London's major tourist attractions are, justifiably, famous throughout the World and almost every visitor - not to mention many residents - will make a point of visiting one, if not all, of them during their time in London.
This popularity has its downside, which is that, on some days, it can seem that the World and its mother has decided to pay a visit to the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the British Museum, or St Paul's Cathedral. And, wouldn't you just know it, those days are the very days that you have chosen for your visit.
The result? You have to waste valuable time lining up to pay for admission, lining up again to get through bag search and then, yes you've guessed it, lining up again to get in to the more popular locations within these London attractions. Indeed, the majority of your day can be spent doing nothing more than kicking your heels as you line up to get inside.
A BLUE BADGE GUIDE CAN BYPASS THE LINES
However, if you are in the company of a Blue Badge Guide, you can sail past the queues and get in a lot faster and, in many cases, at a terrific saving on the regular admission charges.
That's because Blue Badge Guides can, in most cases, take their clients in via their own entrance, so you can thumb your nose up at those poor unfortunates who are waiting in line, as you sail past them and, maybe even, complete your tour before they've even cleared security!
How cool is that?
ONLY BLUE BADGE GUIDES
CAN TAKE YOU AROUND THESE PLACES
In fact, Blue Badge Guides are the only external tour guides who are permitted to take visitors around places such as The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle and St Paul's Cathedral. Hence the special concessions made to them by these popular London attractions.
THE TOWER OF LONDON
The Tower of London is an ancient fortress the origins of which go back to the late 1000's when, in the wake of his invasion, William of Normandy built a huge Tower on a prominent mound to the east of the City to remind Londoners that they were now a conquered people
Over the next few centuries successive monarchs added to and expanded the original fortress until it had grown to become what it is today, a collection of towers, each with their own history and stories tom tell.
Richard's Tower of London Tour will speed you inside this mighty and imposing fortress and provide you with an in depth insight into its workings and its history.
You'll hear tales of infamy and intrigue; bravery and betrayal; of murders and machinations; of executions, ghosts, gore, lore and legend.
You'll come face to face with the Tower of London's famous residents, such as the Beefeaters and the ravens, and you will end your visit with the only part you'll have to line up to get in to, The Crown Jewels.
But above all else, you'll enjoy a fascinating insight into a fortress that has dominated the London landscape and the pages of English history for night on a thousand action packed years.
Another must-do on any visitor's itinerary, Westminster Abbey is one of the most amazing and breathtaking places to visit.
It's not just the spectacular architecture that makes the Abbey such a special location, it is also the spiritual beauty with which the whole place is imbued.
Add to these the fact that it is also the final resting place of many famous figures from this country's eventful and fascinating past - from Kings and Queens, to Statesmen and Scientists, as well as actors, authors, poets and playwrights - and a guided tour of its nave, chapel and cloisters more like witnessing a veritable cavalcade of English history as the great, the good and the mediocre parade past us.
Westminster Abbey can get busy, but with a knowledgeable guide to take you around, you can bypass the crowds and get a terrific sense of the history and mysticism that nestle in the dark and little visited corners of the whole magnificent foundation.
St Paul's Cathedral is totally different to Westminster Abbey, and yet it has its own distinctive ambiance that makes it a truly beautiful and spiritual place.
At first glance the Cathedral's interior can look rather plain, even somewhat lack lustre.
But look again. For St Paul's is about subtlety, shadow and light.
Indeed, in the words of its architect, Sir Christopher Wren, "there is nothing more beautiful than light" and this tour will show you exactly what he meant by that.
Richard will draw your gaze to little nuances of the fabric that nestle in tucked away corners, or which hide in plain view high up in the lofty heights of the Cathedral's glorious dome.
You'll also see the final resting places of a whole raft of famous figures such as Wren himself, Lord Nelson, and the Duke of Wellington.
All in all, you will leave the Cathedral with a terrific insight into its history and you will come away knowing, what very few people will have noticed, that St Paul's Cathedral hides its true glories from all but the most prying and appreciative of eyes.