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Tours England
  • "...thank you for such a splendid day in the Cotswolds"
    A.F. - Utah
  • "Thank you for a fabulous tour - you are a brilliant guide - we love you !"
    B & N - Tennessee
  • "... a thousand thanks for showing us around in your wonderful and beautiful country!"
    JL - Flanders, Belgium
  • "... the Cotswold villages and the vistas were spectacular. The pub lunch was delicious and the atmosphere one of a kind"
    N & B A - California
  • "WOW!!! What a way for a Yank to see France!!! Having one of our old Allies the Brits showing the way!!!"
    WC & PC - Alabama
  • "... thank you for the wonderful tour I had with my father to Normandy and Paris!"
    JC - Florida
  • "We say more than we bargained for and then some..."
    C &C - Georgia
  • "... a rather seredipitous click on Google that let me to you and I will forever be grateful for that. What a font of knowledge you are! "
    SM - Philipines
  • "We just want to thank you again for making our vacation so special. We had a great time. Absolutely wonderful! Happy memories!"
    Mike & Jane McCool, Front Royal, VA
  • "You did a fabulous and caring job, making sure our trip was perfect."
    J & A - New York
  • "You put so much heart into what you do..."
    BE, China

Rob Little’s Blog – musings of an English / British Tour Guide where I not only vent about things that “get my goat” but, also, publish lovely photos and eccentric stories about “this Sceptered Isle”!

The Amelanchier tree in our Cotswold garden…..
Thursday, 22nd April 2021

The blossom on this Amelanchier tree is looking at its very best this year!

Usually we have wind and rain batter it but no rain in more than a month and nothing expected in the next 10 days!

Actually we need rain – less than an inch in 2 months and none in sight but doesn’t the tree look lovely?

Rob Little
Tour Guide…..
Let’s Tour England !

This is how utterly pathetic our politics is here…..

Captain Hindsight Sniping from the Sidelines…..” – this is how Boris described Keir Starmer, the British Labour Opposition Party Leader who has to invent some reason every week to castigate the PM every week in Prime Minister’s Question Time.

In March last year, 2020, James Dyson, of Vaccuum Cleaner fame, offered to design and manufacture Ventilators for intubating covid sufferers at a time when we had a massive shortage of ventilators. The problem was, Dyson would have to bring workers back to the UK from the Far East to work on these ventilators which would have put these workers at a tax disadvantage. Dyson texted his friend, Boris, to ask him if he could do something about the tax penalties these workers would have to pay and Boris said: “I’ll Fix It“! Dyson eventually invested £20m of his own money in the project before the Government decided to place orders for the equipment elsewhere.

Bear in mind we were in a mad panic here at the time. We had no idea how to treat covid other than to intubate for the most seriously effected. What would YOU have done Mr Keir Starmer?

Boris did not apologise, nor should he.

Rob Little
Tour Guide…..
Let’s Tour England !

Now even France is going crazy about the EU’s shambolic jabs rollout…..

Europe’s shambolic jabs rollout was dealt another blow yesterday as a French vaccine maker prematurely ended talks with Brussels. Its announcement is a major embarrassment for Ursula von der Leyen, who was put in charge of buying jabs on behalf of the bloc.

Valneva, a start-up business in France has a deal with Britain and will make its vaccine in Scotland. Chief executive Thomas Lingelbach was critical of EU bureaucracy as it broke off contract negotiations. Discussions with Brussels over an order of 60m doses will now go no further.

Valneva said it will “deprioritise” talks with Brussels but wants to work with individual EU capitals on a “country by country basis”.

The UK has a contract with the company for up to 190m doses, which will be made in Scotland.

Oh dear…..

Rob Little
Tour Guide…..
Let’s Tour England !

Crass, insincere, greedy idiots…..
Wednesday, 21st April 2021

You’re not going to get away with carving up “The Beautiful Game” in this country” Mr Henry and all yer greedy cronies !

Personally, I have little interest in football but it’s traditions are rooted in working people and their affiliation to their local town team.

Gradually greed has seeped into the game, first by overpaying the players and importing foreign players, and this detracted from the local affinity people had with their clubs; putting the cost of attendance out of the range of ordinary people whose seats were filled…..or actually often NOT filled by corporates!

