Tag: Tourist guide

How to follow the official Harry Styles tour of Holmes Chapel, Cheshire

To Holmes Chapel, east Cheshire for an unlikely musical pilgrimage in an equally unlikely location.

I joined a sneak preview of the new Harry Styles Harry’s Home Village Tour [pictured above], which launched this weekend.

Read a sample from my article here:

When we finally arrived at the Twemlow Viaduct, it looks like a cross between the sometimes graffiti-covered grave of Jim Morrison in Paris’s Pére-Lachaise cemetery and an alcohol-free, teenage festival.

The messages range from “My mum loves Harry” to the more philosophical, “You bring me home”.

After three hours, I was desperate for a coffee and a sausage butty at the Village Kitchen, one of the local businesses offering fan deals back in the village.

But first I fell into conversation with 52-year-old superfan Andrea McGill [pictured below].

She lives locally and was one of the first visitors to test drive the new tour, having sat in the ITV studio audience the evening Harry first auditioned.

Clutching a slate-heart message to her idol and sporting a I Hiked to Harry’s Wall sweatshirt from the new merch range, she said:

“We’re happy to share Harry and his message of kindness with the world.”

Tours £20pp; more information from Holmes Chapel Partnership.

Read the full story via the iNewspaper: I joined the offical Harry Styles walking tour of his home village

Liked this? Try also: How to spend a weekend in the Cheshire town of Macclesfield

Dark Chester named winner at the Marketing Cheshire Tourism Award 2024

Photo: Kat Hannon photography 

Dark Chester picked up an award last week at the Marketing Cheshire Tourism Awards [pictured above].

My walking tour of Chester was named the winner in the New Tourism Business of the Year category.

The ceremony was hosted at Chester Cathedral and Nicola Said, Regional lead for the North West and West Midlands at Visit England.

Amongst the comments from the judges, was this feedback from my mystery shopper:

“David was a very knowledgeable and engaging host. He was attentive and brought the history to life.

Throughout the tour, David was engaging and informative and made us all feel like valued customers.”

Read the full list of winners here via Marketing Cheshire.

 

Dark Chester highlights dark tourism trend in Cheshire Life magazine feature

Dark Chester was featured in the April issue of Cheshire Life magazine [pictured above].

I wrote a feature about  the rise of dark tourism in Chester and how my tour taps into this trend to explore the darker side of our history.

Here’s an extract:

Dark Chester is a storytelling walking tour of the city, which traces a journey through all periods of Chester history from the Romans to The Beatles.

It highlights some of our lesser-known stories, such as tales of Viking Chester and the Anglo-Saxon fortification of Chester as a burh, a defended settlement.

It also spotlights some of the lesser-known figures from our history, such as Aethelflaed, the daughter of Alfred the Great, and St Werburgh, whose relics were said to be paraded around the city walls during raids by the Welsh.

The focus is dark history. By exploring the dark side, the tour reflects the growing interest in dark tourism, or visits to places associated with dark tales.

As Dr Philip Stone of the Institute for Dark Tourism Research, explains in his book, 111 Dark Places in England that You Shouldn’t Miss:

“Dark tourism allows us to sightsee in the mansions of the dead, while having deference to those deceased.”

Read more at Cheshire Life magazine.

Liked this? Then read Take a walk on the dark side for the BGTG blog.

Take a walk on the dark side for the British Guild of Tourist Guides blog

When Dark Chester first launched, I write a guest blog post for the British Guild of Tourist Guides (BGTG) to explain my ideas behind the tour [pictured above in Chester].

Here’s an extract:

I wanted to compile a 90-minute dark-tourism tour, exploring some of the favourite folk tales, legends and superstitions that have fascinated Cestrians, that’s the people of Chester, for centuries. I also wanted to let visitors peer behind the visitor-friendly façade of some of our best- known attractions to uncover the darker and lesser-known stories of the macabre.

But don’t worry. The Dark Chester tour is no jump-scares pantomime, nor is it a dry, academic lecture.

It’s an atmospheric evening walk, mixing a dash of Horrible Histories with some League of Gentlemen-style dark humour.

Read the full blog post via the BGTG blog.

Liked this? Then read Dark Chester collaborates with My Haunted Hotel.