The History Guides Walks, talks and lectures
The History GuidesWalks, talks and lectures



‘Lively, engaging, charming, and above all well informed, the History Guides can tell even seasoned historians things they didn't know! Every tour is a gem, transporting clients to the authentic world of the past, and based on extensive, sound research. They don't come much better than this!’

Alison Weir, author and historian


An excellent lunch today – speaker was very good – several regulars were in the audience and have told me ‘ the best historical speaker we have had’  they enjoyed the talk (and pictures) which went with it – all quiet throughout – you could have ‘heard a pin drop’ as the saying goes !

(Luton Hoo Luncheon, March 2018, feedback for Siobhan on Royal Babies)


'Linda's explanations of the techniques of painting, the artists and the stories behind the works of art left me completely captivated. I will definitely be back wanting more on our next visit'. Sue Johnson, Sydney, Australia


'Hampton Court Palace and its history is a huge place to consolidate into an hour’s lecture and Siobhan’s vast knowledge and expertise gave us a wonderful insight into its splendour and greatness.'

Canterbury Decorative and Fine Arts Society


Our u3a had a wonderful day (at Hampton Court) yesterday. Sarah is welcoming, an excellent speaker and guide, with a clear and entertaining delivery.  Even in a large group of people of a certain age we could all hear and she patiently answered all our questions, giving more of her time than we expected' - WhiteCliffs U3A


‘We all thoroughly enjoyed our tour of London and entirely thanks to our guide Jackie's expertise. With Jackie's vivid, fascinating descriptions, the past was truly brought back to life and her passion for the subject was infectious. The tour was professionally run, timed to perfection, tailor-made to suit our requirements and included a great pub lunch in a building which was itself rich in history. We all agreed it had been a great, fun, day out and certainly one to remember!’Lisa - Surrey


‘The History Guides are exciting, experienced and inspiring lecturers. Their vivid lectures will bring history to life.’
Dr Kate Williams, author and historian


‘Thank you Sophie for a fantastic tour of the palace. I can’t imagine having visited without your lead.’

Elizabeth Bebe, USA


I arrange speakers for several groups and can say I was really impressed with Sarah’s Zoom talk. Her costume was a delight and the talk itself was very professional, well above the average Zoom speaker we have engaged and thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. Today my Inbox is full of praise! 


Siobhan, the excursions were just magical. I learned so much that I had missed on my first trip. You did a fantastic job and were worth every penny! While I had been to Hampton, Windsor and the Tower before, I never got so much out of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

AWT Guest


'Entertaining, insightful... There's nothing like the real insider's view to bring history alive, and that's exactly what the History Guides can offer.'

Sarah Gristwood, author/historian


We were intrigued and enlightened by Sarah’s presentation “Secrets, Sex, Scandal and Salacious Gossip of the Royal Court. She gave us so many facts, so much information, large slices of history of the period and many visual images that will remain with us for a long, long time. Excellent. Eastwood & District u3a 


Hi Sophie, just a quick email to say thank you for your work on Saturday with our clients. It was hugely interesting and very much appreciated—your knowledge really brought the whole experience to life and we have had a lot of positive feedback from our clients.  Thanks again—I now have your details for the future—perhaps Kew palace as we discussed.  Warwick Partnership.


'As someone not particularly interested in art, I wasn't looking forward to the visit, but Linda captivated me with her fantastically interesting presentations on the paintings and tapestries and I came away looking forward to learning more'.  Phil Holm, St Albans, Hertfordshire


We were lucky enough to have Sarah Slater giving us a talk via zoom to our local WI. The evening was very entertaining with Sarah giving us the comings and goings of the Royal Court in 17th/18th century and more besides. Sarah spoke for over an hour and I could have listened to her for twice as long. If you ever get the opportunity for Sarah as a guide I can thoroughly recommend her!


'Your talk was so much enjoyed by all our members. “Royal Babies” proved to be a fascinating history lesson, illustrated by wonderful photographs. It was a pleasure to welcome you to Ashtead once again and, no doubt, you will be invited at some future date to tell us about “Royal Christmas”.'

