Thursday 18th February
Have you ever been on a guided tour, in this country or abroad, and wondered how the person at the front of the coach can possibly manage to have so much knowledge at his or her fingertips and deliver an interesting and entertaining commentary at the same time as directing an inexperienced coach driver, coping with the passenger in the seat behind who’s having a post-lunch snooze and snoring loudly, and the eight-year old five rows back who’s enjoying the tour so much that he simply won’t stop asking questions? And how does she keep her cool when the venue that had agreed to an early bird exclusive visit forgot to put it in the diary and isn’t open yet?
Blue Badge Tourist Guide Tess Pike is looking forward to joining us to tell us all about the trials and tribulations of working as a self-employed guide and tour manager.
About Tess Pike
Having grown up in London, spent time in Germany as an au pair and in Aberdeen studying languages, I arrived in Cumbria 27 years ago, not too sure where my love of languages was leading me. A series of fortunate events led via a translation agency in Sedbergh to an interview panel at Cumbria Tourist Board for a place on a forthcoming Blue Badge Guide training course. Pregnant with my first child, I often ended the long, challenging training days in tears, but the camaraderie of fellow students buoyed everybody along, and 25 years later I’ve never lost my enthusiasm for sharing my passion for the north of England with visitors. Yes, some days are challenging, but these are far outweighed by the incredible experiences I’ve had, the fascinating people I’ve met, and the pleasure that comes from knowing that you’ve enriched someone’s day.
Guiding has turned out to be the perfect career for me, combining perfectly with my favourite pastimes: spending time with friends and family, walking, reading, visiting castles, churches, homes and gardens, towns and cities, coffee shops, good restaurants…