Hugh O'Donnell : Tour Guide

Hugh O'Donnell : Tour Guide I take people on personalised tours of the English countryside and historic sites..

Hugh O'Donnell : Tour Guide's cover photo
22/12/2019

Hugh O'Donnell : Tour Guide's cover photo

Hugh O'Donnell : Tour Guide's cover photo
23/07/2019

Hugh O'Donnell : Tour Guide's cover photo

It's not only Cathedrals, Castles and Palaces.How about a flight in a Spitfire, like this client.
21/10/2018

It's not only Cathedrals, Castles and Palaces.
How about a flight in a Spitfire, like this client.

Autumn colours at the Westonbirt Arboretum. There are many fantastic walks to be done in the national collection of tree...
20/10/2018

Autumn colours at the Westonbirt Arboretum.
There are many fantastic walks to be done in the national collection of trees, especially at this time of year when the Maples are in full autumn mode.

Goodwood Circuit Revival in early September is one of the world's great classic car events.Three days of racing, enterta...
10/09/2018

Goodwood Circuit Revival in early September is one of the world's great classic car events.
Three days of racing, entertainment, vintage clothing worn everywhere, all in the English countryside. Every model of every make of classic car is there somewhere, mostly just for show and fun.

Basking in the sunshine at Wimbledon.Centre Court is in the process of renewing the grass of the playing surface followi...
02/08/2018

Basking in the sunshine at Wimbledon.
Centre Court is in the process of renewing the grass of the playing surface following the 2018 championship. They do this every year. Amazing to think that this court is only used for two weeks a year.
Tours of the club at Wimbledon are conducted by fellow Blue Badge Guides and are a must if you are a tennis fan. The museum on site has a fascinating display on the history of the game and items from famous players.

The remains of Walsingham Abbey in North Norfolk, looking lovely in the sun yesterday.A place of Christian pilgrimage fo...
28/07/2018

The remains of Walsingham Abbey in North Norfolk, looking lovely in the sun yesterday.
A place of Christian pilgrimage for nearly a thousand years, still an important shrine and very welcoming.

Cliveden is lovely.Close to London and in a beautiful setting with amazing views over the Thames Valley.Lots of history....
25/06/2018

Cliveden is lovely.
Close to London and in a beautiful setting with amazing views over the Thames Valley.
Lots of history. A royal home, Astor money, glamour and scandal. Add the Meghan factor? What’s not to like.

It looks like spring is finally under way in England. The gardens at Sissinghurst Castle were a blaze of colour today in...
17/05/2018

It looks like spring is finally under way in England.
The gardens at Sissinghurst Castle were a blaze of colour today in the sunshine.

Now is the time to visit the grandest house in London. Buckingham Palace is open to visitors until 1st October.This year...
27/07/2017

Now is the time to visit the grandest house in London. Buckingham Palace is open to visitors until 1st October.
This year's special exhibition is all about the gifts the Queen has been given over the years. Some beautiful, some touching, some a little odd....
For me, the highlight is a chance to see items from the Royal art collection that are not normally on show. The Royal Collection has 1 million items and some of the paintings are the finest of their type anywhere. I particularly love the Dutch artists, there are not many places where you will see work by Vermeer, Rembrandt, De Hooch etc. in the same room.
Rembrandt's portrait of Agatha Bas takes my breath away every time.

Stonehenge is a very special place, the mysteries of why and how it was created never cease to fascinate.An out of hours...
08/07/2017

Stonehenge is a very special place, the mysteries of why and how it was created never cease to fascinate.
An out of hours visit within the stone circle brings another whole dimension. Standing by the stones and sensing the scale of the undertaking is unforgettable.

27/05/2017
British Guild of Tourist Guides

British Guild of Tourist Guides

Did you know that there are still a couple of thousand public gas lamps in use in central London?

They are lovingly tended each day by a small team from British Gas, as this Blue Badge guide's clients were delighted to discover recently in the cloister of Westminster Abbey.

Discover authentic history and hidden gems with www.britainsbestguides.org

This is Jane Austen's home, not far from London. Quite a modest house but where she wrote most of her major works. Her b...
11/05/2017

This is Jane Austen's home, not far from London.
Quite a modest house but where she wrote most of her major works.
Her brother's much grander house is nearby and the whole village environment is charming.

Highclere Castle was looking lovely in the sunshine this week.The popularity of Downton Abbey seems undiminished and I e...
14/04/2017

Highclere Castle was looking lovely in the sunshine this week.
The popularity of Downton Abbey seems undiminished and I expect to be at Highclere and other Downton locations frequently this year.