Ashtead Evening Townswomen’s Guild


'Engaging, informative and with a solid background of research, the History Guides bring their subject vividly to life for visitors.'

Dr Tracy Borman, author and historian


Horndean & District u3a  had Sarah Slater giving her talk on "Working with the ghosts of Hampton Court Palace". She enthralled her audience with her experiences and tales of the various ghosts which reputedly haunt the Palace, It was a wonderful meeting on a wonderful subject and we will look forward to a personal visit to the Palace.


'Siobhan's talk to the Wimbledon WI on 'Royal Babies' was a real hit - we enjoyed it as you could see from the reaction of our members. The illustrations you showed were excellent and all delivered without notes. Well done and please come again!'


'What made the visit particularly memorable was Linda's enthusiasm, welcoming personality and extensive knowledge of her subject.'  Alan, Kestronics Ltd, St Albans


It was a pleasure to have such an interesting and informative presentation from Siobhan and the response from the audience was overwhelming with praise.'

Shaw's Corner Literary Society


'Today's visit was to Banqueting House, Whitehall, was memorable, not only for the beauty and magnificence of the building but also for your interesting talk which made the place come alive!  You put the building into context in a fascinating way. Thank you so much and I am sure it won't be long before we ask you to come and talk to us again.'

The Hampton Society


We booked Sarah to come to our WI for her talk about the history of Costumes. This was a fantastic talk which also involved a member being dressed in a costume and made it very special.


Hi Siobhan, What a pleasure it was to listen to your wonderful delivery on the Little Banqueting House! You had the attention of everyone! It was simply brilliant.  I will say it again, brilliant; guiding at its very best.


Siobhan,I just wanted to say thank you again today for giving today’s guests a wonderful tour and for going above and beyond in giving them two talks on the Little Banqueting House. My client was thrilled, and guests were still talking about how much they enjoyed the tour as they were leaving! Sarah Weller, Events Executive


'This is a little belated but I just wanted to say a big thank you for your guided tour around Hampton Court Palace. Mum and I had a brilliant day and your tour made it much more special for her birthday. We were impressed by your knowledge and we learnt a lot more than if we had just toured around on our own. I was also grateful for the way in which you appreciated Mum's needs, taking the pace a little slower, having lots of rest stops and focusing on her interests. She loved the tour. Thank you for helping to make the day so special.' Dr Jane Still


Sarah gave an excellent talk to the Kenilworth u3a,  Most informative, interesting and a little rude! Great stuuf! many thanks, Sarah. -


Hampstead Norreys WI. What a very enjoyable evening we had on Zoom as Sarah told us the tales of the ghosts of Hampton court. I have had so much feedback that it was one of the best talks we have had and our group would love to join Sarah for one of her tours.


Sarah thank you so much for your intriguing, interesting and enlightening presentation to East Antrim U3A . The feedback from members was excellent. We all learned so much about the history of the period and the unique angles you spoke about. Highly recommended! -


'Thank you so much for a lovely day at Hampton Court. Frank and I were so impressed by your depth of knowledge and your passion in sharing it with us. We particularly loved finding common ground in little things like the Asian art artefacts in Queen Anne's collections. What a surprise! Throughout the tour, we appreciated your skill in finding quiet spots amidst the bustle and your attention to our interests. We will definitely call on you again when next in the UK!' Lynette & Frank, Canada


Ashley Welland Valley WI have just had a fabulous evening with Sarah. Her talk and presentation on the Ghosts of Hampton Court was superb. The detail, the information, the fun - Sarah goes down on our list as one of the best speakers we have had. We are in the process of trying to make a booking for another talk and that is by the request of our members. Thank you for a wonderful evening Sarah


'Siobhan Clarke makes learning fun. I have been to the National Portrait Gallery many times and had no idea I didn't know what I was looking at. Siobhan's stories about both the paintings and the people in them not only made for an interesting tour but when I went to the Queen's Gallery and the V&A on my own I had a much more enjoyable time because I took the knowledge Siobhan had given me. I took a friend with me on our tour and she was able to tailor what she said to both our interests. I highly recommend her as a tour guide.' Jan, New York


Sarah spoke to the Bristol U3A about the Ghosts of Hampton Court Palace.  Sarah's enthusiasm and professionalism, ensured the meeting was a complete success. Her love for Hampton Court and the depth of her knowledge, shone through, and several of our members are hoping to visit once it is safe to do so. 


