Curating an informative and engaging programme of arts and heritage tours

About Sue Stamp

With 11 years experience of organising private cultural tours for one of London’s leading arts institutions, I have built an extensive network of contacts that include; artists, expert guides, architectural and art historians, curators of collections and owners of stately homes and private art collections.

Through Sue Stamp Tours I will be curating an informative and engaging programme of arts and heritage tours in London and around the UK with personalised extras and attention to detail that ensure a special and memorable experience. Guests really enjoy being in the company of like-minded people who appreciate the care and thought put into a professionally organised event. I find there is always a rich mixture of participants, some of whom just want to learn about something new and others who have real expertise on the subject and like to add to the discussion.

“My primary focus is to offer private tours to places of artistic, architectural and historical interest, often to buildings that are rarely open to the public.”

Tours led by experts

As a rule, tours will be led by experts that might include the owners, curators, archivists or specialist guides who live or work at the properties. They can offer unique insights and stories about the buildings and collections that bring them to life, as only they can do. Sometimes we will have specialist tours led by art historians and architectural historians many of whom I have had the privilege of working with before and highly recommend.

The programme will include walking tours in London covering a variety of subjects such as Modernist architecture in Hampstead, the Huguenots of Spitalfields and the Great Fire of London. There will be tours of private members clubs, private art collections, buildings of architectural significance and I will be adding new venues as opportunities arise. I hope to offer full-day coach trips to visit houses, gardens and cathedrals on a regular basis. I know these are extremely popular, so I will respond if the demand is there! We will meet at different points in London depending on which direction we are heading out of town.

I also love planning and accompanying four or five day tours to different parts of the UK to visit magnificent properties and collections not accessible on a day-trip from London. The people who look after them have always welcomed our groups with great enthusiasm. I am delighted that Heritage Group Travel, based in Bath, will continue to facilitate these trips as my official Tour Operator. I hope to add some single overnight tours to the programme as well.

I will be building the programme gradually and look forward very much to seeing you soon on a tour as we explore the rich culture of arts and heritage that we are so fortunate to have on offer in London and around the UK.

Brief career history

My original career was in television production, training at the BBC, my work involved the very detailed administrative and organisational skills required to make both recorded and live television programmes. Working on series that ranged from The Two Ronnies and Top of the Pops to Omnibus and Newsnight, I developed many skills including accuracy of information, diplomacy, discretion, precision timings, working under pressure and to very tight deadlines.

After leaving the BBC I worked at ITV (Central Television) in Birmingham on various documentary series where my role was to co-ordinate filming schedules, hotel bookings, budgets and all travel arrangements for film crews in the UK and many countries around the world including the USA, Switzerland, Kenya and Tanzania. I accompanied film crews on location to manage the budget, the smooth running of the itinerary and to ensure everyone was able to work in the best conditions possible.

After several years as a freelance TV Production Manager/Producer in London I decided to change course completely to study an Art History and English degree at Brunel University where I gained a first class BA Hons and the Gompertz Prize for English for my dissertation Representations of the Sublime in Selected Works by Wordsworth and Turner.

I joined the Learning Department at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2007 to work on the Friends Tours and Excursions programme, offering over 120 off-site arts and architectural tours per year, through which I was able to combine my love of the arts and the administrative and organisational skills developed through my TV production career. After eleven very happy years I left the RA in October 2018 – which is where Sue Stamp Tours begins…

Sue working on Nature Watch in Tanzania – 1988.

Sue in Kenya working on ‘Wilfred Thesiger, the Last Explorer’.

“Sue’s tours have always been very well planned and thought through and we have been to many wonderful and interesting places that we would not have known about or indeed been able to visit on our own.”  

Nick & Clare Philbin