On our recent trip to England and Paris, my wife and I were treated to walking tours in three cities we visited. My legs held out, the weather co-operated, and the tours were great but completely different. Actually, let me increase the count to four due to one extra activity.

Thanks to one of my PhD programme colleagues, Brenda Padilla (@brendapadilla), for a previously promised visit to the Paternoster Lift at our University of Leicester. With few still in operation, it was to be an ‘experience.’ Unfortunately, we arrived about ten minutes after it was shut down for the night.

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The next stop was to the graveyard where Thomas Cook was buried. Again, due to gates about to close, we did not go all the way in. It was about this time we learned that Brenda, a full-time student from Mexico, is a volunteer tour guide in Leicester. She showed us around the area near our off-campus university offices and ended the tour and our last evening with a hot beverage and apple crumble. Darkness limited the photo opportunities, but here is my Leicester photo set.

Our tour host in Paris is a fellow member of the International Police Association (IPA). We were grateful for the afternoon and early evening spent seeing sites in an area he used to work. This included the fabulous and breathtaking stores of Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. Ladies, imagine individual whole floors of shoes, cosmetics, and lingerie! We also observed major jewelry stores in the vicinity of the Ritz Paris where Diana, Princess of Wales, departed prior to her sad death. Our tour ended at Montmartre where we spent time at Basilique Sacré-Coeur before dinner at La Bohème.

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Back in London near the end of our trip, we were again treated to tours given by, or arranged by, members of the IPA along with a couple of members visiting from Paris. This focused on Westminster, with a guided tour of the Palace of Westminster prior to exploring the area. I am pictured below beside what is known as the world’s (or at least London’s) smallest police station, in Trafalgar Square.

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I mentioned a fourth tour. That was actually in the early part of the trip visiting family in High Wycombe area. We had limited time, but on the morning of our departure (the day after we arrived), my uncle and aunt took us to the River Thames at Marlow. A cool but sunny morning, it was a beautiful place to visit that my mother remembers well from year ago.

These walking tours were enjoyable ways to see and learn what we would otherwise have missed. I’m not doing them justice with such brief explanations.

Photo sets from the trip