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Born in Bedford in 1953, Martin obtained a BA (Hons) in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London University, and studied aesthetics in the Philosophy Department at the University of York. During two gap years he travelled widely in Europe, particularly Italy and Germany. After temporary and part-time museum jobs and some art history lecturing he settled into the travel business and worked for five travel companies in London for a nine-year period. He founded Martin Randall Travel (MRT) in 1988.
He retains a leading role in the planning of the company’s tours and other events, in shaping company strategy, policies and practices. He is a director ABTA – The Travel Association. Other responsibilities have included being a board member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators and of Classical Opera. A son is currently reading History at Oxford and a daughter is travelling in the Antipodes prior to starting at Newcastle University in October.
Chief Operating Officer
Fiona has worked at Martin Randall Travel since 1997 – a time when bookings were pencilled onto paper charts and email was still a pipe dream. She has seen the company grow and strengthen, and has covered a wide range of roles in the process. She became a Director in 2005 and was also a board member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators from 2005–2009.
Fiona oversees all operational aspects of the company, manages the staff, and is involved in strategic and financial planning. Travelling on behalf of the company remains as exciting a prospect as in year one, and her current research is geared towards the Americas.
In the increasingly distant past, Fiona studied French with International Relations, which included a year in Paris, and lived in Trento and Badajoz. She is now settled in Kew, with husband and MRT lecturer, Harry Charrington.
Fiona is currently on maternity leave and hopes to return to the office in June 2015.
Alexa joined Martin Randall Travel in July 2013 as Financial Controller. Her undergraduate studies were in Philosophy at Leeds University followed by three years of study with the ICAEW, qualifying as a chartered accountant (ACA) in 2009. She remained in practice for a further four years working in both Big 4 and mid-tier accountancy practices, during which time she specialised in working with privately owned SMEs across a broad range of industry sectors.
In between studies, Alexa lived and worked in the Scilly Isles, Vancouver and Whistler and remains a keen traveller, searching for both sunshine and snow. She plays netball and tennis regularly, and is slowly but surely learning French.
Many years ago Linda studied English and French at University before joining the travel industry and Martin Randall. After well over a decade away bringing up a family and running her own wine business in Spain, Linda returned to London and Martin Randall Travel at the beginning of 2011. Her supervisory role covers a broad range of countries as well as our increasingly popular London Day programme.
Wine is still a passion, but now maintained as a hobby. Otherwise Linda is never happier than when re-acquainting herself with a changed Britain and developing a surprising late-in-life interest in opera. She has two sons at University, one reading Mechanical Engineering at Rice in the United States and the other Politics at Durham.
Edward joined MRT in November 2010 as a member of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East team. As well as developing and operating tours to the region, he has researched and set up new itineraries to Ethiopia and the Western Balkans.
Edward spent his childhood between Jersey, Brunei, Hong Kong, Kuwait and Scotland, embedding a love for travel that has remained with him ever since. On completing a BA in Archaeology and an MA in Egyptology he moved to Egypt where he was employed in the Library of Alexandria and as a project manager for the European Commission. During his six years there Edward contributed towards underwater archaeological surveys, learnt Arabic and built a traditional house in the Oasis of Siwa where he escapes every autumn to harvest dates.
Maddy is Operations Supervisor at Martin Randall Travel for Austria, German, Russia and East-Central Europe. She has worked on and accompanied the Venice, Rome and Rhine Valley music festivals, and managed The Johann Sebastian Bach Journey 2013 and The Danube Music Festival 2014.
Maddy is half Sardinian and grew up in Dorset with a 4-year stint in Munich. After spending time in Frankfurt and Venice she graduated with a first-class degree in German and Italian from Cardiff University before joining Martin Randall Travel in 2010. Since becoming a supervisor Maddy has researched and prospected several new tours, including Walking the Rhine, Budapest & Vienna 1900 and The Lukas Cranachs. In her free time she is a keen baker and is taking an evening course in dressmaking.
Operations Supervisor & Musical Advisor
Lizzie is the Operations Supervisor of tours to Italy, and is Musical Advisor along with Martin Randall for festivals and small-group tours. In 2014 Lizzie planned and managed A Festival of Music in Bologna, an entirely new festival for MRT. She managed the Danube Music Festival in 2012 in collaboration with Wigmore Hall and devised a Schubert-themed version of the festival with the director of Wigmore Hall for 2015. So far she has worked on and accompanied thirteen of MRT’s classical music festivals abroad.
