Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Free Mystery Tour

The Free Mystery Tour was, as it is every year, a great success.

I organise this Coach Trip, with a different route every year, of course, to mark International Day of the Tourist Guide. Each year Blue Badge Guides give up their time to lead Guided Walks – but I’ve always liked to do things a little differently, so I do it on a coach.

The purpose of International Day of the Tourist Guide is to show that wherever you visit, whether it be Leicester, Stratford-on-Avon, Edinburgh, Southend, Ely or Rothley, you will get more out of it by going with a properly qualified Guide.

The first year I organised it was 1995, so I have now done twelve. And every year it’s Woods Coaches of Leicester who provide the coach free. Very many thanks to Woods.

Each year more people want to go than I have room for on the coach. It’s a shame, but there are only a finite number of seats on the vehicle.

However, every year some people fail to turn up. It rarely happens when seats have been paid for, but unfortunately there are those who don’t value it because it’s free. But the seats they don’t turn up for could have gone to people who would have loved to come. Not entirely fair, is it?

Anyway, a jolly good morning was had by all this year, as always. That included Mark Smith of Quest in Halesowen, for whom I am guiding on a Leicestershire Wanderer tour soon. Mark said he enjoyed it very much.

Having left St. Margarets Bus Station, we followed a route that led out to Anstey and past Bradgate Park to Rothley, then via Melton Mowbray to Gates’s Nurseries at Cold Overton, where we had a coffee stop. Gates’s had just been named Garden Centre of the Year. Then we continued via Oakham, around Rutland Water, Uppingham and Hallaton, before coming back to St. Margaret’s.

This is one of several morning trips that I run every year, starting at 9.30am and getting back about 2pm. On Wednesday 8th March it’s Old Mercia Tour, and later in the year there’s John Clare Country Tour, Richard III Tour and Nottinghamshire Borders Tour.

And full day trips coming up include Richmond (in Yorkshire), Essex Tour, Wells (in Somerset) and Tissington (for the Well Dressing).

There are still some places available on all of them if you want to make a booking.