Then the oligarchs, and others who have made their millions by dubious means from the Middle and Far East, started buying the clubs with huge support from the vile gambling businesses.

But yesterday, by announcing the European Super League, they went a step too far…..attempting to create an uncompetitive cartel – a hotchpotch of greedy owners attempting to clone the NFL in America where there is no real reward or punishment for success or failure in terms of relegation or promotion. They just wanted to create a money making machine!

Twenty four hours later, the whole thing fell apart after “The Fans” caused uproar, said they would never go to another match and even Boris got involved. It was said that the UK would not grant visas and work permits for foreign players, the offending clubs would not be able to compete in any UK leagues and saying that any British player joining this farrago of rubbish would not be able to play for his country in future football internationals.

Perhaps these monied rich owners will now come to realise they are only the custodians of these historic football clubs and that they cannot mess with the British supporters!

By the way the game is FOOTBALL – a game played with the feet. It is not “Soccer” !!

Rob Little
Tour Guide…..
Let’s Tour England !

An escapade, by foot, across the Estcourt Estate in the Cotswolds…..
Tuesday, 20th April 2021

A five mile hike – an escapade, by foot, across the Estcourt Estate in the Cotswolds just a mile or two from Tetbury !

It amazes me that we are allowed access across these beautiful “private” lands so quite what people from other countries must think, for whom the concept of these ancient public footpaths or “rights of way” do not exist, I can only imagine.

We in England and throughout the UK are so fortunate to have this?

Rob Little
Tour Guide…..
Let’s Tour England !

Hints and leaks of the UK “Green List” of “low covid” countries…..
Monday, 19th April 2021

There are suggestions that just eight countries will be on the UK “Green List” of countries where people can travel to and return from without the need for quarantine.

These include:

Iceland

Malta

Gibraltar

Israel

Australia & New Zealand – but Brits may have to quarantine on entering these countries

Ireland – part of the UK / Ireland Common Travel Area

USA

Green countries will have the lightest restrictions, with arrivals required to show a negative rapid antigen or lateral flow test before departing for the UK, and take a PCR test within two days of arrival. Travellers from these countries need not quarantine.

Travellers may have to show that they have been fully vaccinated.

There is no hint of when Brits may be able to visit our traditional favoured vacation haunts – France, Spain and Greece. These countries have high covid infection rates and their vaccination roll out has been sluggish. Similarly, Canada’s vaccination rate has been disappointing and their infection rate is worrying. Things may change as the summer comes and more people have been vaccinated.

Rob Little
Tour Guide…..
Let’s Tour England !

Texan owners for Malmesbury’s Old Bell Hotel and Abbey House and Gardens !!
Sunday, 18th April 2021

Many of my Customers to Britain have stayed in “The Old Bell Hotel” in Malmesbury and have visited “Abbey House Gardens” – those who have may like to read this story…..as Americans take over “The Oldest Hotel in England” and Abbey House Gardens, which was created in the early 1990s by “The Naked Gardeners“, Barbara and Ian Pollard. The new American owners don’t mention if they are going to carry on the tradition of naturism in the Garden or if they will, instead, be stuffy and prudish!!

[Taken from the Malmesbury Gazette and Herald]:

A Texan couple have been announced as the new owners of what is thought to be England’s oldest hotel, the Old Bell in Malmesbury.

Kim and Whit Hanks have also agreed to buy the neighbouring Abbey House Gardens, once home to the Naked Gardeners and famed for its “clothes optional” days.

The founders of Whim Hospitality, Camp Lucy and Tillie’s Restaurant in Dripping Springs, Texas say they are “exceptionally thrilled” to take on the sites.

They are regular visitors to the town which has been the Hanks family ancestral home since before 1500.

Pioneering Malmesbury industrialist, Walter Hanks, operated a mill below The Old Bell Hotel on the River Avon in the late 1100’s.

Kim and Whit have stressed that The Old Bell Hotel will continue to serve the community as it has for the past 800 years.

They have also agreed to purchase neighbouring Abbey House and Gardens later in 2021. The current owners will operate the 2021 season as usual.

While details of their proposals for the Grade I listed property will not be released until after the purchase is complete, they say they are working hard to create a plan that the community will embrace.

“Whit and I are so excited and fortunate to have the opportunity to bring our Whim Hospitality brand of welcoming hospitality to both these outstanding historic properties in the wonderful town of Malmesbury, home of our Hanks family ancestors,” said Kim.

