks tours--they are great. If you insist on a private tour in London, I believe London walks also provides private tours too. Check out their website also.
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Old Jun 10th, 2011, 10:02 AM
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europeannovice makes a really good point --if it fits in the budget, a driver/guide for an out of town day trip can make a lot of sense. They are pricey but it is easier to see/do so much more by car than by public transport.

But again, for IN London -- not the best use of time or money IMO. . .
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Old Jun 10th, 2011, 11:58 AM
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FJP: Based on her(?) posts as to where she stays and how much she pays for meals, NYtraveler is a higher-cost traveler on this board and if she doesn't fit private guides into her budget, it says a lot about your plan.

You speak English, there is no logical reason to need a private tour guide for London and, considering the size of the city, the number of free attractions (most of the major museums), relative inexpensiveness of the Tube, ability to slice your costs by using 2for1 vouchers on the daysoutguide.co.uk and more, the use of a private guide for a 210 quid tour of London seems a waste.

Figure out what you want to see. Most places have very good information on the web. If you want walking tours, you can do London walks or just go to londontown.com and print out their suggested walks, which include extensive annotations.
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Old Jun 10th, 2011, 12:19 PM
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To alieve some of your fears why not just hail a taxi to drive you a specific site. When finished, take another.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 06:21 AM
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So.......blue badge guides are good, but why not recommended? Is it due to price?
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 09:00 AM
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Sophie: Actually - Blue Badges are very highly recommended. You do get what you pay for, and they can be pricey. But they are very good.

I'd use a BB guide for a specialized day tour somewhere - a guide that has special knowledge on a specific era or architect or author or gardens or something like that. But for general sightseeing they would be overkill IMO. I'm really not sure why you are so set on sticking to guided tours (from your other thread)
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