How To Become A London Blue Badge Tourist Guide
The Course: The course typically lasts about 18 months and involves lectures in London and practical site visits, along with periods of self study. Its main focus is London, but it also covers the major tourist destinations across the South East, so it helps to have a reasonable knowledge of London and destinations such as Windsor, Oxford, Bath, Stonehenge and Stratford. It can also be useful to have language skills as a large number of Guides provide tours in more than one language.
Applying For The Course: There is lots of interest in the course, so candidates are assessed by exam and interview before being awarded a place. You will find further information on the course fees and timelines on the Institute’s website.
Programme Content: As part of the course you’ll learn how to develop and present highlights tours of London’s major attractions, including Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, the British Museum and the National Gallery, together with a City of London walk and a panoramic coach tour. The practical side is matched by lectures covering a wide range of topics related to London, the various regional sites and the techniques of guiding.
Exams: During the course you’ll take a number of written and practical exams and if you’re successful you’ll be awarded a Blue Badge, which is the industry’s recognised symbol of professionalism in tourist guiding. It is also possible to take the exams without doing the course, but there are many benefits to doing so, not least the opportunity to meet and work with guiding colleagues.
Contact the Institute of Tourist Guiding directly for more information.