This month, we catch up with Katie, one of Newcastle Tour Company's amazing family of tour guides!
“Hi! My name is Katie and I am a tour guide with Newcastle Tour Co. and Experience North.
I became involved when Alex (co-founder) contacted me as the company was looking for tour guides to show German visitors around the region.
My other job is as an adult education teacher with my local council and I teach French, German and Spanish.
Guiding gives me the opportunity to practise my language skills though I’m quite happy to do tours in English too!“
What makes your job most enjoyable?
“Meeting lots of people.
Getting out and about.
Working with other like-minded people.“
How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in tourism?
“Fun, very varied and at times a bit stressful.”
What does your typical workday look like?
“Get up early, arrive at the departure point in good time, liaise with other tour guides and coach driver (if it’s a tour by coach), greet the guests in a friendly manner, constantly (!) count that you have everyone throughout the day.
Once you are all back say goodbye to everyone and breathe a sigh of relief.“
What is your favourite place in North East England?
“Hands down, Newcastle – lots going on, easy to get around on foot.
First-time visitors often don’t have high expectations of it and are pleasantly surprised to see so many nineteenth century buildings in the centre as well as the impressive quayside.”
Your most joyous moment at Newcastle Tour Company?
“I can’t say that I have a particular moment. I’ve just enjoyed showing our region off and talking to a whole range of different people from all around the world – Mexicans, Argentinians, Australians, Americans, French, Romanians, Austrians…
Every day is so unique and makes it joyous!”
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
“Being outdoors – cycling, walking, camping, traveling (going back to our tours, I love the cycling tours we do!).
When indoors I like reading, playing my violin in an orchestra, and swimming.“
If you could pick any body to be your mentor, who would it be?
“Hard to say, perhaps Simon Reeve as he is pretty adventurous but has quite a down to earth way of describing things.”
What advice would you give to new tour guides before their first tour?
“Prepare thoroughly – not just your notes but also road closures, special events going on etc.
On the day – smile and try to relax!”
What three things do you always carry with you when guiding?
“Water, a warm/waterproof layer, pen and paper.”
Enjoyed this insite into our tour guide Katie? Have a look at one of the other “Meet the tesm” sections such as Anna Unger’s views on guiding.