As one of Back-Roads Touring’s regular battlefield guides, Mark is looking forward to sharing his passion and interest in all things connected with the Western Front with guests this year.
In 2010 Andy won our ‘Back-Roads Touring guide of the Year’ award for his outstanding performance during the season. Andy speaks French, and after having lived in France for over four years, he knows some fantastic gems off the tourist trail.
Tony has been guiding with us since 2007. As an ex-military guide he has spent time in both the Canadian and American forces and has lived in Holland and Germany working with multinational forces. An historian at heart, he is particularly interested in how wars impact the social history of the participants and he enjoys sharing his 30 year hobby.
John’s favourite part of the role is meeting people and sharing his knowledge, his specialities being zoology (herpetology & marine fauna), music, European history, architecture and of course wine and food. He says, 'I often learn as much from my passengers as I contribute, with many becoming friends.
Martin has been with Back-Roads Touring for two years having been introduced by his brother Bryan. Martin specialises in tours of the Loire Valley and the West of England.
Bryan has lived in Paris, Perpignan, Barcelona, the Isle of Wight, Yorkshire, Devon and Surrey. He has detailed knowledge of these areas, but also of the Loire Valley, Paris, Merseyside, Hampshire and the English Lakes. Bryan speaks fluent French, so you can ask him to help translate the menu in any French restaurant!
David's lifelong interests include English and British history, the Roman world, Architecture, Archaeology, Art, Music, Gardening and the natural world. Having discovered Back-Roads Touring he found it the perfect way of expanding his own knowledge, passing it on to our clients and keeping out of his wife’s way.
Rumoured to be descended from Robin Hood, according to the family bible but no longer robs the rich. He now travels the world every winter and comes home to marvel at the beauty of the UK as he takes Back-Roads clients on his favourite tours around Wales, the Cotswolds and the West Country.
2012 marks Andy's second year with Back-Roads Touring. Before settling in England, conveniently between Snowdonia and the Lake District, Andy lived in California and Australia for a number of years. When not leading a Back-Roads Tour he spends his spare time hiking and is a keen photographer.
Tom looks on tour guiding as a vocation and the most enjoyable occupation in his career to date. He finds every tour brings together many interesting people with varied backgrounds from whom he learns a lot each trip. He is immensely proud of being Scottish and of its Heritage; he gets pleasure from showing its beauty and telling of its history to visitors.
Since 2005, David has worked as a battlefield tour guide and accompanies those who wish to learn more about the battlefields of Europe and to understand the battles that their fathers and grandfathers fought over two world wars.
Mike's interests are all things cultural, historical and farcical and his approach to guiding is to try to bring history alive by relating it to today. Mike specialises in Britain (England, Wales, Scotland) and Ireland (north and south). The history, culture and landscape of these islands is (he believes) unsurpassed to anywhere else in the world.
Luis specialises in tours of Italy and has been guiding our Tuscan Treats and Italian Indulgence Tours for the last three years. He says, one of the best parts on his job is “meeting people from all over the world and sharing my acquired knowledge with travel companions”.
Sharon tours in Italy and is honoured to share her passion and love of the country with Back-Roads guests. This includes bringing the history, architecture, art, literature and music to life but also Italy’s present – from fashion to its seemingly unfathomable politics.
V.J. was born in Manchester and raised in Bolton and Blackburn. He went to College in Bangor, North Wales and since then has followed his heart around the planet. He now lives in the West Country, which he now feels is HOME. He came to being a tour guide quite late in life, but feels like he has found his vocation, he loves it!
Over seven years David has taken all our regular tours in England and Wales and has helped plan tailor made tours for special groups. He loves to show clients the grandeur of Wales and Northern England as well as the softer beauty of the South.
Having been brought up in Hastings, Dave has extended knowledge of the historical sites in this region including Battle, Rye, Eastbourne, Batemans, Bodiam Castle, Hever Castle, Scotney Castle, Nymans, Leeds Castle, and Chartwell. He also has excellent working knowledge of Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford, Windsor, Blenheim and the Cotswolds.
Polly enters her fifteenth season with Back-Roads Touring, and is passionate about the landscape and its story. Polly typically specialises in tours in the UK and Ireland and has run three of our Chelsea Flower Show tours as well as having accompanied gardens tours of East Anglia and the Cotswolds.
A guide is often the difference between a good tour and a great tour. Back-Roads Touring guides hail from a wide range of backgrounds and have different styles and character but all share the same passion for travel and a commitment to ensure your journey will be an enriching and memorable one.