I am a historian, tour operator and private guide based in Canterbury, where I moved in 1992 with my wife and children (now aged 30-35). I run Dr Thomson's Tours full-time.
After graduating with a degree in American Studies in 1979 I was briefly a civil servant, then a university administrator for fifteen years. I was Administrator of University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory (the UK's first and largest university space research group), then moved to Canterbury in 1992 to be Administrator of the new Canterbury Business School. Meanwhile I was taking my love of history forward by completing a PhD in American History in my own time; the subject was the experience of ordinary American troops in France in 1944 and 1945 and their interactions with the French people (you can consult an abstract of my thesis on this site).
On completion of this I set about my aim of doing something 'useful' (i.e. productive!) with a History PhD and set up Dr Thomson's Tours in 1997. This allows me to teach 'in the field', to take my study of history forward, and to meet a fascinating and varied mix of people.
My tours range from individuals and family-sized private parties to groups in coaches. Clients have included the Friends of the Imperial War Museum, Elderhostel, Canterbury King's Society, local, Decorative & Fine Arts groups, and universities as well as families from Britain, Australia, Canada and the U.S.. References pay tribute to my relaxed but authoritative style, the high level of organisation of tours, and my ability to personalise a tour and make the complexities of history understandable to audiences with very varying degrees of pre-existing knowledge.
Battlefield guiding in recent years has accounted for a sizeable fraction of my business. Battlefield tours are special to me as they combine history (asking what happened, why it happened there, and in that way), people (both empathy with those who fought, and on-the-spot interactions with clients), landscape, and travel - all great interests of mine. Where History and Place overlap is at the heart of the buzz I get from history and explaining it to others. I was very proud to obtain the Guild of Battlefield Guides’ badge (number 14) in November 2004.
All text, maps & photos © Dr Thomson’s Tours Ltd.
Website design by Joseph Thomson
Last updated March 2019
Bethany, 37 The Crescent
Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7AW
Dr Thomson’s Tours