“The great difference between voyages rests not with the ships, but with the people you meet on them”

– Amelia E. Barr, British novelist

We know it’s important to be in good company when exploring a country. At Beiwei 55º, we believe that nobody is better equipped to show you around the real Britain, than the British themselves, and that’s why all of our Mandarin-speaking guides are native Brits.

Our local British guides make up the very fabric of the country you are visiting (they may even have grown up in the regions you are touring), they know the ropes and they understand the way things work.

Most importantly of all, each of our British guides speaks a very high standard of Mandarin Chinese. They have studied the language to degree level at acclaimed British universities and have also spent time living, travelling and working in China, making many Chinese friends in the process!

If you require a word-perfect guide from your own country, then please consult other tour operators that offer native Chinese guides here in Britain. However, if you want to experience Britain with a friendly British guide that speaks high levels of Chinese, and will show you the real Britain from a local’s perspective, then look no further.

Click here to see videos of our native British Mandarin-speaking guides on Youku!

Picture of Jay, our co-founder and British Mandarin-speaking guide

Jay is from County Durham in the North East of England and studied Chinese and Spanish at the University of Leeds. As well as a first class degree with a distinction in both spoken languages, he has nearly two and a half years’ experience working, travelling, living and studying in China. He has worked as a Tour Guide and Tour Operations Manager in Shanghai and Beijing, appeared on Chinese national television and also worked for NGOs in China.

Jay is passionate about languages, travelling, Chinese and Chuanr (lamb kebabs to all those who haven’t yet visited China) as well as enjoying socialising with friends of all nationalities, often accompanied with a good bottle of Chinese liqueur or baijiu.

As well as travelling as much as possible, Jay very much enjoys hiking, and has done so all over the world; Britain, South America, Spain and China to name but a few. Within China he has worked on farms in Sichuan and Hunan, climbed three of China’s greatest mountains, and hopes to climb a lot more in the future!

His previous academic work has focused on the overall effect of social reform in China since 1979, the impact of growing Chinese international tourism worldwide and the growing pressure on China’s social security system.

Picture of Eve, our co-founder and British Mandarin-speaking guide

Growing up in the south of England near Royal Windsor, then moving north to Yorkshire for her studies (and her love of Yorkshire tea), before finally settling in London, Eve has first-hand knowledge of life at both ends of the country.

Eve has been lucky enough to travel all over the world but she is still amazed at the hidden beauty of Britain, and one of her favourite places on the planet is still the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

Before Eve discovered the joys of travel, her passions lay in sport and she competed for her country in swimming events at a young age. Her dream has always been to swim the English Channel but other adventure challenges keep distracting her, including the Great Wall of China half marathon, in which she was the first female to cross the finish. Of course, she wouldn’t be truly English were she not mad about football, and she has supported Manchester United (and fancied David Beckham) from the age of about 5.

Eve has spent over three years working, living and studying in China. She obtained a first class honours degree in Chinese from the University of Leeds and was awarded the prestigious Confucius Institute prize for her language skills.

Picture of Harry, one of our British Mandarin-speaking guides

Harry grew up in Surrey in the South East of England, but spent a lot of time staying with his Grandparents in London as a child. He has had an interest in British history from a very early age, and was introduced to Chinese history and culture after picking up a copy of Romance of the Three Kingdoms in his early teens.

Harry has been enthusiastic about Chinese history ever since and set off to China to follow his passion and explore China’s hidden gems. He got to know China through going out with local friends and discovering his love of hot pot and KTV. Already a big cinema fan, he gained an appreciation for Chinese films, particularly those starring Jiang Wen. It was during his time there that he decided to learn Chinese to bridge the gap between these two vastly different cultures.

Having spent most of his life in the South East of England, Harry headed North to study Chinese Studies at the University of Sheffield, where he began to realise that his home country also had a great deal to offer.

Harry has since spent a lot of time living and working in China, from Henan to Nanjing, and has most recently returned from Taiwan after two and a half years there. Harry is a city lad at heart, and most enjoys navigating and exploring the sights of new cities. He is keen to show visitors his native London and beyond!


Charlotte spent her childhood in London, and from an early age was captivated by its rich history, stunning architecture and sprawling green spaces. The British museum and Hampstead Heath are particular favourite hotspots of hers. As a foodie, London’s many cuisines have always held a special place in her heart, and it’s here she discovered her passion for Chinese cooking.

