New tours will bring city’s horrible history to life

Oscar Thynne, who has set up his own Lancaster Tours company.
Oscar Thynne, who has set up his own Lancaster Tours company.

Lancaster student Oscar Thynne is aiming to entertain locals and tourists alike with interactive history tours of the city.

Former Ripley St Thomas student Oscar has set up his own company, Lancaster Tours, which he believes fills a gap in the market in the city.

Oscar Thynne (centre), joined by David Lowe (right) and Gregory Nowell (left). Photos by Adam French.

Oscar Thynne (centre), joined by David Lowe (right) and Gregory Nowell (left). Photos by Adam French.

The tours kick off on October 24 with a fortnight of special Halloween themed tours called The Spirit of Lancaster, which will explore the darker side of Lancaster’s history.

It is hoped that by summer 2016 Oscar and his team of guides will be operating regular tours around the city.

The tours will be led by Oscar and three colleagues, who will play the part of different characters in improvised role play as they lead the tours, following a rough script which outlines all the historical facts along the way.

“It’s all about engaging with the customers rather than standing talking to people,” Oscar, 19, said.

Oscar, who is now studying law and politics at Lancaster University, has worked in conjunction with Lancaster City Council to produce branding in line with the council’s tourism literature.

And he hopes that in time he can work with council’s in other cities to help bring even more tourism into Lancaster.

“It’s not only about creating a business but about showing how new business can boost Lancaster’s tourism,” he said.

“My long term plan is to work with other cities to bring tourists here and send people to them too.

“I have been working with Lancaster City Council’s economic team and branding team and they are fully supportive of the project. They do a fantastic job in branding the city but they can’t do everything.

“There has to be private businesses helping them, and there’s not one in the tour guide industry yet.

“I compared Lancaster to places like Bath and Durham and other heritage cities.

“They all had anything from three to 15 organised companies.

“We have so much history waiting to be explored. Lancaster is a gem and it needs to be put on the map.”

Once established, Oscar hopes the company can work with other local firms to bring in further trade for the city.

The tours will have a large focus on Lancaster Priory, and will follow a route from the visitor information centre via the castle to the Priory, Judge’s Lodgings and Cottage Museum before ending at The Merchants.

Oscar said: “They will be looking at the darker side of Lancaster such as the Black Death and the Pendle Witches.”

The tours will last around one-and-a-half hours and will initially run from October 24 until November 9 from 6.30pm, with daytime tours on November 7 and 8.

They are suitable for all ages.

Go to to check out the tours, and follow them on Twitter at @lancasterenigma.

Tickets are also available from Lancaster Visitor Information Centre.