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Virtual tour of Kirkby Lonsdale to help beat lockdown blues

A Kendal financial management firm is preparing to host a virtual tour of an historic Cumbrian town to keep people entertained during lockdown.

Financial Management Bureau has teamed up with Blue Badge guide Tess Pike to run the online tour of Kirkby Lonsdale on Thursday January 28 from 7.30pm to 9pm.

Tess, who lives in Kirkby Lonsdale, and is also a member of the British Guild of Tourist Guides, takes visitors all over the north from Liverpool, to York, to Hadrian’s Wall.

She will use Zoom to guide participants on a visual tour of the sites, history and people of Kirkby Lonsdale.

Blue Badge guides, who study for up to two years at university level and have to pass a series of exams to become qualified, usually host groups on walking tours or work on tour buses.

However, Tess said she had been running virtual tours as an alternative during the coronavirus pandemic.

“What I would normally do is meet my group and walk them around town and draw their attention to detail and things of interest,” said Tess.

“Basically, I am going to do exactly the same thing but my visual cues will come from showing things on the screen and I am literally going to do it as though I am on a guided tour. It’s really as if they are there on the ground doing the walk.”

Tess says the virtual tours offer some advantages, such as being able to accommodate more people than a physical tour.

“You can also go back in time and place by returning to images you’ve looked at before or, if there are links to another place, I can just show a picture of somewhere else,” she said.

Tess says although she is looking forward to getting back to offering face-to-face tours when appropriate, she will also continue to run the virtual version as well.

“This is actually great for the future going forward because it extends the guiding season, which normally starts in March and ends in October,” she said.

Ruth Power, director of business development for FMB, said: “As a firm we focus on improving people’s finances because we know this is a key part of maintaining overall well-being in all aspects of your life.

“That’s why we’re really happy to team up with Tess to help host this tour, which we will hope will help lift people’s spirits during this winter lockdown and inspire them to look forward to days out in the future.”

To register for the tour go to: https://www.trybooking.com/uk/events/landing?eid=15330&