London remains one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. The city’s Blue Badge Tourist Guides help to bring it to life and many have written or contributed to guidebooks. Here is a selection of their work:
City Walks Kids: London -50 Adventures by Foot by Emily Laurence Baker
Don’t worry about finding a sitter! These adventures are designed especially for grown-ups and kids to discover London together! Walks include The Tower of London, The British Museum, Buckingham Pal-ace and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Slow New Forest by Emily Laurence Baker
The New Forest in Hampshire is easily accessible to overseas visitors in around two hours from central London by train, bus or car.
Emily Laurence Baker shows how grazing animals have shaped the Forest’s outline for centuries, and how the commoning system functions. The guide features a range of activities like walking, horse-riding and cycling, and explores accommodation and food options, from camping to luxury hotels, from simple pubs to the gourmet variety. All venues have been personally selected by the author. This is part of the Bradt series that embraces the Slow Tourism movement and encourages visitors to slow down and discover the hidden delights of the New Forest, where free-roaming ponies and cows regularly halt traffic and donkeys peer into shop windows.
Slow New Forest by Emily Laurence Baker is available for purchase from Amazon.com.
Adventures in Famous Places by Mark Conroy
This new sticker activity series for kids aged three and up shows the incredible sights and diverse environments of planet earth. Keep little hands busy on long journeys with these bumper books of stickers that mix amazing facts about some of the world’s famous places with great illustrations, plus a small dose of humour. Each book also includes a collectible fold-out surprise, an extra gift to make and proudly display.
Adventures Around The Globe by Mark Conroy
This special edition in the Adventures In sticker book series takes young readers on a tour of the continents, adding fun and humour along the way. Find out fun facts, decorate sticker scenes, add colour and patterns to some iconic sights and solve puzzles as you travel across the world. There is a 3D model of the globe to make, decorate and track your globe-trotting adventure.
Adventures in Noisy Places by Mark Conroy
Keep little hands busy on long journeys with these bumper books of stickers that mix amazing facts about some of the world’s noisy places with great photos and illustrations, plus a small dose of humour. Each book also includes a collectible fold-out surprise, an extra gift to make and proudly display.
Lonely Planet London Travel Guide
One of the world’s most visited cities, London has something for everyone – from history and culture to fine food and good times.
Lonely Planet London is an up-to-date guide on what to see. Explore ancient castles, modern galleries and world-class museums. Catch a show in the West End and down a pint in a traditional pub.
Lonely Planet London includes maps and images, highlights and itineraries that help you tailor your trip as well as insider tips to save time and money, essential information such as hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transport tips and prices. There are honest re-views for all budgets – eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems as well as cultural insights and a convenient pull-out London map plus over 50 colour maps.
London Walks, London Stories
London Walks is an award-winning walking tour company. Written by expert guides who lead their walks, London Walks, London Stories is the perfect way to discover the rich history of London and its hidden gems. London Blue Badge Guide Tom Hooper contributed to the chapter on Legal London.
Walks in the book include:
- Sinister London – haunted London and Jack the Ripper.
- Literary London – from Shakespeare to Dickens.
- Public Houses – the old pubs of Soho.
- Mystery and Secrets – the city’s hidden past.
- A Tale of Two Cities – Westminster and the Square Mile.
- Photographs, maps and illustrations bring these stories to life.
The Dark Side Of England by Frank Gelli
This is a deliberately polemical text. Shaped like a novel but also as an essay. The setting is chiefly in London and Windsor. The iconic sites and people range from Winston Churchill to Admiral Nelson, from St Paul’s Cathedral to St Clement Danes Church. The book cover shows the statue of Churchill in Parliament Square.
The Dark Side Of England by Frank Gelli is available from Amazon.com.
Time Out London Walks Volume One and Two
Time Out London Walks features thirty walks from London writers, each revealing a personal insight into their corner of the capital: from ancient woodland to modern skyscrapers, motorway underpasses to stately homes. London Blue Badge Tourist Guide Rick Jones contributes to the section on the Cheyne Wall walk in Volume One and on the Roman Wall walk in Volume Two.
Time Out London Walks, Volume One and Two is available from multiple book outlets and Amazon.com.
