We consider that an understanding of the past – a past which is often seen as boring, stifling or at worst, irrelevant – is vital to an understanding of the present.
History need not be about mouldy old books, faraway places you will never see and names and dates you can never remember. A tour with us is more about handling original artefacts, visiting the places you maybe first read about in school and getting the key facts that will help you make sense of the past.
“Why “Dark History”?
By and large, the key events that have shaped the human story have not been sugar coated – natural calamity, war, disease, religious persecution – just 4 examples of the causes of change in society over the millennia. Change can be traumatic for those who experience it – whether it be the Medieval peasant facing the Black Death, or a child sheltering from bombs in WW2.
We offer a variety of off-the-peg private tours covering military and medieval history, archaeology, architecture and socio-political themes, in both Germany and the UK. We can of course tailor an itinerary to suit your particular needs and interests – whether it is a family trip, school or business group, we can put together a tour for you.
“Why should we book with you”?
All of our key staff have professional backgrounds in history, archaeology and museums. The tours they give were – unlike a great many offered by other firms – not learned by rote from a poorly researched script but by years of reading around the subject and thinking critically of the sources. With our WW2 tours, this research has led us far and wide, visiting battlefields and interviewing eyewitnesses to the events that shaped the world we live in.
“I saw a similar tour for a fraction of the price – what gives”?
The vast majority of the tours we offer are private. Going private means that the tour content can be tweaked to your specific interests or research questions. It also means that we go at your pace and if need be can go “off piste” for that souvenir or ice-creams for the kids. We do however offer some group tours (like this city tour and this fantastic night time medieval tour)
“What, no free tour”?
“Free Tours” are to be found in any number of towns and cities across the globe. It sounds almost too good to be true: but few things are ever truly free. On free tours the guide is counting on your tips and generosity to pay his or her bills and pay their company a percentage.
Often, before your tour, they take a “souvenir picture” of the group, which goes on their website. All good fun until you realise that this photo is how the firm calculate how much the guide owes them. It does not matter how much or how little they make, it does not matter if folk don’t tip at all, it does not matter if folk leave early and don’t even hear the tips spiel – they still pay a set rate per person to their firm: the guide is literally paying for the privilege to work. Rather exploitative, no?
This type of work is often seen as the only option for someone who is new to a country and needs to find employment as soon as possible: learn a set script and hey presto – they are now experts with as deep an understanding of their subject as any time-served historian. Or so they would have you believe. When your car breaks down, do you go to an historian or archaeologist to get it fixed?
As a company we really believe that our biggest asset are our people. We respect the years of study they will have undergone for their specialised subjects: we pay our guides a living wage.
As the old saying goes:
“You pay peanuts, you get monkeys”
“What type of tour is right for me”?
We love history and our guides can quite literally talk all day about the subjects they hold close to their heart. However, we appreciate that on your vacation, time is one thing you need to use wisely – we therefore offer tours in the following basic 3 formats:
Introductory tours, 2,5 – 4 hours in duration.
In-depth and focused, these tours can last anywhere from 4 to 6 hours
Full day or multi-day tours, designed to you take right into the heart of the history.
Whatever you decide on, we hope to see you soon,
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