“We are looking forward to meeting our guests, members of the community, local artisans, businesses and entrepreneurs as we create a refresh and restyle programme for The Old Bell Hotel to be an inclusive, engaging destination in Malmesbury for launch in early 2022.”

They plan to reopen the hotel on May 17.

Kim and Whit also plan to keep the Abbey Gardens open to the public.

At the Old Bell Hotel, the couple say they have proposed a programme of modest ground floor refurbishments to bring new ambience to the dining room and bar lounges, delicious new food menus and inviting outdoor drinks and dining areas.

Kim and Whit, along with both their US and Old Bell Hotel teams, will engage with the local community, artisans, businesses and entrepreneurs.

They plan to create programme of activities to be launched at the hotel in early 2022, aiming to recreate The Old Bell Hotel as a welcoming, active hub of Malmesbury life.

The Old Bell

The Old Bell Hotel is rumoured to be England’s oldest hotel, and sits next to Malmesbury Abbey.

It was built on the ruins of Malmesbury Castle, which was built by Bishop Roger of Salisbury for King Henry I.

Sir John Danvers, MP for Malmesbury, briefly became the owner of The Old Bell Hotel in the 1640s.

Originally known as ‘The Castle House’ it was officially named the Old Bell Hotel in 1798.

The hotel remained despite two world wars, and has been serving locals and tourists alike for generations.

ROB LITTLE SAYS:

Just wait until they encounter the warm cooperation of the Ancient Buildings Planning Department at Wiltshire County Council…..fun times ahead Mr and Mrs Hanks!!

Rob Little
Tour Guide…..
Let’s Tour England !

Rob little, lets tour England, tour guide, cotswolds,

Just heard a woman on the radio bleating on about the poor “Millennials” !

…..how they have had a lifetime of uncertainty after the banking crisis of 2008, can’t afford to buy a house, the revolving door at work, can’t afford to have kids…..etc etc etc. As she said:

“We are called Snowflakes because we like to show and share our feelings”

She calls herself “Generation X” which makes me “Generation W”??

What about “Generation V” then, my mother’s generation, who were brought up in poverty between the wars, whose husbands went to war and never came back leaving them alone to bring up children. Then they got banged up in Care Homes where they ended their lives with coronavirus.

Get real !!

Rob Little
Tour Guide…..
Let’s Tour England !

Its not “British” to brag “Patriotism”…..
Saturday, 17th April 2021

Its not “British” to brag “Patriotism”…..but there is not another country that can hold a candle to our ability to a flaunt ceremonial “show”. We can do “BIG” – you have seen it before with all the royal weddings and funerals of the past. Now, in the middle of a covid pandemic, we have shown we can do credit to the old Duke with a funeral that he mostly designed himself!

The Queen would would not have approved of breaking the covid rules…..people would say “It’s one rule for us and another for the Royals” so just 30 people were allowed to the funeral, all socially distanced and masked.

The Duke didn’t want fuss – from his idea to have his coffin on his beloved Land Rover, to the stunning brilliance of the Choir of just four, I thought the whole event was poignant and apt. The elegant simplicity delivered a powerful effect?

People around the world will have watched with interest and one day they will come back and we will visit Windsor again.

Rob Little
Tour Guide…..
Let’s Tour England !

President Biden is right – gun violence IS a “national embarrassment”…..

President Biden is right – gun violence IS a “national embarrassment”…..!

And today, when much of the world is focused on the small English town of Windsor, it is perhaps poignant to remind people that a number equivalent to the population of Windsor lose their lives every year from guns in America. The number of American Servicemen killed in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq pale in comparison to those killed annually inside the country. And I often remind people of that fact when I take people to Windsor and they comment on the calm peacefulness of our country with minimal evidence of police on the street.

The lunatics cavorting around defending their rights with their battlefield weaponry should be derided for the idiots that they are.

And of course this gung-ho culture is bound to breed panic and indiscipline in the police – police officers are, after all, a reflection of the community they live in.

Although to Europe and most of the ”western world” the culture of “the Gun” is an anathema, although there are countries, like Switzerland, where gun ownership is on a par with the US. But casualties are minimal. Begs the question…..?

Rob Little
Tour Guide…..
Let’s Tour England !