Have you ever wondered where Ghandi got his glasses, who beat the French to a bottle of bubbly, why perfectly sensible people risk life and limb to chase cheese down a hill, and how shin-kicking became an olympic sport?
I'm a bright, informative and entertaining Blue Badge tour guide for the Heart of England with an eye for the unusual and a knack for storytelling. I can take you to the tourist hotspots, such as Bibury, Broadway and Bourton-on-the-Water, or take you of the beaten track to some of the Cotswolds' less discovered wonders.
An ex journalist, I have spent my life telling stories. I have an excellent knowledge of the area, its history, folklore and many bizarre customs. But it is the people and their stories that really bring the Cotswolds to life. Let me introduce you to those who made a mark on the world (in music, literature, champagne, the lawnmower) and the muffin men, cider makers, mill owners, pioneers and inventors that lived in this unique corner of England.
Having lived in the Five Valleys (home of Laurie Lee) in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds for 16 years, I also have a special interest in the things that make the Cotswolds so special: Roman Cirencester; the story of wool (it was once said the best wool was English and the best English wool was Cotswolds wool. It certainly made some people very wealthy indeed) epitomised by the great wool churches of Chipping Campden and Fairford; the cloth mills that once clothed the British Army in red and blue; the Regency spas (Cheltenham is wonderful); and the glorious Cathedral at Gloucester.
If you want to go further afield I can take you to see the spires of Oxford; Shakespeare country including Stratford On Avon; Birmingham; Hereford; and Ironbridge, the Silicon Valley of the Victorian age.