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About

Leeds City Walking Tours

Engaging, knowledgable and audible guide

Hello there. I'm Rachael Unsworth, urban geographer and enthusiastic communicator.

. . .

Visiting Leeds? Get more from your time here by coming along on one of my guided tours. 

Live in Leeds? There's always more to learn about our city. 

I run Leeds City Walking Tours, and I’m here to guide you on your next memorable trip.

There's a schedule of events and you can book online.

I can also take special tours for your own group. Just get in touch to ask about dates, themes and prices
. . .
When I’m not engaging groups of tourists with fascinating information about Leeds, I research and write about many Leeds topics. Cities never stand still and I'm endlessly interested in understanding the causes and effects of change.

. . .

In 2018 Leeds: Cradle of Innovation was published. Local historian Steve Burt and I compiled an impressive set of stories about innovators past and present. It's beautifully illustrated and altogether gorgeous.

Featured tours

Prepare to be hooked on the history and geography of our regional capital

Leeds in 1819 - a walk that takes you back to late Georgian Leeds

200 years ago Leeds was in the thick of the ‘industrial revolution’. 

Who were the influential people and what were the main events of note?

How were the townspeople earning their living and what were they concerned about? 

What was the state of health care, education and cultural life?

How did people, materials, goods, energy and ideas move around?

Where was it all heading?

Come and imagine yourself meeting the characters and seeing some of the places where they lived and learned, worked and worshipped, dispensed medical care, justice, credit or beer. 

Part I: Sunday 29  December 11:00-13:00

Book here

Part II: Sunday 29 December 14:30-16:30

Book here

Walking through the centuries:

trading town to regional capital

New to Leeds?

Come with me from earliest times to the present day - Kirkgate to the West End. I'll explain how a little town where cloth was traded became the regional capital and a major centre for financial services, healthcare, learning and digital creativity. 

This is one of a series of tours scheduled to suit families collecting and delivering students. Others welcome too.

Book here for a tour on: 

Sunday 12 January

Sunday 29 March

Sunday 26 April

Coming soon:  

Campus Tour of University of Leeds - Saturday 11 January 

Ace Architects of Victorian Leeds - Saturday 28 March

Leeds Waterfront tour - Saturday 25 April

The Maurice Beresford Centenary Walks

Maurice Beresford (1920-2005) was professor of economic history at the University of Leeds.

 

One of his enthusiasms was for understanding how the urban area of Leeds developed – an enthusiasm I also have. I read his 1988 study ‘East End, West End’ and went to ask his advice on researching how the office district emerged. He taught me how to use the sources and we worked together to tell the story of how the early service sector businesses migrated westwards and colonised more buildings. By the middle of the 19th century purpose-built offices were beginning to appear.

In a series of walks to mark Maurice’s centenary we’ll follow in his footsteps and I’ll try to bring his vivid style to life once more. 

Book here for these tours

A tour for alumni returning to Leeds after 50 years

"Everybody found the itinerary interesting and they all enjoyed your commentary. It was particularly interesting to see bits of Leeds that we didn't know existed and to hear about its evolution and plans for the future. I was amazed how much knowledge you were able to share with us. The tour certainly helped to make our reunion weekend a successful one”.

Get in Touch

This is part of the map of Leeds in the early 20th century.

Can you still find your way around?