Blue Badge cadets set to guide visitors to county

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Yorkshire has 23 new professional tourist guides ready to bring the area to life for visitors after a graduation ceremony at Ripley Castle when students received the highly respected Blue Badge qualification from the Institute of Tourist Guiding.

Gaining the qualification followed a year of intensive study taking in the whole of the county, including key towns and cities, National Parks, abbeys, churches, castles, country houses, coast, industrial heritage as well as modern day agriculture, industry and commerce.

Nicky Godfrey Evans, a Blue Badge Guide herself who ran the course, said: “The Blue Badge is the pinnacle of tourist guiding and is recognized as an assurance of quality throughout the world.

“With Yorkshire having firmly put itself on the global tourism map with events like the Grand Depart, it is only fitting that we have 23 new Blue Badge professional guides to showcase the region to visitors.”

Through extensive coach tours, presentations and lectures in the North York Moors, the Yorkshire Dales, Bronte Country, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Wolds, the new Blue Badge Guides learnt about Yorkshire’s history, landscape, literary and film associations, plus much more.

The Blue Badge Guides took eight examinations altogether, gaining practical skills in coach guiding, walking tours and guiding a site tour at Leeds Art Gallery. They also had to complete a tour planning project and written papers on Yorkshire.

It was the first time in 18 years that a Blue Badge course had been run in the county.