Local Guides

Getting to Know Your Evan Evans Guide: An interview with Norma Giori

Originally from London and having spent most of her life based in the capital, Evan Evans tour guide Norma Giori is well placed to show visitors to the city around her home town, as well as further afield to the UK’s most impressive historic sites and what lies within each enchanting town. Norma reveals the places and experiences she rates most highly in London and beyond.

What made you want to become a tour guide?

“I have always worked in the tourism industry, even when I went to live in Italy for a couple of years. It’s so enjoyable to meet people from all over the world. I like to be able to show visitors to England the country’s most beautiful and interesting places, while explaining some of our history to them, too. I have now been a blue badge tour guide for more than 20 years.”

Evan Evans Guide Interview
See inside St Paul’s Cathedral © iStock / ultraforma

What do you find most satisfying about leading tours?

“The thing I like most about being a tour guide is that every single day is different. Our visitors come from all over the world, and they all want to take something different away from their stay. Some visitors want to see the famous landmarks, while others want to learn about this country’s history and monarchy; some visitors want to see the beautiful countryside and characteristic villages outside of London, and others just want to shop.”

Where do you lead tours?

“I lead tours to all the major sights in London and I take visitors on day trips from London to places such as Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath, the Cotswolds, Stratford upon Avon, Warwick Castle and Leeds Castle, not to forget Canterbury and the White Cliffs of Dover.”

Evan Evans Guide Interview
Take a trip from London to The Cotswolds © iStock / Gordon Bell Photography

Do you have a favourite place to take tourists?

“My favourite place to introduce people to is London because it’s an ever-changing city. Alongside the ancient buildings such as the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, a new city is emerging with buildings like the Shard and The Gherkin.

There is always something happening in London too, such as a Royal celebration, a new exhibition or a sporting event. The city is great for shopping and there really is something for everyone, from the luxury of Harrods to the many street markets. My favourite building in London is St. Paul’s Cathedral, because aside from its beauty, the cathedral’s dome still dominates London’s skyline.”

Evan Evans Guide Interview
See Westminster among London’s other sights © iStock / ultraforma

Tell us something we might not know about St Paul’s.

“In St. Paul’s there is a staircase called the geometric staircase, which was used in the film ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’. During Divination classes with Professor Trelawney, students were expected to climb to a high Hogwarts tower to attend classes.

In the film, the staircase scenes heading to Divination were shot at St. Paul’s.”

What would you recommend a visitor to the UK to eat and drink while they’re here?

“I recommend visitors experience a traditional afternoon tea, maybe with earl grey tea, scones with clotted cream and jam, and all the wonderful pastries.”

Evan Evans Guide Interview
Tuck into a traditional afternoon tea © iStock / Nicola Margaret

Where should people visit before leaving the country?

“A visit to Westminster Abbey is a must because it’s the coronation church, and the burial place of many Kings and Queens. It’s the church where Prince William married Catherine Middleton, and where the funeral of Princess Diana took place.”

Join Norma on a tour to one of England’s historic sights with Evan Evans.

Cover image: A view over London © iStock / Maciej Noskowski