Discover Dorset London Express

This Saturday I immersed myself in the hustle and bustle of the capital as I set about photographing the fourth of six guided tours delivered by award winning Bournemouth based tour company Discover Dorset, on their London Express offering.

On each of these tours I have set about documenting all aspects of the company’s customer service and delivery from pick up in the morning to drop off in the evening. The delivered images detail the manner in which customers are picked up from locations convenient to them (the hotels they are staying at, language schools they are studying with and a range of adaptable locations around the area), the close continuous engagement between guide and passengers, the social dynamic of each tour and of course all the landmarks and small details that they discover!

For the purposes of this post I thought I’d also add some images to the mix that reflect certain of the things I look out for at the edges of these tours, so do pardon the eclecticism :~)


The well worn seat of British democracy...


On the Deepest Dorset tour I found no end of soft, springy, grassy knolls to settle down on for shots like this. Here my only recourse to shelter from the hurly burly of London and its modern ways and infernal omnibuses was to hunker down behind a bridge wall.


I sense a theme emerging in all of these tours.


My tribute to David Solomons.




What I was trying to do #42: Well, I was hoping to catch the faces of the tour party through the gaps in these ballustrades but tour guide Jim was just too much of a ninja on this occasion. The flags behaved though.


I think I captured the essence of Jim this time though!


Jim contemplates.


I spotted this soldier stood to attention with various tourists having their photographs taken alongside him. As I approached he stamped his feet, about turned and marched off swiftly. I should carry a smaller camera perhaps.


The advance party of the Discover Dorset London Express tour display nigh-on mathematically perfect formation marching skills at Horseguard Parade. Maybe I should have dragged them back to those ballustrades for another go.


I had another one, taken within seconds of this image, where our advance party were far more symmetrically aligned but I chose to display this one as I was intrigued by the gently zig zagging vectors defined by the two sets of two people located mid-ground screen right when compared with the configuration of the Discover Dorset grouping at foreground screen left. Anyway, moving along swiftly!


Jim was a trooper. Well, actually he was a seaman, having spent twelve years travelling the world with the Royal Navy. Then he was a fireman for twenty-five years serving ultimately as a station officer. For the past eight years he's been working as a professional actor, and he guides tours for Discover Dorset in parallel. Anyway, out on tours he is a trooper. On entering Trafalgar Square we noticed lots of people mounting a giant bronze lion. None of the passengers fancied a go but Jim ... he's a trooper!


I've passed this spot dozens of times and never realised that this and a number of other plaques are arrayed here. You'll have to sign up for the tour if you want to know where to find them ;~) Or you can check the page source for the image title.


Might need reading twice.


Having earlier captured a nice composition of the group crossing a zebra crossing I had it in mind to recreate The Beatles Abbey Road album cover at the earliest possible opportunity. En route from Leicester Square to Covent Garden I spotted a completely empty crossing on a traffic free road with few other people in the area. We lined up for the shot. It was like a scene from Terry Gilliam's Brazil!


You don't see stuff like this at Harrods! After the guided tour section of the trip the tour party are free to go their own way to explore for a few hours before regrouping to move on to another part of London. With an open brief during this period I thought to myself, what would one do with a few hours to spare as a visitor to our fine capital? Okay, so most go shopping but I think there's no better place to enjoy a few hours as a visitor than on the South Bank of the River Thames so that's where I headed after lunch.


These guys were practicing their Parkour skills on Waterloo Bridge. Very considerate chaps they were too, not just performing marvellously under the gaze of my lens but also being sure to not jump when passers-by were walking under their flight path. The previous image involved a degree of optical chicanery ;~)


Something about this scene simply struck me as evocative. Anyway, there's always a lovely view of the North Bank from the South Bank :~)




Observing the observers observing.


Hypnotic beats.


"? #2"




London : A surprise around every corner.




I've had some fun nights out in London myself.


On the road back to Bournemouth. Not a safe place to stand to take a photograph, especially not using a tripod.

My thanks to Jim for being an excellent guide and superb company on the day, and for leading me to a fantastic spot for lunch in The White Hart on Drury Lane (delicious home cooked food at distinctly non-London prices!) That’s me exhausted of superlatives.

A fuller set of images should be available on Discover Dorset’s Web site in due course to join their existing Jurassic Coast Virtual Tour and Stonehenge Virtual Tour.

Contact Bournemouth wedding photographer Phillip Allen : : 07870 696248