Tour Guide Insider: Glynn Burrows




Glynn Burrows shares his Success Story with his company Norfolk Tours, that specializes in custom private tours of England, and also helping travelers connect with their British family history, on Big Blend Radio.


Glynn Burrows started his tourism business, Norfolk Tours in 2010. Having been researching local and family history since 1977, he decided to concentrate on tailored family history tours of Norfolk and Suffolk in England, but it soon became apparent that no other company was offering such custom tours, taking people exactly where they wanted to go and offering the complete package.

Norfolk Tours offers visitors all transport, accommodation, meals and visits and, as well as having their own private guide, visitors are able to leave everything in England to Glynn. All areas of mainland UK are covered and Glynn excels at digging out amazing family stories, often taking visitors to the actual houses where their ancestors lived and the Churches where family were baptized, married or buried. Standing by an ancestor’s grave is something quite special.

As Norfolk Tours offers totally tailored trips, Glynn is able to put together tours for any interest. Past guests have visited and experienced stately houses and gardens, castles and churches, ruins and villages, birding and wildlife, World War II airfields, and general area taster tours too. Accommodations can be in all types of establishment, from character buildings such as windmills, thatched cottages and castles, self-catering or five star luxury –  just say what you want and it can be arranged. Nothing is too much trouble for Glynn! Visit

So what does it take to be a successful in the tour company industry? Listen to our Big Blend Radio discussion with Glynn Burrows and read his answers to our 10 Tour Guide Insider Questions about his career, including the challenges he faces, as well as his inspirations.

What led you to a career as a tour guide?
I have always been interested in family and local history and had previously shown people around places connected to their family history on a voluntary basis, so when, due to personal reasons, I had to leave my job and set up a business myself, following something which I’m passionate about was an obvious choice.

What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for being a successful tour guide?
I am passionate about what I am doing and I enjoy passing on my passion to others. I have been researching local and family history since 1977, so I know how to find out interesting information about people from the past.

Who or what inspires you?
My own family, past and present, as well as the English countryside.

Describe your ideal client.
My ideal client is someone who has already carried out a bit of research about their ancestors but want to know more about the real people and their actual lives. Real family history rather than just ancestry.

What is your pet peeve in regards to the tour operator industry?
My pet peeve is the hotels that serve rubbish food for breakfast. I detest “plastic” sausages, especially when there are so many fantastic local butchers around. (One hotel, which sells itself as top class accommodation in a town, famous for its sausages, served us mass-produced, factory made cheap sausages for breakfast, missing the chance of a great unique selling point miserably.)

What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career?
The only change I have had to make is that I sometimes need to stay away from home for a few days but that isn’t a problem because my wife has no problem with being home alone.

What do you consider your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is organisation of my accounts.

If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be?
One of my ancestors William Bear who died in 1705, because I would love to know where he came from. Admiral Lord Nelson because he is a real Norfolk Hero. Boudicea because she is one of the most amazing women who ever lived. She fought the Romans and, although we know some things about her life, I’d like to hear it from her own perspective.

If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose?
I would be the Prime Minister and change the entire system of government.


What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started as a tour operator?
Do this job only if you are passionate about showing people what they want to see. Don’t take people’s money if you are just going to do this after rote learning. (I detest going on a guided tour with the guide who just repeats the same things twenty times a day, same facts, same jokes and same wait for the laughs.)

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