Lizzie spent a year in Munich and studying the violin, before reading Italian and German at Bristol University. After a year abroad as a teaching assistant in Hamburg and studying at Verona University, she decided to take a third year out after graduating to train as a chef and to travel around the world. She is currently developing cultural gastronomic tours for the company, predominantly in Italy but also beyond this to other destinations such as Spain, Morocco and Scandinavia.
Operations Supervisor & Office Supervisor
Sarah has worked at Martin Randall Travel since 2007 and is now a Supervisor in the Operations Department. Recent responsibilities have included the research and development of our expanded programme of tours in the UK and the management of our inaugural music festival in Oxford, The Divine Office. She also supervises our tours to Scandinavia, Russia and the USA.
Sarah grew up in Salisbury and studied music at Cardiff University, specialising in the clarinet. She spent a year teaching English in Vietnam and then travelled through South East Asia. Prior to joining MRT, she worked for Dorling Kindersley and for another cultural tour operator.
Sophie is Operations Supervisor for France, Spain and Portugal, as well as Belgium and the Netherlands. Her background is in languages – she studied French and Spanish at Durham – but she is also a keen musician. Alongside her supervision of tours, she has managed our Seine Music Festival and Rhine Valley Music Festival, and in 2013 will run festivals in Seville and along the Rhône. Other highlights of her MRT career to date include tasting jamón ibérico in Jabugo, discovering Chagall on the Côte d’Azur, and working with piano duo Katia and Marielle Labèque.
In her spare time, Sophie plays the piano, clarinet and saxophone, and also does some musical directing for amateur theatre. Her love of travel is not confined to western Europe and in recent years she has visited Egypt, Jordan, India and Iceland.
After growing up in Devon, Lucy went to Durham University to study French and Spanish and also took up Italian. On her year abroad she waitressed in a hotel in Frascati, studied translation in Rome, produced English language learning material for a software editor in Paris, and worked as a scary clown in a maze in Mallorca. After graduating with a first class degree in 2009 Lucy moved to London working as a project manager for a foreign language voice-over agency and joined the MRT team in January 2010.
Marketing Manager/Walking Tours Supervisor
Liz graduated from Cardiff University with a First in English Literature and Italian. She worked for Martin Randall Travel from 2004 to 2007 on our Italian programme but then left to study for an MA in Broadcast Journalism. Having worked as a news editor for a radio station in south Wales, she then moved back into the travel industry leading walking tours in Italy for a specialist firm.
We persuaded Liz to re-join MRT in 2010 to develop our own series of walking tours and shortly after appointed her as Marketing Manager. Although, marketing now takes up most of her time, she retains a role supervising our walking tours and is passionate about the combination of country walking, lecturer-led visits, good food and wine.
Liz lives in Stockwell and, when not out in her walking boots, enjoys cycling to work, exploring London and climbing volcanoes on holiday.
Special Projects Manager
Hannah has been with MRT for nearly ten years. After reading English Literature and Italian at Manchester University, she worked as an analyst for a media intelligence company before joining MRT as an operations assistant with responsibility for Italian tours. Two years later she went to live in Florence, where she has been based ever since, and worked there for Abercrombie and Kent. In July 2006 she was enticed back to MRT to head the new Mediterranean cruises project, moving on to other projects at the end of 2009 when the global downturn made chartering sea-going ships too risky for a small company like ours.
She worked on setting up the India programme from 2010 before a short break in 2013 to become a mother and to resettle in the UK. She is now charged with supervising a programme of tours to China and Japan (due to materialise in 2015), investigating opportunities for a cruise revival (2016) and generating new business in the form of tours and events for private groups (immediate).
Digital Project Manager
Gary joined MRT in 2011 and is responsible for managing a range of digital projects. He is particularly passionate about technology and takes pride in maintaining and improving our website. He is also involved in the creation and execution of multi-channel marketing activity.
Gary grew up in the Scottish Highlands and moved to London in 2004 to study Criminology at City University – the first course of its kind to run in the UK. After graduating, he spent several months in Seville learning Spanish and then returned to London to work for a leading customer experience research agency. Outside work, Gary is a fitness fanatic. He visits the gym most days and climbs regularly. He also loves to cook.
Jo is a flautist and pianist and a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She joined MRT in 2006 as a member of the Client Relationships Department. Her long-standing interest in graphic design quickly led during this time to a role on the brochure team for MRT. Now she is our full time Inhouse Designer, responsible for the design of all printed material and advertisements, and the layout and production of our many brochures.
Jo also supervises our Chamber Music Weekends and has often been involved in the organisation of our large-scale music festivals. Most recently, she managed The Thomas Tallis Trail (November 2013). Outside the office, she has kept up the flute, mainly playing in amateur orchestras and opera productions.
