Meet Cindy and Paul
Cindy Chant. Founded Sherborne Walks in 2015.
Cindy has earned a reputation as an enthusiastic and incredibly knowledgeable guide, promoting Sherborne in her own inimitable style. She has over 50 years of accumulated knowledge from living in the area and a passionate interest in its heritage and has devoted herself to the history of this ancient and beautiful town. Be warned – Sir Walter Raleigh is her true love!
“We had the most delightful walk with Cindy showing us all the hidden pathways in Sherborne with a few extra snippets of information on the way. A truly delightful tour guide who is very frank and says just what she thinks…..very refreshing!! If there is an award for best walking tour guide it should go to this very interesting lady!” [August 2018]
Cindy offers the High Season guided walks twice a week, and a number of special occasion walks.
Cindy was not always a Blue Badge Guide…..
In 1957, she left school, and immersed herself into London’s East End, nursing at the Royal London Hospital.
Fully fledged as a registered nurse, she then spent a year in Paris, France, returning to become a high flyer with Freddie Laker and his Airline Company.
After spending time in many corners of the globe, she returned to nursing, specialising in Plastic and Burns Surgery, finally becoming theatre sister in the small, but busy Sherborne Yeatman Hospital.
Following marriage and family life, she became a midwife, delivering many Dorset and local babies, then for twenty years happily worked in public health as a health visitor, getting to intimately know the area and people of North and West Dorset.
Later she offered up-market Bed and Breakfast from her home in deepest Dorset, before high flying once again becoming Sherborne’s own fully qualified Blue Badge Guide.
Paul Birbeck. Associate.
Since 2013, Paul has worked as a holiday guide across southern & south west England and led small private adult groups walking holidays to Devon, Dorset, Somerset & beyond. He became a South West Region Blue Badge Guide in 2018.
His previous career included secondary school teaching in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire; Geography & Environmental Education Advisor for Somerset, Headteacher in Kuwait, Windsor and Somerset, School Inspector and a School Management consultant.
He is very knowledgeable and familiar with the social, economic & political history, geography & geology that create the distinctive character of the West Country.
A confident and relaxed guide who has a reputation for making things interesting for clients. “His enthusiasm was passed onto the group and we all felt that not only had we walked along this incredible coastline, but we also had learnt so much about it. A top rate leader. Good local knowledge and friendly.” [HF guest feedback]
THANK YOU for such a brilliant tour around the town of Sherborne. Everyone had a great day and I have received many notes from attendees commenting on the quality and detail provided. They also found both guides highly personable and very knowledgeable and passionate about the town.” [Tour Manager, Historic Houses Association. Sept 2018]
Julia first qualified as a Blue Badge Guide working in Dorset and the South West and now works across southern England leading private tours for families and groups. Previously she worked as a Museum learning manager and living history teacher specialising in the interpretation of history through food, culture, and an understanding of the wonderful landscape of southern England.
Sherborne has long been a favourite place to guide; a small market town with a fascinating history and great variety of stories to tell. She takes great pleasure in uncovering what will inspire and intrigue visitors and discovering themes that bring our surroundings to life in a new or unexpected light.
Call: 07989 453966
A great way to learn about the history and architecture of Sherborne and to discover otherwise hidden delights. Julia is a fantastic recent addition to the team, able to place... read more
Sherborne is full of architecture from the Middle Ages, Tudor, Stewards, Georgian, Queen Victoria, and all brought to life by Paul the guide whose knowledge is brilliant. Even those of... read more
I bought a private walking tour as a Christmas present for my family, wanting something we could do together (covid safe), enjoy even with our different tastes and learn something... read more
Fantastic informative walk by our extremely knowledgable guide Paul, on the day before the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Sherborne. Not only were we able to appreciate the beauty... read more
Wow. What a performance! Cindy is clearly in love with Sir Walter Raleigh! She gave a two hour declaration of his character and life in Sherborne in the beginning of... read more
A very informative walking tour of the Town by very knowledgable Guides.
As a relatively new Resident (3 Years), it was a great way to have a snapshot of... read more
We had a personalised tour with Cindy as there were no other takers on that morning! Very glad we did as Cindy was wonderful. Very informative and made the town... read more