Tour Guiding in Tower Hamlets

Bow Roundabout - tour guiding in Tower Hamlets

Tour guiding in Tower Hamlets is growing: increasingly people are discovering that this borough – the real East End – has so much to offer the visitor. True, the bars, coffee shops and generally fashionable nature of the area are attracting visitors. However the area’s urban landscape and the real stories of communities growing and developing over centuries are finding new voices.

Tour Guiding in Tower Hamlets – the Courses

The following courses are offered via Idea Store Learning, Tower Hamlets Council’s adult education service. They constitute a venture designed to appeal both to aspiring AND experienced guides.

They give aspiring guides a low-level introduction to tour guiding, with particular reference to guiding in Tower Hamlets. To the experienced guide they give a thorough and immersive introduction to the original East End, as well as a chance to refresh guiding techniques.

The courses comprise two-hour sessions held on consecutive Thursday evenings during term time.

The Essentials

This ten-week course gives learners an introduction to the basics of tour guiding, and to the history of Tower Hamlets. It entails six classroom sessions, one outdoor tour, one indoor tour, and two visits to a local archive.

In Session Five each learner gives a four-minute presentation in class on a preassigned topic. In Session Ten groups of learners present in class a rudimentary tour they have devised.

The Essentials begins again in September 2019 (date tbc) – the course outline is HERE.

Going Further

This ten-week course builds on The Essentials to develop the learner’s engagement with the practicalities of guiding. It culminates with the learners presenting an outdoor tour, each giving a preassigned stop. This task gives experience of rudimentary risk assessment, positioning, and the use of visual material.

Going Further began on 25 April 2019 – the course outline is HERE.

PLEASE NOTE that the courses are subject to recruitment. If insufficient learners enrol, the courses will not go ahead. In that case, fees paid will be refunded.


The courses are complimented by a supplementary programme of weekend tours. These are NOT part of the course, but are intended to deepen learners’ experience of guiding. The tours will be available for learners and their companions at a discount price. Please contact me for further details.

Bromley Recreation Ground - tour guiding in Tower Hamlets


If you want to hear about developments as they happen, including future running of the course, please go to Facebook and ‘Like’ the newsletter page TH Walkshop (remember to activate notifications).

If you are not on Facebook, there is an occasional mailing list: please contact me and I will add you.


Photographs © Leigh Stanford 2014

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