The Blue Badge Guide’s London Quiz Book by Mark King
Drawing on extensive knowledge and celebrating London’s diverse riches, this quiz book invites you to come on a wide-ranging exploration of the megacity the author calls `The Big Onion’. Peel away its many layers in the company of one of London’s top blue badge tourist guides. Twenty-two tours will inspire you, your family, colleagues and friends to leap from page to pavement in the entertaining company of a local expert.
The Blue Badge Guide’s London Quiz Book by Mark King is available from UK bookshops, the Museum of London, and other book retailers including Amazon.com.
The Guide Book: Britain and Ireland through the Eyes of a Tourist Guide by Edwin Lerner
This book offers insights into Britain and Ireland through the eyes of a tourist guide. It tells the story of the Union Jack, how the taxation system works, how to make whisky – and why it is different to whiskey – where Harry Potter was conceived and how much the most expensive licence plates cost. It describes the origin of crop circles and stone circles, the sex life of sheep and white horses on the hillside. It looks at historical coincidences and modern circumstances and will provide a fund of information for the tourist and the local.
The Guide Book: Britain and Ireland through the Eyes of a Tourist Guide by Edwin Lerner is available from Amazon.com.
Even The Old Bags Laughed by Edwin Lerner
A hundred and one tales from the travel trade. Edwin Lerner describes his work as a tourist guide and tour manager taking parties around Britain and Ireland. Wry and reflective, occasionally laugh out loud funny, sometimes very serious, the book reflects on the places Edwin has been to and people he has met in a life lived on the road.
Even The Old Bags Laughed by Edwin Lerner is available from Amazon.com.
London’s Industrial Heritage by Geoff Marshall
London’s Industrial Heritage traces the history of manufacturing in the capital over the centuries telling the story of the many industries found in the capital. Amongst the facts revealed are that London once had scores of breweries, the world’s first plastic material was synthesised in East London, a gas works one stood opposite the Palace of Westminster and many household names began in London: Schweppes, Crosse and Blackwell, Vauxhall motor cars.
London’s Docklands: An Illustrated Guide by Geoff Marshall
These two books describe London’s docks, their decline and the re-birth of the area. An Illustrated History includes material on the area’s industries, ship-building, transport, famous voyages, churches, pubs and sections on ‘what there is to see.’ An Illustrated Guide includes ten walking tour of the area. The two books are not the same, although there is some overlap.
The Story of Bankside by Geoff Marshall
The Story of Bankside introduces the area around the south side of the River Thames in central London, from the OXO Tower in the west to Southwark in the east and as far south as Saint George’s Circus.
Kings And Queens by Vicky Wood
Want to brush up on your knowledge of the British Monarchy? But don’t want to wade through long-winded books with old fashioned designs that make your eyes hurt? Then this is the book for you! Kings and Queens is a colourful, pocket-sized guide all about the most famous royals in the world. You can enjoy browsing through Vicky’s book at home or you can take it with you as you travel about the country. Inside, you will find:
- Profiles on every British monarch including Henry VIII, Victoria and Elizabeth II.
- Background information about key historical events like the War of the Roses and the Civil War.
- Bite-sized facts and recommendations for related information to spark your interest
- ‘Did you know’ trivia that will make you laugh and groan!
Kings And Queens by Vicky Wood is available from Abebooks.
Lord Mayors’ Portrait by Robert Woolf, Nicholas Woolf and Alexandra Epps
London Blue Badge Tourist Guide Robert Woolf and his co-writers explore the tradition of commissioning artists to paint portraits of Lord Mayors with comments from some of the artists and stories about each Lord Mayor’s time in office.
Lord Mayors’ Portrait by Robert Woolf, Nicholas Woolf and Alexandra Epps is available via Amazon.com.
111 Places in London’s East End That You Shouldn’t Miss with photographs by Marc Zakian.
Mediaeval no-go zone, Victorian hell-hole, war-ravaged bomb site, 21st-century shining city, the most exciting area in one of the most exciting cities in the world, the East End has often been London’s strange alter ego. Ed Glinert trawls through the strange stories, the crazed characters, the violent vignettes, the dried-up docks, the imaginative immigrants, the proud philanthropists to give a different history of the most misunderstood sector of the capital, from the Princes in the Tower to the Ratcliffe Highway murders; from Jack the Ripper to the Kray twins; the Jewish ghetto to Banglatown; Cable Street to Canary Wharf; Mahatma Gandhi to George Orwell.