Anna joined Martin Randall Travel in 2010 and works primarily on tours and music festivals in Italy. She has travelled extensively around the Italian peninsula and spent periods of time living in Florence, Venice and Cagliari. MRT highlights thus far include planning the Sardinia tour from scratch, trying out restaurants in Venice, and co-managing the Festival of Music in Rome in 2012.
Prior to joining MRT Anna studied English Literature and Italian at the University of Manchester and worked for eighteen months as an e-learning Project Coordinator for a language services company.
Samantha grew up in London and spent much of her formative years on the stage. By the age of 15 she had passed her President's Award exams in a variety of dance styles and performed in musicals, fashion shows and charity galas throughout the UK and Europe. From these early adventures on the Continent she developed a passion for travel and foreign languages and went on to read German and Spanish at the University of Manchester. On her year abroad she studied at a language school in Salamanca and worked as a teaching assistant at a secondary school in Gersheim.
Samantha joined MRT in 2010 and initially operated tours to Spain, Germany, Greece and Hungary. She managed the Danube Music Festival in 2013 before moving to China for six months to research and develop a new programme of tours. She is now back in the London office setting up tours to China and Japan as well as studying Mandarin in her spare time; she is keen to tackle Japanese next.
Bridget is Martin Randall’s Executive Assistant and joined MRT in 2005. She has an additional role as Lecturer and Tour Manager Coordinator which involves her in the recruitment of our tour leaders.
Previously she has worked for choreographers, advertising executives, an African charity, radio and the Design Museum. Bridget is from south Devon and has travelled in Asia, including India and Nepal, worked in northern Italy and has toured Australia and Japan with her musician husband and daughter. She has a long-standing interest in dance and attends the ballet as much as possible. Bridget lives near the MRT office in Chiswick and has two grown-up daughters, one recently graduated and one at university.
Amelia grew up in Jersey and came to the UK to read Philosophy at the University of Leeds. She graduated in 2011 and joined Martin Randall Travel in 2012. A large part of Amelia’s role in our Client Relationships Department involves talking to and corresponding with clients, providing information, taking bookings and despatching documents.
Outside work, Amelia likes to dabble in the creative and performing arts, especially if it involves her cello or ballet shoes.
Alice joined the Client Relationships Department in 2013 after finishing her History of Art degree at the University of Edinburgh the previous year. During her studies she worked as a Curatorial Intern at Edinburgh City Art Centre, which involved researching and installing new exhibitions as well as helping on restoration projects around the city.
A personal interest in art, history and experiencing new cultures has led Alice to travel in Europe, the US, Africa and East Asia. Her most memorable trips have included visiting the Kremlin in Moscow, travelling on the Trans-Siberian railway from Beijing to Ulan Bator and volunteering for a summer in rural Uganda.
Emily joined Martin Randall Travel in May 2013 following a degree in French and German at the University of Bath. She works on our programme of tours and music festivals in France and Germany and also on our India programme and our London Days.
Her degree included 6 months spent as a teaching assistant near Mainz and a further half year in Chambéry and La Plagne working for a holiday company. She also played futsal at international level throughout her studies and after graduating spent the summer working for Adidas at the London Olympics.
Prior to University, Emily worked at an art museum in Koblenz and attended a Young Artists programme in Tuscany, where she developed an interest in Renaissance art. Her next projects include learning Italian and Swedish and travelling to both countries.
Lucy joined the Marketing department in January 2013. After graduating with an Art History degree from the University of Sussex in 2011, she travelled to Italy as part of the Leonardo da Vinci Internship programme and worked at an events company in Padua for 3 months. She stayed in Italy for a further 3 months, working at a yoga retreat in Lake Orta before travelling to an Umbrian agriturismo where she updated the company website, made pasta and looked after two energetic girls aged 2 and 5.
Lucy provides support to both the Digital Project Manager and Marketing Manager, with tasks including website maintenance and creating email campaigns which keep clients regularly updated on MRT news and events.
Tim studied French and German at the University of Bristol, which included six months as a teaching assistant in Frankfurt and another half-year on a translation internship in Paris. After graduating, he worked for an estate agent in the French Alps for the best part of a year before returning to the UK and joining Martin Randall Travel in October 2012.
Tim is a guitar-playing singer/songwriter and he has performed gigs in his hometown of York and on the Parisian ‘scène ouverte’ open mic circuit.
Lucy is an Operations Assistant and works on tours and festivals in France, Spain and Italy. She studied French, Spanish and Italian at Durham University, graduating in July 2013.
She spent her year abroad working in a campsite in Languedoc-Roussillon, teaching English in Tuscany, and studying in Paris and Salamanca before reluctantly returning to the UK.
