About Westminster & the Westminster Guides
About the City of Westminster Guide Lecturers' Association
The City of Westminster Guide Lecturers’ Association (CWGLA), or Westminster Guides (as we are now commonly known), was established in 2007 to promote and maintain the best standards of guiding relevant to the City of Westminster. We endeavour to maintain a close working relationship with, and the support of, Westminster City Council, and in the early days of our formation, the Council gave permission to Westminster Guides to have a logo based on the crest of the Lord Mayor. We aim to showcase this amazing area of London, with pride and passion, to our legion of visitors, as well as supporting community and social networks within Westminster through the walks we offer.
Each year the Association participates in events such as Open House, Silver Sunday and Local London Guiding Day, devising and organising walks, offered on a free basis to the public. In addition, notable anniversaries of key historic events are often marked by themed Association Walks, sometimes in partnership with other organisations. Walks listed on this site bearing the Association logo, are organised directly by the Association, and are managed by the Committee.
The Association is a not-for-profit, Committee-led, membership organisation. All of our Westminster Guides qualify for membership on the successful completion of a course of study, provided by London Heritage Training. On joining the Association, they receive a badge of membership, presented by the Lord Mayor of the City of Westminster. The Association runs its own website and supports its members with ongoing opportunities for professional development. It also offers public liability insurance cover for all walks led by our members.
Many individual members provide independent walking tours in all areas of Westminster, catering for a range of different interests. These are identified in the listings by the Members’ Badge (see below). They are provided directly by the member and are independent of the Association.
The City of Westminster Badge is worn by qualified Westminster Guides who are current members of the CWGLA, which requires members to maintain guiding standards and encourages continuing professional development.
Members can also use this badge on promotional material for their own independently run tours.
How to Become a Westminster Guide
The Westminster Tour Guiding course is the pathway to membership of the CWGLA. The course gives students the knowledge and skills they need to design and deliver engaging walking tours around this borough that is the royal, political and cultural heart of London.
The course now covers virtual guiding as well as exterior and interior guiding, so students learn how to deliver online tours as well as guide on the street and inside sites.
The course serves both as the ideal starting point for students intending to become professional tour guides and as an inspiring experience for students progressing their personal development.
To enquire or to register your interest, please visit the course website.
Where and What is Westminster?
Westminster is London’s most famous borough and forms the beating heart of our capital. It is known and recognised throughout the world as the location for some of the city’s most spectacular sites; ‘Big Ben’ and the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey. It is where the UK’s central government is based, it is home to the King and other members of the Royal Family, and is the centre of ceremony and pageantry.
Famous for being the centre of art and culture, leisure and entertainment, shopping and style, it is where many important institutions have their headquarters and is probably the most exciting area of London.
It is one of London’s 33 boroughs and is bordered by the boroughs of Camden to the north, the City of London to the east, by Kensington & Chelsea and Brent to west, and the river Thames to the south. It covers just over 8 square miles of central London and was created in 1965, with the unification of three former Metropolitan boroughs, Paddington, Marylebone and Westminster. Around 240,000 people call Westminster home, and 3,500 new residents are born here every year. Every day over a million people visit, whether to work, study, or to see the sights.
We work regularly with a series of extraordinary partners in delivering exceptional walks to Westminster’s thriving community of visitors and locals alike. This includes cooperation with our sister Local London Guiding Associations, Westminster City Council, charities, tourism bodies, and special organisations involved with commemorative events. See below for a selection of our recent valued partners.