An excellent guide for all ages! — Ailsa – Longton, Lancashire

About Us

Hi! I am Laura Comley-Smith and I set up Spirit of England in 2008. I am a London Blue Badge Guide based to the west of London near Windsor Castle. Languages have been my life, learning them, teaching them to others, translating, working across Europe in IT and now welcoming fellow travellers to Windsor, London and places within a day’s travel of the capital like Hampton Court Palace and Oxford. I guide in English, German and French and work with other guides to welcome larger groups.

Whether you are from near or far, I enjoy welcoming visitors and sharing Britain’s treasures. No matter if it is shopping or Shakespeare that interests you, I can tailor the experience. Time is so precious and I want you to make the most of your trip with a Fast-Track Orientation. Why spend 3 days getting lost and stressed when I could give you an overview in one, so that you are set to enjoy the rest of your stay.

Having travelled extensively on business and holiday I understand the value of gaining local knowledge fast. I also know that well-used breaks during conferences, business trips and trade fairs can make a delegate more productive and the event more effective. A walk to escape the endless sitting. A breath of fresh air. A smile or occasional laugh at an entertaining story. A treasure to take your breath away. All good ways to recharge the batteries, ready for business.

Let’s plan your next adventure together.

What is a Blue Badge Guide?

It is a person who has trained extensively, passed rigorous examinations and been awarded Britain’s top Tourist Guide Qualification, in my case, for London, which covers not only the capital, but day trip destinations such as Oxford and Windsor, and takes around 2 years to complete.The Blue Badge has existed for nearly 40 years, with its origins in terms of formal training going back nearly 60 years. Accuracy and professionalism have always been top priorities, today even further enhanced with attention to customer care and quality of experience.

What do Blue Badge Guides do?

Site tours, walks, coach panoramic tours, extended itineraries, talks and everything in between. They make a good experience great – bringing history to life, pointing out gems you might never see on your own, taking the hassle out of exploring new places …. all delivered in a no-need-for-previous-knowledge, easy to follow, entertaining way. As in-depth or lighthearted as you want.

Why use a Blue Badge Guide?

As well as the enhanced experience, you know a lot about what you are getting when you choose the brand. There is quality assurance with vigorous training and assessment of everyone who undertakes the qualification today. To be allowed to keep our badge, we have to observe a Professional Code of Conduct. There is traceability – we are all known to the bodies who govern the “industry”. Membership of either the Guild or the APTG gives public liability insurance into the £millions.

If you would like to know more, there are 3 main organizations involved with the Blue Badge, all of which I am a member of:

Institute of Tourist Guiding (ITG)

They own the qualification, accredit course providers and run the examinations.

www.itg.org.uk

The Guild (full name The British Guild of Tourist Guides)

The original membership body founded in 1950 (as The Guild of Guide Lecturers). It has branches all across the country including London.

www.britainsbestguides.org

Association of Professional Tourist Guides (APTG)

A second membership body founded in the 1980s with union affiliation, today part of Unite. Only in London.

www.guidelondon.org.uk

Testimonials

Your enthusiasm for the history of Windsor, made the evening an unforgettable treasure for my team members. Hans Hirschi, Senior Learning Consultant, Autodesk

We’ll know our way round London now! Fantastic. Olga – Moscow

Excellent travel through time with superb animated guide who brought it all to life for us adults and six young children…worth every penny to experience the Tower rather than just go round with a guide book…kids still talk about it….Simons family, Surrey

Thank you for an amazing day around Royal London. Joachim, Germany

Heard every word, loved every minute. John Smith, Warfield Over 50s Club

Loved the whole library of quirky factoids. Thank you. Louise Dodds-Ely – Reigate, Surrey

Laura makes history a lot of fun! the runnymede-on-thames, Surrey

An excellent guide for all ages ! Ailsa – Longton, Lancashire