Sarah spoke to our WI in Derbyshire via Zoom.  It was wonderfully fun and illuminating. Everything you didn't learn at school - all the naughty bits of history. Sarah is an excellent speaker and appeared in full costume. We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon and heartily recommend her.


'Lori and I really enjoyed your tour of the Tudor and Stuart portraits at the National Portrait Gallery! After seeing the portraits in books and publications it was a joy to get an in-depth explanation on the different elements and nuances of each one. You brought each portrait alive by discussing the subject and his/her role in history, the symbolism used, what each artist wished to portray and clothing styles at the time each portrait was painted. We also enjoyed seeing "The Ambassadors" and "The Execution of Lady Jane Grey"!! 
Carol Wu, San Francisco


'Siobhan was a delightful surprise. Her very demeanor was evocative of the 16th Century and her knowledge of the paintings and the persons they depict was astounding. I have a fair knowledge of this time period and everything I heard (that I already knew) was exactly as my own research discovered. The really fun part was learning so much more from Siobhan. The time flew and my brain and spirit were very stimulated.'

Sharon, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Carol, San Francisco


Sarah delighted over 100 members of South Leicestershire U3A, with her fabulous Zoom talk. Full of tremendous content, it really gave an eye-opener on this period of history! It was also a record turnout for one of our monthly meetings.


'We went around the National Gallery with Linda looking at the History of Art. We began with Early Italian Art and finished with Impressionism. It put so much into perspective. The time just went so quickly - I wish I had had a tutor like Linda when I was at university'. Carole Fry, Harpenden, Hertfordshire


Quadring WI invited Sarah to present her talk on Sex, Secrets, Scandal and Salacious Gossip of the Royal Court 1660 to 1830 to its members by Zoom. Sarah' s incredible knowledge and enthusiasm for her subject make her talks an absolute pleasure to listen to. She has a lovely way of adapting her presentation to work with Zoom so it still felt very personal. We all enjoyed the evening and really appreciated that Sarah seemed in no hurry to end the meeting and was happy to go on answering questions. We would absolutely recommend anyone thinking of inviting Sarah to speak to their group to go ahead and book her.


‘Siobhan did a brilliant job of making the place come alive for us…her being in costume made a difference to the sense of immersion and connection with the past and made it real in a way I‘d never experienced before.’
Liberty Consulting Ltd


'I just wanted to say a massive thank you for the lunchtime lecture you did for us a couple of weeks ago! It was so fascinating and the members loved it!' Membership Department, Historic Royal Palaces

‘Whether your passion lies in Tudor history, little-known London or modern art, the History Guides lectures and walks are a must for any discerning traveller…you will find yourself in the hands of charming professionals whose tours are guaranteed to entertain, inspire and stimulate.’
Christopher Warwick - Royal Biographer


'I have lived in London for 5 years, but I still enjoy the tours that the "history guides" provide. Each time their information provides a different spin to the tours. You can have them in costume or not, but I have found that all visitors love the costume tours. I highly recommend that you use these lovely ladies to enhance your visits to London!' Kathy Prosser

‘Siobhan, thank you very much, you were fantastic! Tour very well received by both children and staff.’
Leatherhead Trinity School


‘Just a note to say an enormous and very sparkly ‘Thank You’… it won't be too long before I am in contact for the Society to hear you on 'Dress, Dazzle and Display' which promises to be as fascinating as it sounds.’
Bearsted & District Local History Society


‘Our guide managed to create an atmosphere during the whole tour which made it a truly memorable time... Amazingly wonderful-thank you!’ Ann, Historic Royal Palaces member


