guided tours of Bridgewater canal

A Salford tour guide has spoken about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on her business.

Elizabeth Charnley, who runs Charnleys Outdoors, qualified as a Green Badge tourist guide in April 2019.

She usually runs informative guided tours of Bridgewater Canal as well as town centre tours of Worsley, Monton, Patricroft, Eccles and Barton, but has only been able to run three tours this year as a result of lockdown measures. Charnley said:

“Three in a year was not my plan – I had envisaged something every week but it wasn’t to be. Maybe next year my new career could take off!”

Elizabeth and other Salford tour guides are able to offer tours now that the area is under Tier 3, and are planning to do tours for groups of up to six family and friends ‘bubbling’ together over the festive season.

Barton Swing Aqueduct is just one of the Salford landmarks with a rich history. (Image via Wikipedia is in the public domain.)

Earlier this month, Elizabeth hosted an online Eccles cake taste-along: “I am the undisputed Eccles cake champion and I have decided to use that as part of my USP for tours of Eccles town centre.

“Our group has very diverse interests and expertise outside of the basic guiding qualification.”

Charnleys Outdoors has been given Visit England’s “We’re good to go” mark of compliance, which allows Elizabeth to reassure customers that her business follows public health and government guidelines during the pandemic.

Speaking about the safety measures and continuing doing what she loves, Charnley said:

“I’m due to do one this Saturday, all appropriately social distanced and if people want me to look like something off Doctor Who, then I have a clear face shield to wear for their reassurance.

“Only sensible bubbles need apply!”

Elizabeth believes that it is highly important for the people of Salford to undertake tours and walks, not only for the positive impacts on health and wellbeing, but to learn about their local history as well. She said:

“I think it’s very much like if you live at the seaside – you rarely go to the beach that’s within walking distance.”

She added: “I am planning to promote tours to local people to have a tour of their own area but to see it with new eyes.

“People have no idea what is on their doorstep.”

The map below shows just a few of the places of interest you can see on one of Elizabeth’s tours:

You can visit Charnleys Outdoors website here, where you can contact Elizabeth with any queries or to book a tour.

On the website, it also explains that Elizabeth trains adults and children in first aid safety and accident prevention, having spent nine years on a project with Manchester Royal Infirmary.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has meant that the she has not taught this year.

Speaking about this, Elizabeth said: “I am sure there are lots of people who would like the training but they’re too scared to actually do it in person at the moment.

“Again, maybe next year. Maybe I should put “Rodders” at the end of that in a Del Boy accent…”

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