The Mayor of Bath's Corps of Honorary Guides

Received The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in June 2014. This is the highest award for a volunteer group in the UK and is given for outstanding work in the local community.


 We do not accept tips or gratuities

 Established 80 years

 This badge Mayor of Bath's Guides badge is worn by Mayor’s Guides - please check - other “free" tours expect tips!

Becoming a Guide

Who are the Mayor's Guides and what do they do?

We are people who love Bath, who take small groups on walking tours lasting about 2 hours - over 36,000 people in 2011. We give our tours every day, except Christmas Day; they are always free of charge. We are not paid for guiding and we do not accept tips. We come from a range of ages and occupations: some work full time; others have retired.

What qualities should Guides have?

Enthusiasm about Bath is most important because it will make your tour come alive. After that, the important things are knowledge about the city, being able to talk and to answer questions in a clear, friendly way and commitment and time to carry out the walks.

What would I need to know?

You need to know enough to be able to talk about the streets, buildings and features you can see and the people and life associated with them. This means having a good level of knowledge - why Bath exists; famous people who visited or lived here and how they spent their time here; a general knowledge of architecture and history. Guides often have their own enthusiasms, to add a personal slant to their tours.
If you are interested in becoming a Mayor's Guide, you probably know quite a lot about Bath already. We provide a reading list and your tutor guide will help with advice.

Would I have to speak a language other than English?

Our tours are in English, but if you speak another language well enough to lead a tour we'll be delighted.

How much time would I have to devote to being a Guide?

The minimum number of walks is 12 per year; each takes about 2 hours.
Many guides lead more than 12 walks annually, if they have the time. Most have a regular, scheduled walk, but some provide cover for holidays or help with groups that have booked a tour.

How do I become a Guide?

  1. Complete the enquiry form below, or click here to open in a new window, and we'll send you information.
  2. Read the information, then join 3 walks to see if being a Guide appeals to you. Each time, ask the guide to sign a form - you'll find it in the details we send you - to confirm that you joined the walk.
  3. If you decide to go ahead after that, fill in the application form and send it to us.
  4. We'll meet you to talk about your interest in joining us and your training and to introduce you to your tutor.
  5. Training normally takes 2 - 3 months. It ends with a test walk and final interview when, if successful, you will become a Mayor's Guide.

What are the rewards of being a Guide?

You'll enjoy satisfaction, variety and fun. You'll meet people from all over the world and help them to enjoy visiting Bath.

Annually, the Mayor hosts a dinner in the Guildhall, to thank us. We continue to learn about the city from reading, from contact with other guides, from our magazine and from access to our library. We organise our own social events, visits, and lectures.

The Mayor of Bath's Corps of Honorary Guides 2014

Photography: Bath Tourism Plus / Colin Hawkins