South East London has many gems.Interesting sites that are often not visited by tourists from overseas.Dulwich Picture G...
01/04/2017

South East London has many gems.
Interesting sites that are often not visited by tourists from overseas.
Dulwich Picture Gallery, designed by John Soane in 1817 was the first modern, top-lit picture gallery. It has a fine permanent collection and the current temporary exhibition is on the work of Vanessa Bell, the sister of Virginia Woolf.
Eltham Palace is an Art Deco masterpiece. Built in the 1930s for Stephen and Virginia Courtauld on the site if a medieval royal palace. The Tudor hall is incorporated into the 20th century building and ho expense was spared to achieve the finishes in this luxurious home.
The Red House was built in 1860 for William Morris, the leading light of the Arts and Crafts movement. The house is being carefully restored by the National Trust and there is already much to see in this important building that was the laboratory where the principles of Morris's ideas were being developed.

David Hockney retrospective at Tate Britain.This is a fabulous exhibition, I spent a couple of hours there this morning ...
04/03/2017

David Hockney retrospective at Tate Britain.
This is a fabulous exhibition, I spent a couple of hours there this morning and can't wait to go again.
But I am biased, I love Hockney's work, ever since I saw this picture "Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy" when the Tate first acquired it in 1972. I was 20, not long out of school, living and working in London. This picture represented everything that I loved about those exciting times. Ossie Clark the fashion designer, his wife Celia like a Botticelli. The deep pile carpet, flared trousers, casual poses. The humour of including and naming the cat. The huge scale of the canvas and the warm sunlight of a long London summer streaming through the windows in an elegant North Kensington house, near where I had grown up. Bliss.

It's not all about history!If you are interested in contemporary architecture and the built environment, one of the most...
27/02/2017

It's not all about history!
If you are interested in contemporary architecture and the built environment, one of the most important places to visit in London is the area to the north of King's Cross railway station.
Once a maze of railway lines, goods yards and coal depots, a new community of offices, residential and many other buildings is being created. Imaginative reuse of 19c industrial buildings mix with dramatic new architecture. These new apartment buildings contained within the frames of the old gas holders are just one of the exciting projects approaching completion.

Kenwood House in Hampstead, North London, has the finest Robert Adam room in the country.Recently restored, the room was...
13/02/2017

Kenwood House in Hampstead, North London, has the finest Robert Adam room in the country.
Recently restored, the room was used mainly for entertaining by the original owner, Lord Mansfield.
The house also contains an outstanding collection of paintings originally owned by Lord Iveagh of the Guinness brewing family.
There are works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Reynolds, Gainsborough and many others.
Standing in beautiful grounds, the house is open right round the year and is only a short drive from central London.

Leeds Castle in Kent. Looking lovely in the sunshine last week. Home of many English queens from the 13c.
21/01/2017

Leeds Castle in Kent. Looking lovely in the sunshine last week.
Home of many English queens from the 13c.

London's new Design Museum has opened recently. A spectacular interior revamp of the old Commonwealth Institute.
12/01/2017

London's new Design Museum has opened recently. A spectacular interior revamp of the old Commonwealth Institute.

09/01/2017

A Happy New Year to all.
2016 was a very busy year. We went far and wide, to the Cotswolds many times, sometimes as part of a larger tour, sometimes for several days just in that area.
Downton Abbey tours remain popular, I was often at Highclere so the Countess and I are on nodding terms.
We went to Chatsworth, Hardwick Hall, Althorp, Petworth, Arundel Castle, Nelson's Victory. To John Keats house, William Morris' and Charles Darwin's. We saw racehorses at Newmarket and Black Swans at Chartwell, Churchill's home.
And all with so many wonderful clients from all round the world.
What will 2017 bring? More adventures of course, more delving into our past and culture, more great houses and beautiful gardens. More landscape, rivers, villages, cottages, palaces, museums, theatres.
I can't wait!!

This week I did a tour of the London locations used in the BBC series "Sherlock", starring Benedict Cumberbatch.Having b...
09/04/2015
Sherlock - BBC One

This week I did a tour of the London locations used in the BBC series "Sherlock", starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Having been a film Location Manager, I can bring a special insight into this type of tour.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018ttws

21st-century reimagining of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson.

Hugh O'Donnell : Tour Guide's cover photo
18/09/2014

Hugh O'Donnell : Tour Guide's cover photo

Hugh O'Donnell : Tour Guide
18/09/2014

Hugh O'Donnell : Tour Guide

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4 Somerset Road
London
W13 9PB

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+44 7973165689

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