‘Thank you for… a treasured experience that many of us will cherish for a long time.’ Eva, London


‘...comprehensive information peppered with fun anecdotes' Harri, Kingston-upon -Thames


‘Siobhan is an effective teacher and I always ensure that I book her services before I book my trip to Hampton Court as she is an inspiration to the children’. Head of Pre Prep, Edgeborough School


Fantastic Zoom talk this morning for Yateley & District u3a entitled 'Sex, Secrets, Scandal and Salacious Gossip'.  I've been getting some great feedback from members. Fast-paced, but crammed with information in every sentence. Revealing and entertaining – we all loved it. As our best-attended Zoom meeting so far, it was a bodice-busting sell-out. Why am I not surprised?!? I hope we meet again, perhaps on a tour.


‘Siobhan, you gave us a real insight into Hampton Court. You speak with the passion of someone who loves their subject. Everyone was really enthused by your talk and I was so pleased that we had a full house for you’.

The Hampton Society


I listened to Sarah's talk on Zoom to the Alton U3A and was most impressed. Sarah is extremely knowledgeable and has clearly done extensive research. She is also very amusing, saucy as the situation requires, and takes the trouble to dress herself for the period. A wonderful experience that I'd recommend to any group. 


‘Our school has made several visits to the Palace but I felt that this year’s trip was made extra special by your (Siobhan's) involvement. You were beautifully attired in Tudor dress and extremely knowledgeable. The girls loved you! Hence their requests for your autograph! Many thanks for making our day so entertaining and memorable.’
Maltman’s Green School


Sarah gave us a most enjoyable evening on a zoom meeting for Shardlow W.I. on the salacious gossip of Hampton Court Palace and what a colourful incite this was. She greatly enhanced the lecture with lots of photographs and powerpoints with family tree information.  Thank you Sarah for a great night and we would highly recommend your tour to anyone looking for a great speaker.


Dear Siobhan, Thank you for your wonderful talk (Dress, Dazzle & Display) and the splendid slides.

Epsom Literary Society

'Myself and my boyfriend were shown around Hampton Court Palace. It was a surprise for my birthday and Siobhan was really welcoming. She's extremely knowledgeable and we really fitted a lot into our tour. I felt completely comfortable asking questions and Siobhan was really flexible, adapting the tour as we went along to fit in with my wishes. I'd really recommend booking a tour with Siobhan - we got so much out of our fantastic experience!'
Sarah and Jack, London


We have had a number of Zoom talks in the last 6 months and this one by Sarah on the Ghosts of Hampton Court was one of the best. She is an excellent presenter and her dress was wonderful. Our members really enjoyed it. 


'I had the most amazing day at Hampton Court on Saturday, courtesy of Alison Weir Tours. Alison and Siobhan where fantastic hosts, so engaging and such a real joy to listen to and engage in conversation with. I absolutely loved talking about historical fiction/non-fiction books and films with Alison over lunch. The only downside was when it ended - I just didn't want it to end. Definitely worth every penny, and I shall be saving up for the Tower day tour in September.'Guest on Hampton Court Day 


'Thank you both, Siobhan and Alison, for a wonderful day on Saturday. It was a very special Mothers' Day present from my lovely daughter and you both made everyone feel as though they were your own special guest. It will be a day I will always remember and treasure. I learnt so much about a subject I really enjoy reading about, and my experience with you both brought it all to life.' 
Guest on Hampton Court Day


Visiting the National Portrait Gallery Tudor exhibit with Siobhan was one of the highlights of my visit to London.  She was the consummate tour guide as she showed me how intertwined history and art are.  Art is not my passion and I only joined the tour for the history side but she quickly drew me into both aspects and had me enthralled in the lives and the times of the Tudors for almost 90 minutes! No mean feat!  I quickly realized what a pro she is and was doubly glad that I had already signed up for a second tour (Hampton Court) the following day.  And, best of all, I am looking forward to future tours on my next visits to London!

