Welcome to ‘Free London Walking Tours’! I’m going to use this first blog to introduce myself and the company. I’m really excited about this new venture and I can’t wait to get started, our fist walk will commence on Friday 21st March. I had the idea to start a new walking tour company, but make all our walks free! My close friends were a bit shocked that I’d start a company that offered something for nothing, until I explained that I will be working for tips only. I believe this is a much better way to tour because it guarantees the quality of the walk (if I don’t do a good job, I won’t get paid)! This also appeals to tourists on every budget.
We’ve put a great team of tour guides together, some I’ve met through guiding, and some people that are new to guiding. They will also be bloging along on here, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Each week we’ll have a look at the things going on in London (especially the free things)! And also discuss a range of subjects, art, history, fashion, music, food, theatre, and everything else we can think of! London has so much to offer, there is something for everyone. As Samuel Johnson said “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
I first started working as a tour guide in 2009. I was working as a performer on the West End stage, but as you are probably all aware, there can be long periods in between jobs (we thespians like to call it ‘resting’ but we actually mean starving)! So when I was offered a chance to train as a tour guide on the open top busses, I leapt at the chance. I loved it, I’d always had a passion for history and I was able to put this and my background in entertainment to good use.
Over the last 5 years I’ve learnt a lot about the tourism industry, and met some lovely people along the way. I’ve worked for many companies, some good, some bad, but as with anything you take the positives from your experience and put them to good use. There is so much to do and see in London even choosing which walks to offer was tough. We have three walks at the moment, but we will be doing some special one off walks starting this summer, so watch this space for those. We will also be announcing these on our Facebook and Twitter (@freelondonwalks), you can find links to these on our home
To finish of this first blog I’d like to thank a few people, firstly, all my friends that have helped me along the way, everyone who has given me suggestions and lent a helping hand. Thanks to Alex and all the staff at the ‘Two Chairmen’. Thanks to my graphic designer Charlie Fink, and a special thanks to Ross, Steve, Brawny, Naomi and everyone at ‘The Stag And Hen Experience’ for invaluable ideas. A huge thank you to Luke Westhead my web designer, you are a legend! Finally, thanks to my Family, especially my Mother Irene, and my fiancé Caroline, love you all.