Our principal and founder, Phil Howe, studied Politics, Philosophy and English at the University of Reading, was a Senior Lecturer working with universities and colleges, frequently travelling in Europe as a consultant to educational institutions. His vision for Hidden Britain Tours was created in 2005 from his own experience of what he felt was missing from many mainstream tours. He has a rural background and a talent for explanation.
Our aim is to offer something that you will not be able to see on a larger group tour as many of the roads we travel are not suitable for larger vehicles. We offer something that is far more personal and engaging, with opportunities for debate and dialogue throughout the day. We treat you as an individual, contextualise the history and explain the landscape and wildlife you see and the people who live and work in it.
Up to six people can be seated in our air-conditioned people carrier (MPV), chosen for its capacity, comfort and great visibility. If you do have a larger group, we can usually arrange for a suitable vehicle with driver.
Our customers are the curious, the inquisitive, families, friends, international visitors, clubs, societies, conference delegates, visiting academics, Jane Austen fans, and people like you. You like good food, taking photos, sharing them on social media, meeting local people and good conversation.
Your time is important, and you want to be able to see major attractions as well as something that's different; the places that many visitors miss. Your day's adventure will start with an easy 45-minute train journey from London Waterloo.
Our Jane Austen Tour is a focus on Jane Austen's life rather than her novels. Many of our visitors are already familiar with her work, either through her novels or film and TV adaptations. People often like to read more about her either before or after the tour. We strongly recommend the Tomalin biography as pre-reading.
Claire Tomalin, Jane Austen: A Life, Penguin, 1997
Collected and Edited by Dierdre le Faye, Jane Austen's Letters, Oxford University Press, 1995