Jan Bart, California


We booked Sarah as a speaker for our monthly WI meeting, via Zoom. Sarah came highly recommended by other WIs so we had high expectations, which were not just met but exceeded! The feedback from our members was outstanding. Everyone agreed the talk was incredibly interesting and engaging, and many have asked if we could hear Sarah's other talk some time. We were given the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the talk, and we were amazing by Sarah's knowledge and ability to answer even the most obscure queries! Several people have suggested we make a trip together to Hampton Court Palace, to meet Sarah and have her guide us, so that is definitely on our wish list! 


My husband and I took a tour of the Tudor gallery at the NPG with Siobhan following the AWT MQS in October 2014. It was great to view the portraits with someone who has a firm grasp of the Tudor period but who also approaches the portraits as works of art. To look at the faces of individuals who we had been discussing for the prior month was truly a privilege and brought the history to a very human level. This is particularly true for those of us who live abroad and only have access to the portraits in book and catalogues where you can only guess at the vibrancy, shimmer or the texture on clothing or accoutrements that the artist intended to convey as part of the grandeur of the individual represented. 
Marge Kuhlmann and Bob Dreyer


I was a guest at the Chilton WI  for Sarah's talk. What a fabulous speaker! Sarah was engaging, enthusiastic, entertaining and extremely knowledgeable on her subject. She hardly took a breath during the whole talk. It has certainly rekindled my interest in social history. I feel a visit to Hampton court will be made as soon as we are allowed. Sarah is well worth listening to, if you get the chance. You will not be disappointed! - 


The first time I visited The National Portrait Gallery in London, the Tudor Gallery was closed so it was on my highest priority list to make another visit to the NPG upon my next visit.  When I found out that Siobhan would be offering a guided tour, I jumped at the chance.  Siobhan walked us through the exhibit, sharing stories of the characters as well as pointing out many of the symbols and imagery of the paintings.  We were able to see, in chronological order, the development of portraiture in Tudor England, as well as the development of fashion and the importance of image, especially in the Elizabethan paintings.  I highly recommend anyone to visit the NPG with Siobhan, and to take time after the Tudor tour to visit the other galleries, as well, you will see so many images that you've maybe only seen before in books.  

Anne Marie Barrios, Texas


Risby WI in Suffolk were treated to a great Zoom presentation from Sarah about the Ghosts of Hampton Court. Very informative, loads of stories all delivered with brilliant images and in a light hearted style. Sarah even wore her actual Victorian costume. Highly recommend.


Initially I considered doing a self guided tour of the Tudors at the NPG, but I'm now very glad I chose to go with Siobhan. Self-guided tours where you are simply presented with captions to read are not particularly engaging and of course, they aren't interactive. Siobhan was able to provide lots of anecdotal information and answers to questions -- things that one could not derive on one’s own. She possesses the knowledge level of the subject matter and has the ability to organize the information in historical perspective, making it relevant -- particularly in relation to the original tour theme. A tour with Siobhan gives the material much more life and makes the experience far richer than doing it on your own. Highly recommend.
Joyce Thorn, California


Sarah has given us at Loddington WI a fascinating and informative insight into some of the ghosts that walk the corridors and rooms of Hampton Court Palace. She spoke for over an hour without hardly drawing breath she had so much to share with us. Sarah’s knowledge and her ability to ‘tell the tale’ was excellent. I would highly recommend her as a speaker. My favourite was the story of Sibel Penn, the grey lady ghost, now our church wardens surely will take extra care when attending to any final resting places at Loddington Church! 


Feedback from Towcester U3A for Sarah Slater

You certainly wowed Towcester today I thought you were absolutely brilliant and these are some of the comments I have received already !!
We both enjoyed the talk this afternoon, very interesting and amusing too! Sarah delivered a massive amount of information, much of it new to us. It was beautifully illustrated and she held our attention throughout. Thanks.
Another interesting and amusing speaker this afternoon thank you.
Thank you ... brilliant speaker. She was able to remember names, dates, and relationships of so many.. (not all were written down ), so she clearly  knows her subject very well.
Wonderful talk today. Would be great to have Sarah back sometime for another talk in person.


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