As well as her love of languages, Lucy has a Grade 8 in singing and was a cheerleader for her college at Durham, performing in various competitions and events. She is also a huge fan of foreign cinema, enjoys creative writing and is currently learning Portuguese.
George joined Martin Randall Travel in the summer of 2012 having previously worked for several charitable organisations in the heritage sector including SAVE Britain’s Heritage, the Vivat Trust and The Twentieth Century Society.
He grew up near Regensburg in Germany and is bilingual thanks to his mother who is from Newcastle. Before moving to the UK permanently, he trained and worked at Kempinski Hotels, Munich, and obtained a degree in Business Administration from Munich University of Applied Science.
George works on tours and music festivals in Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, the UK and the USA, and is particularly interested in architecture and architectural heritage.
James is an Operations Assistant and works on tours and festivals in France, Spain and India.
He studied French and Spanish at the University of Bristol, graduating in 2012. During his year abroad he studied Renaissance politics and literature at the University of Poitiers and then worked for a brand agency in Barcelona.
James is a keen cook and enjoys creating dishes inspired by his travels.
Chloe graduated with a First in Italian language and culture from the University of Bristol in July 2012. She worked as an intern at the Barbican Centre before joining the Italian team at Martin Randall Travel in June.
Chloe cemented her love of Italy during a school exchange to Parma. During her gap year she spent time in Florence studying at the British Institute – and seeking out the city’s best ice cream – and then spent a year of her degree course working for a PR company in Turin. She is now happily living in London, pursuing her interest in theatre.
Hannah studied French and Italian at the University of Bristol, during which time she spent a year abroad studying in Naples and working at a publishing house in Paris. She graduated in July 2012, and has since worked as an intern in the Vocal Division at IMG Artists, as a festival assistant at the Abu Dhabi Festival and as Assistant Company Manager at Garsington Opera Festival.
Hannah loves music and theatre, both as a spectator and a performer. She has grade 8 piano, and spent much of her free time at university acting in, directing and stage-managing plays and musicals. She loves opera and wishes she could sing, and has recently joined the artistic committee of Opera Danube, a new company that aims to give young singers a performance platform in London.
She joined Martin Randall Travel in November 2013 and works on tours and festivals in Italy, France and the UK.
Chloe fell in love with Italy and the Italian language after a school trip to Florence and went on to complete a BA in History of Art at Warwick University. This provided the opportunity to study and live in Venice for three months after which she returned to Italy, living in Verona where she worked as an English teacher and a waitress while improving her language skills.
On return to England she worked as a matron at a boys’ boarding school before undertaking a Post Graduate Diploma in Art Museum and Gallery Studies at Newcastle University. Knowing that art history, language and travel were her real passions she relocated to London and joined MRT in Spring 2014.
Katie joined the Finance Department at Martin Randall Travel in April 2014. Prior to that she spent a year at university studying Computer Animation and Visual Effects but soon realised that programming did not excite her as much as numbers. She is now studying for an AAT qualification and hopes to become a chartered accountant.
Katie grew up in London and when she is not working or studying likes to stay active, attending zumba and salsa classes, and going to the gym. She is gradually learning French, and is desperate to see as much of the world as she can.
Client Relationship Assistant
Amber joined the Client Relationship Department in May 2014 shortly after graduating from the University of Edinburgh, where she gained an MA (BA Hons) in History of Art and an MSc in History of Art: History, Theory & Display.
Before working at Martin Randall Travel, Amber was a bookseller for nearly seven years. She has also worked for a graphic design company, as a waitress at an Italian Slow Food restaurant, and has interned with the National Galleries of Scotland, the City Art Centre in Edinburgh, and Pan Macmillan.
Amber’s favourite places are Kyoto and Paris and she would love to travel around Iceland and Scandinavia. She spends much of her spare time reading (particularly literature in translation), visiting galleries and museums, playing golf and baking.
Priya graduated in Finance, Accounting and Management from the University of Nottingham in 2012. She spent a year working in accounts for the charity Action for Children before joining Martin Randall Travel in 2014 as a Finance Assistant. She is currently studying for her ACCA qualification, and hopes to be part-qualified in 2015.
Outside work Priya likes to cook, especially creating new dishes on an Italian theme. She is also a keen swimmer.
George joined Martin Randall Travel in 2014 following a degree in French and German at the University of Oxford. He works mainly on tours and festivals in Germany and Austria, but also in France, the Netherlands and the Middle East.
As part of his degree, George spent an idyllic seven months as a teaching assistant in Bordeaux, followed by a somewhat faster-paced summer as a translation intern in Berlin.
As well as his love of languages, George is a keen musician, and has grade 8 saxophone and piano.