There's No Comparison
"London Walks puts you into the hands of an expert on the particular area and topic of a tour" The New York Times
There's no comparison because you're not comparing like with like.
 
Consider the hippopotamus (Anaology Alert here) The word is Greek. It means "river horse". (You can hear the words potable and potamic – as in potamic civilisation – in there.) That's what the Greeks called it, but their calling it that didn't make it a horse. Mammal, yes. Quadruped, yes. Horse, no.
 
The analogy and The New York Times touch the matter with a needle. London Walks is sui generis precisely because, uniquely, it fronts its walks with real professionals – with historians, barristers, archaeologists, doctors, criminologists, unversity lecturers, journalists, art historians, museum curators, actors, etc.
 
And that's why there's no comparison. It's not just a difference in degree, it's a difference in kind.
 
It bears repeating: real professionals. Extremely well educated, cultivated, accomplished individuals who in several cases are the foremost expert – "internationally renowned" – in their particular discipline.
 
A top flight education, long years of professional experience – that's the foundation London Walks builds on. Those professional underpinnings – the superb education, earned accomplishment in his or her field – are the sine qua non. And not only do those professional foundations get laid down first – they have to be there. They have to be there because the "add-on", the "what comes on top" – the guiding – doesn't just rest on those sure foundations, it draws on them.
 
 
Not just a difference in degree, a difference in kind. There's no comparison.
 

Okay, for anyone who wants an "in-depth" look at the above, here's the drill-down area. And – this should go without saying – opening all this up to view is necessarily going to be a work-in-progress. It's going to take some time because there are a lot of factors that come into play – and they're all interwoven. I'll bullet point them – and if you want to read the particulars of any given point, well, just "link click".
 
And an explanation for the explanation? It's very simple, really. It's part of the ongoing battle here to dispell the oceans of squid ink the knock-offs pump out. Mostly has to do with our name. Crude, contemptible little bait-and-switch hustles: calling themselves London walks, e.g. The lower case w is the giveaway. Or London Walk (yup, you got it – the singular form is your wooden nickle in this instance).
 
Bottom line, one's name – think of your own name – is "an inseparable, constitutive part" of what Henry James calls "the impress which constitutes an identity". And it doesn't get much more basic than that – one's identity. London Walks is our "identity", it's not theirs. If it's not London Walks they're not London Walks. End of story. Well not quite end of story – if they're trying to get you to think they're London Walks that should set all kinds of alarm bells ringing.
 
Okay, here are those bullet points...
 
Blue Badge Guides. Ours are better.
 
London Walks is aggressively non-commercial. Huh? Yes, that's one of the reasons London Walks is "the premier walking tour company in the entire world". Here's the explanation.
 
London Walks – The Walking Tour Specialists! The facts speak for themselves. Fact One: there are more than 500 different London Walks. Fact Two: London Walks is the oldest urban walking tour company in the world (London Walks was founded nearly 50 years ago).  Fact Three: London Walks is universally regarded – every major newspaper, every major guidebook, the general public, the profession itself –  as the best walking tour company in the world.  Fact Four: Walking tours barely come in to the Blue Badge course – Blue Badge trainees are taught one walking tour. Fact Five (the crunching numbers): 500 to 1. Fact Six: London Walks – Streets Ahead!
 
To be cont.