Leeds City Walking Tours
Engaging, knowledgeable and audible guide
Hello there. I'm Rachael Unsworth, urban geographer and enthusiastic communicator.
But for now, all tours are suspended
Wishing you all a safe journey through this uncharted territory and hoping to resume small group tours before too long.
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.
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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.
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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.
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?
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 since early 2019.
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. I'll talk about our work together as part of a (postponed) special centenary event, 'Time & Place', at Mill Hill Chapel, City Square, Leeds.
Walking in his footsteps, I’ll try to bring his vivid style to life once more.
A tour for alumni returning to Leeds after 50 years
The group asked for a campus tour in the morning of their reunion. After a pub lunch they came with me to see how much of the city centre they still recognised. Some surprises were in store. as well as some familiar old favourites.
"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”.