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News Release - Issued by the Institute of Tourist Guiding

New professional tourist guides for Yorkshire

Yorkshire has 23 new professional tourist guides ready to bring the area to life for visitors after a graduation ceremony at Ripley Castle when students received the highly respected Blue Badge qualification from the Institute of Tourist Guiding.

Gaining the qualification followed a year of intensive study taking in the whole of Yorkshire, including key towns and cities, National Parks, abbeys, churches, castles, country houses, coast, industrial heritage as well as modern day agriculture, industry and commerce.

Through extensive coach tours, presentations and lectures in the North York Moors, the Yorkshire Dales, Bronte Country, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Wolds, the new Blue Badge Guides learnt about Yorkshire’s history, landscape, literary and film associations, plus much more.

The ancient city of York was the focus of many study days, where historical and architectural significance was distilled and the art of story telling learnt.

One of Yorkshire’s top tourist attractions, York Minster, was also the focus of one of the modules on guiding at a religious site. During this element one of the students, a heavily pregnant Sarah Milne Day gained fame when her waters broke whilst studying in the Minster, giving birth in the middle of the course.

The Blue Badge Guides took eight examinations altogether, gaining practical skills in coach guiding, walking tours and guiding a site tour at Leeds Art Gallery. They also had to complete a tour planning project and written papers on Yorkshire.

The course was run by Nicky Godfrey Evans and Tess Pike from Cultural Tourism Training and was the first time in 18 years that a Blue Badge Guide course had been run in God’s own county.

Nicky Godfrey Evans – a Blue Badge Guide herself said: “The Blue Badge is the pinnacle of tourist guiding and is recognized as an assurance of quality throughout the world. With Yorkshire having firmly put itself on the global tourism map with events like the Grand Depart, it is only fitting that we have 23 new Blue Badge professional guides to showcase the region to visitors.”

Having passed the exams and received the coveted Blue Badges at the stunning Ripley castle with an interesting history in its own right, the freelance Blue Badge Guides are available for Yorkshire based coach tours, walking tours and driver guided tours throughout Yorkshire.

The course has been supported by Welcome to Yorkshire and many of the regional tourism bodies including Hull, Calderdale, Bradford, Sheffield, Kirklees, Ryedale, Leeds and North Yorkshire.

Additional Information

Founded in 1950, Blue Badge Tourist Guides are the official, professional tourist guides of the UK. They wear a Blue Badge to indicate their professionalism. They are recognized by local tourism bodies throughout the UK and by Visit Britain as Britain’s official tourist guides. There are more than 2,000 Blue Badge Guides in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

For further information:

Nicky Godfrey Evans – Programme Director, Cultural Tourism Training 07949 149759

Sarah Milne Day – Newly Qualified Blue Badge Guide 07956 437473