Tour Guiding in UK

Requirements for tour guides in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

General information

Age: The age is usually between 20 and 70 years, but can vary depending on the tour operator’s target group.

As there is no regulated professional training, tour guides are usually career changers. For study tours, a university degree in a relevant subject is often required.

Tour guide training:
Formal training is not mandatory, but can be very helpful when starting out. Good training provides important knowledge, e.g. in travel law, rhetoric and conflict management. It can also help you to get to know your own strengths and weaknesses better and prepare you for difficult situations.

London Guide Frau
Tourguide Gruppe

Personal skills:

  • Appreciative and empathetic interaction with tour guests: Tour guides should be able to respond to the needs and concerns of guests and provide them with a positive travel experience.
  • Enjoy leading people: Tour guides should enjoy leading people and showing them new things.
  • Expressive and communication skills: To inform and entertain guests, tour guides should have good expressive and communication skills.

Conflict resolution skills:  Tour guides should be able to resolve conflicts between guests or with other people in a professional manner.
Organisational skills and enthusiasm: Tour guides should have organisational skills and be able to motivate and inspire the group.

Adequate specialised knowledge:

Specialist knowledge of the travel area (e.g. history, culture, nature): In order to provide guests with interesting and informative insights, tour guides should have in-depth knowledge of the travel area.

  • Language skills (at least English): Fluency in English is generally essential. Additional language skills are required in some destinations.

Additional knowledge for special trips (e.g. technical competence for cycling trips):
Additional knowledge and skills are required for special trips.

Personal skills:

Good voice: Tour guides should have a good voice in order to be able to reach guests well, even in larger groups.

  • Clear expression: Tour guides should be able to express themselves clearly and concisely.

Good manners: Tour guides should be well-dressed, polite and respectful towards guests and other people.

  • Tour guides should not be afraid to speak in front of groups.
  • Decision-making ability: Tour guides should be able to make decisions and take responsibility.

Initiative and willingness to act: Tour guides should show initiative and be willing to get stuck in.

Organisational skills:

  • Punctuality: Tour guides should be punctual and keep to the agreed times.
  • Plan for buffers: To allow for unforeseen events, tour guides should plan for buffer times.
  • Educate the group to be punctual: The tour leader should educate the group to be punctual.
  • Avoid stress: Tour leaders should avoid stress and remain calm and composed.

Good time management

Plan realistically: Tour leaders should plan realistically and take into account the duration of the activities and the needs of the guests.

  • Consider influencing factors:** Tour guides should consider influencing factors such as traffic and weather.
  • Eliminate disruptive factors: Tour guides should eliminate disruptive factors such as noise and long waiting times as far as possible.

Make the timetable realistic:
Tour guides should make the timetable for activities realistic.

Empathy for the guests:

Interest in people: Tour guides should have an interest in people and be attentive to them.

  • Showing guests the positive: Tour guides should show guests the positive aspects of the destination.

Empathy: Tour guides should be able to put themselves in the guests’ shoes and understand their needs and concerns.

Leadership talent:

  • Take initiative: Tour guides should take the initiative and lead the group.
  • Action: Tour guides should be able to make decisions and take responsibility.
  • Formulating answers: Tour guides should be able to answer guests’ questions in a competent and friendly manner.

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get to know our Guides

For me every day as a tour guide is a wonderful challenge. It is a great pleasure for me to work with people and to give them new experiences. At the same time I enjoy bringing history to life for my guests with stories. Every trip is always a wonderful experience, after which we all return home with new impressions and more knowledge.

Shamal G. Foto

Shamal G.

Tour guide since: 1995

The decision to work as a tour guide at IKTS was the best idea of my life! You get to wonderful places and meet nice people.

Alexandra S. Bild

Alexandra S.

Tour guide since: 2015

I have been touring for many years and have made a career out of it. Travelling and  learning about the culture and history of different countries never gets boring. For me being able to share my knowledge and experiences and seeing my guests enjoy their holiday gives me great pleasure. We all love an adventure and travel is a big one !

Jonny C. Foto

Jonny C.

Tour guide since: 1992

The great thing about the job as a tour guide is that it is so varied. You are responsible for the organisation and moderation of the tours and of course the first contact person for the guests. One travels to wonderful destinations and always learns something new. I have learned an incredible amount through the job over the last few years, about places I didn’t know before, about history, culture, but also about challenges and how to be more confident in myself.

Christina I. Foto

Christina I.

Tour guide since: 2017

Be a part of our IKTS team as a tour guide

We’ll gladly address all your questions in a no-obligation personal consultation. Reach out to us now and kickstart your career as a guide with IKTS.


Maik Ollmann

Chief Operations Officer