Travel & Tourism 2023

49 | Luxlife Magazine Best Bespoke Walking Tours Provider - Sussex Known for the infamous battle it gives its name to, Hastings is a small seaside town in East Sussex with a wealth of character and history to explore. With so much to learn and discover about the town’s past, it is no surprise that historical guided tours are popular among visitors. Here, we speak to Tina Brown, Owner and Tour Producer at Historic Experiences, who is passionate about the history of her hometown and aims to share her knowledge through bespoke guided tours. Ideal for anyone visiting Hastings who is interested in learning more about its history, Historic Experiences offers bespoke guided historical tours of the quirky seaside town. The company’s tours are popular with overseas visitors, social clubs, couples on holiday, and many others. Bringing the past to life for clients in an engaging and interesting way, the company provides high-quality tours from start to finish. Tina Brown, Owner of Historic Experiences, has a true passion for what she does, born from attending a guided walk as a child. She created her first business in 1992, Haunted Experiences, which involved taking clients on a tour around haunted houses while retelling creepy stories. Eventually, Tina decided to sell this business and create Historic Experiences, which focuses on the unique history of Hastings. With over 25 years of experience as a local tour guide, she has a wealth of experience in the industry and uses it to deliver tours that she knows her customers will love. Over the years, Tina has written several books on the history of Hastings and runs regular Tour Guide Workshops. Taking pride in attention to detail and aiming to make each tour that little bit different, Historic Experiences curates personalised tours that suit customers’ group size, needs, and particular topics of interests. More than a generic tour guide, the company curates the perfect tour for each individual group, ensuring that they are engaged from beginning to end. Tina comments, “I love designing a specific tour for a client, whether it involves visiting historic churches in the town, sampling local food and drink, or learning about the fishing industry by visiting the fishing beach. I strive to offer the very highest level of service to my clients, and nothing is too much trouble. To get a thank you following a tour is the best thing ever!” Given the nature of the industry, Tina has always found recruiting staff difficult, so she often runs the tours by herself. When she does recruit for busy periods, she seeks professional individuals who are interested in Hastings and its history. Anyone she hires must also have a passion for people and be willing to work to provide the high-quality tours she wants to deliver. Tina says, “I am always willing to give someone an opportunity, even if they do not have experience. When I set out in 1992, I had never even spoken in public, and look at what I have achieved now. I like to find people who are a little bit different and can offer something to the business.” As you may expect, the Covid-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the walking tour industry, with restrictions on travel as well as the number of people who could gather in one place. A large part of Tina’s business came from coaches coming in from Europe, which could no longer travel during the pandemic. Although this loss of business massively affected her income, Tina decided to make the most of her free time during lockdown, working to improve her tours and research new ideas. Historic Experiences is now working to regain the losses it faced during the pandemic by seeking new business opportunities. Utilising the business relationships she has built, Tina is planning to work with accommodation providers to offer short breaks where clients can stay in a historic property with a full bespoke itinerary set out for the duration of their trip. This is an exciting time for Historic Experiences, with opportunities for growth on the horizon. With glowing reviews on TripAdvisor, Historic Experiences provides outstanding tours that are tailored to customers’ individual interests. As a result of its high-quality services, the company has won Best Bespoke Walking Tours Provider, Sussex, in the Travel and Tourism Awards 2023. With big plans for the future, Historic Experiences continues to provide unique tours designed to engage and enthral the visitors of Hastings. Contact: Tina Brown Company: Historic Experiences Web Address: