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Become a Lambeth Tour Guide

Walking and Talking the Borough
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The Best Decision I Ever Made!

In Spring 2023, coming to the end of the 1-year course, based at Morley College, to be an Accredited Lambeth Guide, Julia Voss shared her thoughts about getting qualified.

 

After months working from home, she was seeking a new physical environment, away from screen and desk, wanting connection in real time, and the stimulus of something new. After seeing information about the course in Brixton Library she wondered if there was a Tour Guide gene, after all, her grandfather had been Blue Badge Guide.

 

But, public speaking? A card carrying introvert, engaging with total strangers, for hours, without notes. And in all weathers ….

 

Ten months after she took the plunge and applied the end of the course was in sight, prompting her to write about her experience:

 

‘ I can honestly say it's the best decision I ever made. Because it is so much more than I anticipated - not just a skill, or something I could earn a bit of cash with. What I learnt was that I discovered I could speak, without hesitation, deviation or repetition - I even enjoy it ! I regret not having learned these skills earlier in life. Evidence? I recently won our organisation’s ‘star quality’ award for a day-long presentation. Not something I ever thought possible.

 

It has been fantastic to learn about Lambeth. It is a borough steeped in a long and fascinating history, evident in every street, building and object around us with the Jewel in the Crown - of course - Brixton.

 

I came to realise how ignorant I was about history but in the 21st century there's so much online access to documents and maps, along with London's well-resourced physical archives including the wonderful Lambeth Archives, and the fantastically knowledgeable team there.

 

My fellow trainee guides were a diverse and interesting group - some existing guides wanting to polish guiding skills, others complete beginners like me - many of whom I’m sure will lifelong friends and collaborators.

 

The course tutors are highly skilled and somehow develop our emerging skills without destroying our confidence. Guiding is something of a ‘performance art’ but we are encouraged to be ourselves, and draw on our experience for interesting content not just look in published sources.

 

A final word about workload. The Course includes a training walk every other Saturday morning in term time, along with Thursday evening classes in Lambeth North. There's a mix of presentations, activities, quizes to develop our learning. Once you start to get involved, you can find hours and hours have passed as the research and writing becomes more engrossing. You have to train yourself to know when to stop!

 

It really is all very enjoyable. You just need to remember there is such as thing as work/life/course balance.’

Get Qualified

You could enroll on this course to develop the skills required to plan, prepare and deliver guided tours suitable for a 21st century audience, both as walking tours on the streets and as presentations.  

 

Focusing on the London Borough of Lambeth, this one-year course mixes tuition on guiding skills with learning about the diverse history, architecture, tourist attractions and facilities of this vibrant Borough.

COME - to learn about the South Bank, performance past and present, Chaplin and the Festival of Britain.

 

STAY - to discover so much more an experience the richness of stories and places :

• Open spaces of Clapham & Streatham Commons, Archbishops, Brockwell & Ruskin Park, the Rookery and Old Paradise Gardens.

• Street Art and street furniture

• Victorian Engineering and Industry

• History from Wilberforce to Windrush

• Rebellion from the Chartists to Brixton Uprisings

• Today's Creative Industries & Health/Life Sciences

• an A - Z of Architecture from Austen Hall to Zaha Hadid

• Regal connections from the Duchy of Cornwall to The Royal Vauxhall Tavern

• Lupino Lane's Lambeth Walk ; Eddy Grant's Electric Avenue, and now Taylor Swift's Black Dog : all inspired by Lambeth.

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Meet the Tutors

Our tutors can't wait to help you become a Lambeth Tour Guide!

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Morley College Waterloo

Starting in September, at Morley College in Waterloo, this course consists of 30 evening sessions on a Thursday and 15 sessions on Saturday mornings or afternoons.   Students will be required to devote additional time to self-study and for the completion of assignments.​The course will be of interest to those who wish to learn to design and deliver walking tours and virtual presentations, and to those who are already guiding and wish to gain a formal qualification or to learn more about Lambeth.

  

No previous experience or qualifications necessary.

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What Our Students Say

“The Lambeth tour guides course was an amazing way to learn and improve guiding techniques while getting to know some of the least visited but most fascinating parts of London” Geoff

 

“The Lambeth tour guides course improved my observational and research techniques to the surroundings in Lambeth” Selina

"So am really a bit sad to say my year long course at Morley College came to end last night and I finish as a newly qualified Lambeth Tour Guide. I had no idea how challenging but also how rewarding it would be when I started last September.....Thank you to everyone who has helped me on my journey this year from the staff at Morley, our wonderful lecturers and my amazing classmates. My life is looking very different now with all your help. We will be Doing Lambeth Walks." Adrian

Apply Now

The course is open to all and enrolment is by application form and successful interview. To apply, please complete the application form.

Students who successfully complete the course will have the exciting opportunity to help shape the future of tour guiding in the London Borough of Lambeth.

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