I was totally dissatisfied with the local guide, her lack of knowledge, her lack of preparation and her lack of respect to the tourists she gives guides to.
1. Lack of command in English language: The local guide was a foreign student. The foreign students may provide a cheap labor source, however, they are inadequate as tour guides because they are not capable in providing in-depth knowledge and explanation necessary as the natives and the locals.. I know this very well because I was once a foreign student myself.
2. Lack of knowledge of the matter: I seriously doubt that this guide has read HP books or saw HP movies. If she did, she certainly did not retain the information. A tour guide is expected to have in-depth knowledge of the subject, certainly more than the tourists. Her knowledge was extremely limited that I felt that she was just regurgitating a few lines she memorized. In regards to the mirror, she did not know what Erised was. She claimed 15 scenes of Hogwarts dining room were shot in New College dining room, however, she could not identify a single scene of HP movie. She went around a huge green area and when we arrived at the exit she said that the green area we just walked was where the quidditch scenes were shot. This one statement was the only explanation she could provide in regards to the quidditch field. So, I asked her to describe which scene sets were placed where on the green field so I can picture them. She dodged my question and said things look different in reality than in the film, and she avoided answering my question. She went right past the New College quad where Harry was ridiculed. These are only a few examples demonstrating her lack of knowledge of the matter.
3. Lack of preparation: A certain college to be closed suddenly without notice is expected especially during the graduation period. In our case Divinity School, the highlight of the tour, happened to be closed. Since these unexpected happenings are rather common around this time of the year, which she was aware, she had enough time to prepare photos of scenes from HP movies in the locations in case she cannot have an access so that she can at least show us what we could have seen if it was open. She had none. She could have walked to the Divinity School and showed us the Hogwarts hospital wing from outside, but she did not even bother doing so. We left the tour half way and went to Divinity School ourselves and took pictures from outside because this building has a characteristic windows which are visible from outside as well. She was refused by the guard from entering Bodleian Library to show us the restricted section. Therefore, this tour became simply a walk around town. She then said that she would lead us to the oldest building in town no relation to HP and to Christ Church to see it from outside. I wondered the purpose of walking all the way to Christ Church without getting inside. Since I knew that this tour will not go into Christ Church, I arranged to take another tour which was titled, Oxford Walking Tour including Christ Church College, conducted by another local tour operator. The tour guide of this tour, Bella, although the title of the tour did not mention HP, carried her photo info book with her and was able to pinpoint each location of HP film and match it with photographs of HP movie in her book. She was a native British and a knowledgeable local. She was a striking contrast to the guide of HP Filming Locations Tour.
4. Lack of respect to the tourists. When we were in the New College dining room, the guide said that it was where Hogwarts dining room scenes were filmed. I said it did not look like Hogwarts dining room because New College dining room had 2 entrances rather than one, did not have the huge window above professor's table, and simply looked different. She said it is in deed Hogwarts dining room look at the ceiling, the windows and the balcony! I then immediately realized that she was just coming up with the statements in defense without substantiating facts. The truth is that Hogwarts dining room definitely has the ceiling of Christ Church dining room not the one of New College, the windows of New College dining room are too low compared to Hogwarts, and lastly Hogwarts dining room does not have a balcony. It seemed as though she thinks that she can say anything to the tourists because they are not going to know. I was totally disappointed and left the tour half way through.