Roger Bailey tells us what groups may be surprised to learn about the area as well as his personal highlights of places to visit.
What might visitors be surprised to learn about the area?
There is more for people to see than they think. Both Birmingham and Coventry have a unique history with so much to discover. But there are also themes like Tolkien, George Eliot and King Richard III trails for example. Not forgetting the wonderful Cotswolds with so much to see and enjoy.
How important are group / group visits to the area?
They are vital for the local economy and bring a welcome boost to the area.
Tell us about what you do
I am a professional Heart of England Blue Badge Tourist Guide covering a good part of The Midlands, offering both walking and coach tours, plus advice for groups who want to go a little further and explore off the normal tourist routes.
What are your personal highlights?
Coventry is my personal favourite as it has so much to offer, normally surprising groups with its 1,000 years of history. Birmingham is also great, not just for its industrial past, but its links to so many musical icons for example Black Sabbath, The Moody Blues and Duran Duran.
What makes The Heart of England such a special place?
The variety of places and attractions to visit within a manageable area. For example, you have large attractions like Warwick Castle, Coventry Transport Museum, British Motor Museum and West Midland Safari Park and then smaller attractions like the Coventry Music Museum.
What are the most challenging and best bits of your job?
The most challenging can sometimes be people’s expectations and that places are not as close as people realise. But the best bits can often be introducing new places and hidden gems that often surprise visitors.
Roger Bailey was awarded his Heart of England Blue Badge in 2002. He offers guided walking and coach tours for groups of any size.
For more information visit www.bluebadgetouristguide.co.uk/