A north Northumberland teen has launched his own guided coach-tour business, inspired by his university course and a love for the county.
Lundgren Tours is the brainchild of 19-year-old Robert Lundgren Jones, from Swarland, who is ‘very excited but a little nervous’ ahead of his company’s first tours next month.
For these intial outings, the fledgling business will be offering one tour route every Tuesday and Wednesday in August, starting in Alnwick and also taking in Alnmouth, Warkworth and Amble.
Interestingly, the name of the company – and its founder’s middle name – comes from his ancestor, a Swede who sailed into Amble from Gotland and later joined Broomhill Boat Club.
Robert has teamed up with Glen Valley Tours – ‘a respectable and friendly business’ – which also means that tourists can be picked up at various stops between Wooler and Alnwick ahead of the start of the guided tours.
Robert himself will be the tour guide this year and he has been doing plenty of research and buffing up on his history and wants to ensure that the tours have the right mixture of entertainment and education, with the likes of a quiz and activities for children.
In the future, he wants to expand to other routes, such as Coquetdale, as well as other seasons – Kielder Observatory in the winter, for example, which would mean employing more tour guides.
“I would be very particular about hiring the tour guides because it’s what gives my business its edge – it’s a personalised, guided coach tour.”
As well as working with Glen Valley Tours, Robert has developed relationships with the likes of accommodation providers and attractions as he markets his business. “It’s amazing how much enthusiasm everyone has in the tourist industry,” he said.