Tour Dates Update

2022 Schedule Tours

After the last 2 years, it’s more obvious than ever that nothing is certain. That being accepted, I’ve just uploaded details of my proposed scheduled Tours, on most Saturday mornings, from March through to end of September.

Dates and booking details here: EVENTBRITE

These scheduled Tours start at 10.30, and take between two and two-and-a-half hours to complete the two-mile route. (Route may be a little longer, or shorter depending on weather and any enforced detours).

A couple of Saturdays are not included, as I plan something a bit different for those. More information closer to the dates.

If you, or a group of you, would prefer a Tour on a different date, or of a different distance or duration, please get in touch. I’ll do my very best to fit something in for you.

Any comments, or questions, let me know.

Latest News, Tour content update, Tour Dates Update

We are back!

A relaxation of the COVID restrictions means I can re-start Walking Tours around Carrickfergus from 24 May 2021. Finally, the Teddy Bear (yet to be named) can come out of his suitcase!

Join me on a walk around my hometown to uncover the story of Carrickfergus as it was during the Second World War. We’ll visit some of the locations that were important during this period to understand what it was like to live through this most momentous period of the 20th Century.

All Tours include extensive contemporary photographs and artifacts, as well as a few specially commissioned reproductions. Through these, you will experience how the people, buildings, and infrastructure of Carrickfergus responded to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Tour Options

The Tour has a few Route permutations, from 1.2 to 2.5 miles.

The Public Tour is the shorter version, taking about 90 minutes to complete. Public Tours are advertised through Eventbrite.

Private Tours are available on request: please get in touch with your requirements and I’ll do my best to organise a Tour for you. Private Tours can be tailored to meet your specific requirements and interests. The Route and content can be adapted, and visits to additional locations included (subject to their opening hours).

Prices

Adults (aged 16 and over): £8

Juniors (Under 16): £5

Any Questions?

Ultimately, I want you to have a great experience on my Tour. Feel free to contact me to find out more, talk through what you would like included on your Tour and even make suggestions. Private Tours can be as bespoke as you want.

If you have any queries about the Tour, please do get in touch.

Phone/Text: 07916 780474

Email: leadthewaytourcarrickfergus@gmail.com

Tour content update, Tour Dates Update

April Re-Start

Fingers crossed, brighter times are ahead.

I’m now one of the growing minority (soon to be the majority) of people who have had the COVID vaccine. I’m hoping this will be a significant step towards a return to normality – or as close to that as possible.

From my Guided Walking Tour’s perspective, I’ve put in a shed-load of effort during the lockdown to make sure I can begin meeting new Guests, and sharing the story of my hometown as it was during the Second World War.

Busy bee, busy me

Anyone who knows me will have often heard me say “every day is a school day”, and I’ve been true to my word. I’ve completed online classes in Customer Care, Social Media for Business and am part-way through a Tour Guiding course.

I’ve also had a lot of support from Mid & East Antrim Borough Council through their Storify my Business and Digital Boost programmes, regular check-ins from their Tourism folk and timely emailed updates.

Thanks to some financial support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, I’ve been able to track down and purchase some exhibits to show Tour Guests; invest in some audio equipment so that Guests can maintain Social Distancing and still hear me; bought licences from National Museums NI for a few wartime photos which I will be able to share on my website and social media channels; and upgraded my website (though I’m still tinkering with it, so it will change a bit over the next few weeks).

Starting Soon….

Bottom line is that I hope to be in a position to re-start Tours in April, subject to appropriate guidance. Safe to say I’m excited about the possibility of recommencing Tours.

The best way to keep informed about my Tours is to either check in with my website now and again, or follow my Facebook Page.

Additionally, I’ve looked at the content of my Tour, and the exhibits I now have, and think there is enough there to be able to offer presentations to groups (once we are allowed to meet like that again). I’ll update you on this possibility through my website and Facebook Page.

Finally, if you have any comments, questions or suggestions about my Tour, please let me know. I want to keep improving!

Looking forward to meeting new Guests and showing off my hometown.

Adrian

Tour Dates Update

Tour Arrangements – Autumn and Winter

2020 did not exactly go to plan!

Well, this wasn’t the way this year was supposed to pan out! The arrival of COVID-19 was a real setback, particularly as I was unable to run any tours from mid-March for three months. This meant that I missed out on a series of special tours planned for the V.E. Day weekend back in May.