Food was her gateway into China, and she went to study at the University of Edinburgh to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese culture. Charlotte’s studies took her to Beijing, where she loved to explore the city’s art galleries. After graduating, she moved back to China, and spent some years teaching in Kunming. For an outdoor person like Charlotte, who loves nothing better than to hike the Scottish Highlands, the mountains of Yunnan were a dream!

Since returning to the UK, Charlotte found a new joy in showing her visiting Chinese friends around central London. She’s used this to learn the obscure and fascinating stories behind some of London’s lesser-known sights, and delights in sharing these to our guests.


John’s deep-rooted connection with China began even before he was born. His parents had lived for a time in Baicheng in Shandong province, and so gave him the Chinese name ‘Sibai’ (remembering Baicheng).

John began his Chinese journey in Edinburgh, where he studied the poetry of Xie Lingyun, before heading to Peking University for a year as an exchange student. He then moved to Oxford to study for his master’s in Traditional East Asia, and will shortly begin his PhD at Cambridge. Driven by his keen interest in early Chinese art and literature, John is most at home working with classical Chinese texts.

During his time in China, John took the opportunity to travel all over the country. He even featured in a China Daily article after a bird-watching trip to Dalian. John brought his love of culture and the outdoors back to the UK, where he enjoys reading and exploring the countryside in between his studies of early Chinese literature.

John now splits his time between Oxford and Cambridge, both places rich in culture and stories. He delights in the fact that he learns something new each time he leaves the door, and is excited to share his local knowledge with visitors.


Originally from Sicily, Giulia defines herself as British by adoption. After years of studying and working in Britain, it has truly become a second home to her. She studied for her Master’s in Chinese studies at the University of Edinburgh, where she graduated with Distinction, before moving to London permanently.

Along with foreign languages, her greatest passions lie in Chinese film, animation and documentaries, and particularly loves the Chinese film directors Ning Ying and Zhang Nuanxin. 

She enjoys researching and writing articles on Chinese film, and even co-chaired two panel discussion events about Chinese language film and Chinese animation in English and Chinese in February 2021. She also had the chance to interview Mr Chang Guang Xi from the prestigious Shanghai Animation Film Studio.

In 2019, she spent a semester studying Mandarin at Fudan University, in Shanghai, and was awarded a Confucius Institute Scholarship. While in China, she had the chance to travel quite a lot, and visited major Chinese cities like Beijing, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Xian and Suzhou. However, Guilin in Guanxi province left her the deepest impression for the beauty of its natural scenery.

Like every self-respecting Italian, Giulia is a foodie and a huge fan of cooking! She will eagerly trade her much loved traditional Italian recipes for Chinese ones.


Sarah was born in Kent, in the south-east of England. Having always been curious about languages and culture, she studied French, German and Mandarin at the University of Birmingham. During her year abroad, she had the opportunity to study in China, Germany and France. Although she enjoyed all three places, the semester in Shanghai was her favourite because she could experience Chinese culture, which was completely different from Western culture.

After graduation, she returned to China to intern for 9 months with Mubus (a tourism company) and China-Britain Business Council. Whilst at Mubus, she had the opportunity to be a tour guide on the Great Wall of China. She really enjoyed this role, as she could be a part of visitor’s once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Great Wall, hear their stories, and share her knowledge with them too. Her favourite places in China include the winding, tranquil hutongs of Beijing and the countryside of Yangshuo, which reminded her of the greenery of Kent.

Now back in the UK, Sarah looks forward to welcoming Chinese visitors here! Her favourite places in the UK include London, Kent, Cambridge… anywhere with good walks and a few pubs! She’s also a keen tennis fan, so has visited Wimbledon before. Sarah currently works part-time at Warner Brothers Studios, so is always happy to share Harry Potter secrets with you too!


Sarah moved to Cambridge in 2015, when she started her degree in Chinese Studies at the University of Cambridge. She has also lived in Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Qingdao, and travelled extensively across China.

She is at her happiest when she has local friends to introduce her to sites off the tourist track, and restaurants capturing the local way of living. Accordingly, she is always excited to share her insights into Cambridge life, and enjoys how her own perspective of the town changes every time she experiences it through the eyes of a visitor.

You can usually find her in one of Cambridge’s Chinese restaurants, or practising her punting skills on the Cam.


Click here to see videos of our native British Mandarin-speaking guides on Youku!