AFTER years of intense training, an Andover man is showing off his talents giving tours in Salisbury and London.

Brendan Fletcher, who lives near Andover town centre, has completed around 70 tours since he finished his training to become a Blue Badge Tourist Guide in April.

Part of the Institute of Tourist Guiding, getting to be a Blue Badge Tourist Guide is not easy.

It takes two years of lectures and practical experience and passing the highest tourist guiding qualification in the UK before applicants pass.

They are the only external guides allowed to guide major sites, including Windsor Castle and Westminster Abbey.

They offer unique tours to groups of all sizes; from individuals and families to large groups on foot, chauffeured cars and coaches.

Mr Fletcher decided on his career while studying French and German at the University of Oxford when he first saw a Blue Badge Tourist Guide at Windsor Castle.

He said: “It’s about sharing your passion for history and culturalism and being an interesting person while you’re showing them around.

“I do really enjoy it, you meet a variety of people and it’s really fun making it work despite different things being thrown your way.

“It’s about giving them a good tour and really engaging with them in a way they understand. “It’s really great that you get to enjoy yourself as well.”

One of his favourite tours was with an American couple taking their two grandsons on a tour in London during the Trooping of the Colour - the official annual celebration of The Queen’s birthday.

He had taken them on a tour around the city before stopping off at St James’ s Park Lake to watch the Red Arrows fly over Buckingham Palace, which he said was ‘lovely’.

Mr Fletcher carries out guides in English, French and German to a variety of families and groups in the London area and at Salisbury Cathedral.

On Blue Badge Tourist Guides, the 25-year-old said: “They provide an ability to understand the area they guide in-depth, and certainly when it comes to foreign language, they have a certain high standard of foreign language proficiency.”