All things considered, though, I had a more successful set of tours, all things considered. Despite the virus restrictions introduced in March, which brought the country to a standstill, I was able to re-commence tours in mid-June by adhering to specific virus countermeasures..

Soon after the re-start, a younger guest came on a tour. Based on feedback, I re-visited the content of my tour and developed a version aimed at a younger audience – a Junior Tour was born!

Through the Junior and Scheduled Tours, I met some really great people. A huge thanks to everyone who came along, especially the children who joined my new Junior Tours. I genuinely enjoyed meeting each and every guest.

Trees in Autumn Forest

The Changing of the Seasons

With the nights already closing in and the weather becoming more unsettled, I’ll not be arranging Scheduled Tours during the Autumn and Winter months. Instead, I’ll be offering tours on request until March 2021. If you want to come on a tour during this period, please get in touch and I’ll do my best to organise one on a day/time that suits you. I know the weather has a big impact on deciding when to go on a tour, so feel free to contact me at fairly short notice if the forecast looks promising.

Meanwhile, work continues to develop the tour for next year: further research into the town’s experiences during the war; hunting for more photos and pieces of memorabilia; and improving my “digital output” (fancy name for my website and social media channels!).

Throughout the Autumn and Winter, I’ll keep adding snippets of information and updates about the tour through my website and social media outlets – follow them to avoid missing out. The various ways to get in touch and follow my social media channels can be found here: https://leadthewaytour.com/contact-me-2/

More to come

Before I forget, some things to look forward to over the next wee while:

  • Carrickfergus Castle is due to re-open on 1 October;
  • The Guard House near the Town Hall is about to open to visitors after its refurbishment; and
  • Two books are soon to be published – one on the local Ulster Home Guard and the other about Carrickfergus’ townscape through time.

My hometown may be small, but it’s packed with history!

Finally, I’m always open to receiving suggestions, advice and memories that help tell the story of my hometown during the war. If you have anything to share that you think I may be interested in, give me a shout. Every day is a school day!

Adrian

The “We’re Good To Go” industry standard mark is a self-assessment scheme that has been designed by VisitEngland in partnership with the national tourist organisations Tourism Northern Ireland, VisitScotland and Visit Wales to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for all sectors of the tourism industry, as well as reassurance to visitors that businesses have clear processes in place and are following industry and Government COVID-19 guidance on cleanliness and social distancing.
Tour Dates Update

IMPORTANT UPDATE

Revised route, new content, restricted group size.

As the Northern Ireland Executive announces amendments to the COVID-19 containment measures, I am continually revising the Tour to ensure Guests’ safety..

Consequently, I will be taking Guided Walking Tours of Carrickfergus, looking specifically at events here during the Second World War, on the following basis:

  • There will be no “just turn up” Tours – all places on the Tour must be pre-booked. Drop me an email (leadthewaytourcarrickfergus@gmail.com), give me a call/text (+44 7916780474), or send me a Facebook Message (https://www.facebook.com/leadthewaytour), and I’ll do my very best to organise a day and time that suits you.
  • Requested Tours can be delivered on most days: morning, afternoon or evening.
  • Maximum of 8 persons on each Tour.
  • Those who come on the Tour MUST adhere to appropriate Social Distancing.

PUBLIC SAFETY REMAINS PARAMOUNT

ROUTE

The Tour route will be slightly different than before, to ensure it is delivered within the official guidance in regard to outdoor spaces.

It is about 1.2 miles long, and will take just over 90 minutes to complete.

The route is on level ground with safe crossing points.

If you want to include more exercise into your Tour, it can be extended up to 2 miles to include walking out of the Town Centre to some of the locations that I talk about. These longer Tours can be arranged on request.

CONTENT

The Tour covers the following topics:

  • Background on the Churchill Tank displayed on the Marine Highway, the North Irish Horse Regiment that used it during the Second World War, and why Carrickfergus was so important in the development of the Tank
  • Women in Work: Factories in Carrickfergus that made a hugely significant contribution to the War effort
  • Domestic life in the town: The Home Front
  • The special uses of the town’s Civic Buildings
  • How the Town Centre’s infrastructure changed throughout the War, particularly when the American Troops arrived
  • The Sunnylands Army Camp – from British to American to Belgian occupation
  • The formation, and onward journey, of the US Rangers
  • A new Belgian Army
  • Carrickfergus Military Prison and Detention Barracks
  • The Military Petrol Distributing Centre

I use approximately 150 photographs to help tell the story of events in Carrickfergus during the Second World War. These photos have been enlarged to A4 size, so are visible from 2 metres to maintain social distancing.

