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About

Leeds City Walking Tours

Engaging, knowledgeable 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

Local college to global campus:

the making of the University of Leeds

A walk on Saturday 25 April that tells the story of how the Yorkshire College of Science became a giant of higher education.

Founded “to promote education of both sexes and to provide instruction in such sciences and arts as are applicable or ancillary to the manufacturing, mining, engineering and agricultural industries of Yorkshire”, the College started with 3 professors and 24 students.

How did it become a place with more than 38,000 students and 8,000 staff? How has the former residential area been transformed to accommodate today’s vast range of research, teaching and learning?

This tour is timed to appeal to students and their families. It's quite a bit more detailed than ones offered on open day or for orientation or arrival.

Book here for this tour

Walking through the centuries:

trading town to regional capital

New to Leeds? Or lived here for ages without learning much about your city? 

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. 

Want reassurance that this will be worthwhile and enjoyable? Read some of the reviews left by walkers over the last year. 

Book here for a tour on: 

Sunday 29 March

Sunday 26 April

Also coming soon: 

Ace architects of Victorian Leeds -

Sunday 1 March

The Maurice Beresford Centenary Walks

Thurs 6 Feb, Sat 8 Feb, Sun 9 Feb

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?