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“This tour was the highlight of our trip!”
Review of Marksman Tours

Marksman Tours
Ranked #406 of 702 Tours in London
Attraction details
Grinnell, Iowa
Level 6 Contributor
140 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“This tour was the highlight of our trip!”
Reviewed 2 July 2014

The private tour of my Dad's WWII base and towns he visited on leave, arranged by Anne at Marksman Tours, was the highlight of our UK vacation! I e-mailed Anne early in our trip planning, (along with a couple of other private tour guides) to see if such a trip was possible, since my Dad's old air base was 'off the beaten path', about 70 miles north of London. Anne's response was by far the most enthusiastic and helpful! She offered ideas and suggestions, and made it clear that, not only was a private day trip like we had in mind possible, it was something she had done for other clients! She was even able to locate the current site of the old "American Eagle Club" in London, where my Dad stayed while visiting London on leave in June of 1941. (And that is where he was able to record his voice on a 78 RPM record to send to his folks!).
Anne picked us up right on time at our hotel in a luxury van, with the unusual feature (for England at least) of left hand drive! This resulted in some interesting looks from other motorists! She was extremely flexible and accommodating, and did all she could to see we had a great trip! We even managed to have perfect weather, though no amount of planning can ensure that! We had some surprises too. In Geddington, on the way from Kettering to Grafton-Underwood, we met a gentlemen who had been about 10 years old in 1941, and who clearly remembered the US Army Air Force men stationed there, 'who gave them candy and gum'! In the small village of Grafton-Underwood, to our complete surprise, we found a quaint bistro that provided a great lunch! And the owner was able to point out the building that had been used as a pub during the war!
Anne went above and beyond to provide us with a perfect private tour, which truly was the highlight of our UK trip.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mark G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Simcoe, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“"A tour doesn't get any better than this"”
Reviewed 20 July 2011

My daughter and I had been planning a trip to England for months and using Trip Advisor, magazines and other internet sites we came up with an itinerary which included a few day trips out of London. Being rather independent we did not want to go day tripping in a tour bus, far too structured for our liking so we started to source out independent tour guides which gave us the option of going more or less at our own pace and seeing things we specifically wanted to see. After doing a lot of searching and doing research on various companies, we found Anne at Marksman Tours.
France was one of the places we wanted to see but we were unsure whether we wanted to see Paris or whether we wanted to travel off the beaten path and see some of France’s amazing countryside. I e-mailed Anne, told her what our interests were and after getting her input we opted for a tour of Northern France. After booking this tour we again decided that we wanted to see Brugge in Belgium so I again e-mailed Anne and again with her input we decided to do an overnight tour of Northern France and Brugge.
I cannot say enough good things about Anne. She was very professional but at the same time you felt like you were traveling with a good friend. We in fact, came to feel like we were traveling with a very knowledgeable girlfriend who knew exactly where she was going and who could speak the various languages, which were required when traveling to multiple countries.
Upon crossing the tunnel and entering France we came across a road sign, which indicated that there was a Canadian War Cemetery near by. Anne pointed it out and asked if we’d like to go find it and pay a visit. Of course, being Canadian, how could we not? We stopped at a little store who’s name was “Au Relais Des Canadiens” to ask directions and after almost driving into a corn field which we had a great laugh about, we found the little cemetery, very lovely and peaceful, overlooking the beautiful French countryside. After paying our respects and making our personal entries in the book of visitors, we left the cemetery and traveled along the coast stopping for lunch in a lovely little town and then on to the medieval town of Montreuil Sur Mer where we stopped for some time. Here we ventured into some of the little shops where we bought chocolate and souvenirs and then Anne guided us to the ancient ramparts of the city where we walked along the top of the thick ancient walls and viewed the countryside for miles around.
I cannot possibly put into words how absolutely beautiful the French countryside is and when you are driving along country roads with the sea, visible in the distance, fields blowing with wild red poppies everywhere you look and you happen upon a farmer and his wife herding a few cows across a country road into a 17th century farm yard……..well, it doesn’t get much better than that.
After leaving beautiful Montreuil Sur Mer, we traveled on into Belgium. Immediately you could see the different terrain, Belgium being much flatter.
We arrived in Brugge later that evening and Anne knew exactly where to go. She doesn’t appear to use a GPS system but she knows the area well and is a genius with a map…..astounding really. She could just glance at a map and know the direction to take in no time flat. She dropped us off at our hotel which we had chosen and pre-booked ourselves, prior to the tour and went off to park the van and go to her own room leaving us to book ourselves in, do a little exploring around the hotel and have dinner on our own.
Brugge is without doubt, the most beautiful city I have ever seen. Many ancient buildings built along lovely canals, crossed here and there with low medieval bridges and at night it is lit up and is absolutely spectacular.
We stayed at the Hotel Bourgoensche hof which was right on the canal with the most stunning view out our window. A truly lovely, hospitable hotel. We had dinner that night at the Duc de Bourgogne which was the most exquisite, opulent, restaurant, with views out onto the canal and walls and ceilings covered in gorgeous Flemish paintings. The interior was only surpassed by the service and the fantastic food.
The next morning while we were gloriously engrossed in a lovely breakfast of fresh breads, cheeses, hams, cereal, yogurt, fruit, jams, and sweet breads at our hotel, Anne appeared seemingly on cue and after eating, we stowed the luggage in the van and went off for another perfect day exploring Brugge.
The first thing we did was take a boat tour down the canals. You get a very different perspective from that vantage point which was amazingly beautiful. After our boat tour, Anne, who knew that we really liked markets, took us to the market place. Although the full market was not on that day, there was a lovely open air fish market which we stopped at to admire the many types of seafood. While there, Anne asked if we’d like to try a salted herring. My daughter is an adventuresome eater and was more than glad to partake of this so while Anne taught her the finer points of holding the herring by the tail and slipping it down the throat, I took the pictures.
After that is was off to the medieval city square which I can only describe as amazingly preserved with its beautiful architecture intact. A street vender in the square was selling Frikandel, a Belgium specialty, so of course I had to have one. Anne and I sat on a bench in the square while I munched on this delicious breaded chicken concoction and my daughter attempted to climb the stairs of the Citadel. (sadly the lineup was horrendous so she did not wait).
The next thing we decided to do was shop, my daughter for clothes and I for cheese and Belgium chocolate so the three of us went off in search of some good purchases. Anne knew exactly where to find the most charming cheese store where the friendliest man gave me samples to taste before purchasing. I purchased several of the most amazing cheeses there, which I managed to bring home with me.
All too soon, it was time to leave and go back to London but not without the most amazing memories of a perfect two days.
The three of us had a great time together for those two days and as I said earlier, Anne was fantastic. She was not only knowledgeable but she was fun and enthusiastic which made our experience that much more enjoyable.
Anne does London tours and other England tours as well as out of country tours and as far as we are concerned, she is the epitome of what a tour guide should be and when we return to England as I’m sure we will, Anne will be getting another e-mail.

Visited June 2011
Helpful?
Thank Alicefazoooli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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