I also have a few exhibits which I bring along. However, due to their fragility, if the weather conditions are not favourable I may not be able to display these –  apologies in advance if this is the case on your Tour. 

If you have any concerns or questions, please get in touch

Adrian

Tour content update, Tour Dates Update

New Junior Tour

Over the last few weeks, three Primary School pupils have been on my Tour.

The Second World War is on the Primary school curriculum, and these children have been enthused enough to ask their parents to book a place on the Tour. The feedback has been very positive, but I appreciate that the Standard Tour content may be too detailed and varied to take in at that age.

With that in mind, I am organising Junior Tours over the summer months more specifically aimed at content that more appropriate for pupils in Years 4-7.

NOTE: Children on the Tour must be accompanied by an Adult. If from the same household, more than one child can be accompanied by a single adult

The Tour will look at events that happened in, or impacted on, the town of Carrickfergus:

  • Factories that made items used during the war
  • The Belfast Blitz
  • Air Raid precautions, including the issuing of gas masks
  • The American Army in Carrickfergus
  • The buildings adapted or built to support the military in Carrickfergus
  • Rationing and the Home Front

This Tour Route is around a mile in length and takes just over an hour to complete. This version is specifically for Primary School pupils plus a responsible adult to accompany them.

Advice for young children (Year 3 or younger) – if I am honest, the Junior Tour may not be suitable, and the Standard one definitely isn’t. There is quite a lot of information shared on both Tours, and I am not sure that a very young child would find this sufficiently interesting. That said, I will leave it up to the main carer of such a young child to decide if they want to bring them on a Tour. In such circumstances, children of this age will be made more than welcome and I will not charge for their attendance. If in doubt, get in touch and I can offer more specific advice.

Standard and Junior Tours will be advertised on Eventbrite, but I am also very open to requests to put on a Tour on other dates and times.

Tour Dates Update

Tour Dates Update

Set Tours for the next six Saturday afternoons (2pm start) have been added to the “Events” section of the Facebook Page (although you can ask me to set up a Tour for another day/time – just ask!).

A quick background to the Tour is in the video pinned to the top of the Facebook posts.

To stay within the COVID-19 countermeasures, I have to limit the number of guests on each Tour to 8. Therefore,for the time being, there is no “just turn up” option – tickets must be purchased in advance through Eventbrite.

Tour Dates Update

US Rangers – Activation Anniversary

This Friday (19th June) sees the 78th anniversary of the activation of the 1st Battalion United States Rangers in Carrickfergus: the only US Army unit ever formed on foreign soil.

To mark this occasion, I had planned to organise a special version of my Second World War themed Tour around Carrickfergus with an extra focus on the selection, training and onward journey of those Darby’s Rangers.

Unfortunately, due to obvious reasons, I have had to scale back on that.

I have adapted the route and content to make the best of the current situation. Three Tours on the 19th have been added to the Events section of my Facebook page.

These Tours still include visits to locations around Carrickfergus which were of special significance during the Second World War, from manufacturing, military and Home Front perspectives.

The Tour route is just over 2 miles long, on level ground, and will last for around 90 minutes.

The Tour starts from the pathway just to the left of Carrickfergus Castle (as you face the main gate). I’ll be there with a green rucksack, so you won’t miss me!

To comply with the current COVID-19 measures, the following changes have been made to my Tour:

• A maximum of 8 people (adhering to appropriate social distancing) per Tour

• To go on a Tour, you must pre-book a place

• The route has been amended so that it is entirely outdoors

• All the photographs that I show have been enlarged to A4 to make them visible from a safe social distance

• The few exhibits I carry with me cannot be handled by the Tour guests.

If you have any concerns or questions about the Tour, please get in touch.

Similarly, if you would like me to organise a Tour on another day or time, please contact me and I will do my best to accommodate you.

The “We’re Good To Go” industry standard mark is a self-assessment scheme that has been designed by VisitEngland in partnership with the national tourist organisations Tourism Northern Ireland, VisitScotland and Visit Wales to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for all sectors of the tourism industry, as well as reassurance to visitors that businesses have clear processes in place and are following industry and Government COVID-19 guidance on cleanliness and social distancing.
Tour Dates Update

IMPORTANT UPDATE

Revised route, new content, restricted group size.

As the Northern Ireland Executive announces amendments to the COVID-19 containment measures, I am continually revising the Tour to ensure Guests’ safety..

Consequently, I will be taking Guided Walking Tours of Carrickfergus, looking specifically at events here during the Second World War, on the following basis:

  • There will be no “just turn up” Tours – all places on the Tour must be booked through Eventbrite or be pre-arranged on request. Drop me an email (leadthewaytourcarrickfergus@gmail.com), give me a call/text (+44 7916780474), or send me a Facebook Message (https://www.facebook.com/leadthewaytour), and I’ll do my very best to organise a day and time that suits you.
  • Requested Tours can be delivered on most days: morning, afternoon or evening.
  • Maximum of 10 persons on each Tour.
  • Those who come on the Tour MUST adhere to appropriate Social Distancing.

PUBLIC SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT

ROUTE

The Tour route will be slightly different than before, to ensure it is delivered within the official guidance in regard to outdoor spaces.

It is about 1.3 miles long, and will take just over 90 minutes to complete (a shorter version is available for children – see The Tour section)

The route is on level ground with safe crossing points.

If you want to include more exercise into your Tour, it can be extended up to 3 miles to include walking out of the Town Centre to some of the locations that I talk about. These longer Tours can be arranged on request.

CONTENT

The Tour covers the following topics:

  • Background on the Churchill Tank displayed on the Marine Highway, the North Irish Horse Regiment that used it during the Second World War, and why Carrickfergus was so important in the development of the Tank
  • Factories in Carrickfergus that made a hugely significant contribution to the War effort
  • Domestic life in the town: The Home Front
  • The special uses of the town’s Civic Buildings
  • How the Town Centre’s infrastructure changed throughout the War, particularly when the American Troops arrived
  • The Sunnylands Army Camp – from British to American to Belgian occupation
  • The formation, and onward journey, of the US Rangers
  • A new Belgian Army
  • Carrickfergus Military Prison and Detention Barracks
  • The Military Petrol Distributing Centre

I use approximately 150 photographs to help tell the story of events in Carrickfergus during the Second World War. These photos have been enlarged to A4 size, so are visible from 2 metres to maintain social distancing.

I also have a few exhibits which I bring along. However, due to their fragility, if the weather conditions are not favourable I may not be able to display these –  apologies in advance if this is the case on your Tour. 

If you have any concerns or questions, please get in touch

Adrian

Tour Dates Update

We’ll meet again……

It has been a staggering month or so.

As the New Year started, I was in the final planning stage of delivering some large-scale Tours over the V.E. Day weekend in early May. I was involved in organising an inter-generational lunch to bring together people who lived through the Second World War and young school pupils who are our future. I was testing new content to be included in this year’s Tours. New professional marketing was almost completed.

Now, I’m into the fourth week of adhering to Scientific and Medical advice and doing my bit to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 virus by staying indoors unless absolutely necessary.

I am in awe of the work done by a huge range of key workers who are looking after our welfare. Health workers, public servants, post & parcel delivery staff, retail workers, transportation personnel, and many others.

Like most of the travel, tourism and hospitality sector, I have not been able to operate during the lockdown. Disappointing as this is, I understand that protecting lives comes first. The least we can do is act selflessly to ensure the safety of our fellow citizens during this unprecedented period.

I have put some of the enforced hometime to good use. I have discovered more information of activities that took place in Carrickfergus during the Second World War, and intend to include this in the Tour, whenever I am able to re-start offering them.

As I sit here at the keyboard, I have no idea how soon it will be before my Tour can re-commence. Realistically, it may be well into the summer, or maybe even beyond.

In the meantime, I’ll keep digging for more to add to the Tour. If you have any information that you think I could include, please get in touch. Similarly, if you have any questions, give me a shout.

Most importantly of all: Stay at Home, protect the Health & Social Services, Save Lives.

Adrian