Clare has lived and worked in London for over 25 years. After graduating with a Degree in Geography and a Masters Degree in Environmental Planning from Nottingham University, she worked as a town planner and urban designer in one of the most dynamic, diverse and probably most challenging cities on earth - London! Employed in both the public and the private sector, she specialised in regeneration policy guidance and the conservation and renewal of protected buildings and historic areas in several of London’s Boroughs. Before starting a family in the 1990’s, she travelled extensively throughout Africa and Madagascar, working as a volunteer on several self-help community projects. She has spent two years training to guide around London and now has the pleasure of telling London’s fascinating planning and architectural story to visitors, bringing her own personal insight into many of the city’s landmarks!
Originally from Canada, Ayla moved to the UK in 2003 after completing her History of Art BA at the University of Victoria. She subsequently wrote her PhD on Victorian architecture at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where she also obtained her MA. She has studied theology at Oxford University and is currently researching the connections between art and faith in British culture. Since 2008 she has been a Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld, where she teaches undergraduate courses on nineteenth-century art and architecture. Ayla lectures widely and has given talks and tours for the V&A, the Courtauld Gallery, RIBA, and Love Art London (for whom she once gave a tour of Hyde Park in a fetching false mustache). Fond of tea, philosophy, climbing, singing and taking in all that London’s art scene has to offer, Ayla is also a freelance historic buildings researcher, writer and curator.
Francesca grew up in West Wales, but coming from a long line of Londoners she soon found herself living and studying in the capital. She completed both her BA and MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art, specialising in Aesthetic Movement art and interiors. Whilst studying, she kept herself busy running the family events programme at Westminster Abbey and volunteering on the education programme at Dulwich Picture Gallery. After graduating in 2008, she went to work at the Royal Academy of Arts organising visits to historical properties and collections in and around London. She currently works as a freelance gallery educator at various London galleries and teaches the history of interior design at the KLC School of Design. She lives in Borough with a London cabbie and a whippet.