The 10 Best architect tours

Make the most of a trip to Britain's cities by getting the inside track on its buildings and landscapes from an expert

Will Coldwell
Tuesday 19 March 2013 18:18

{1} Cambridge Walking Tours

Daily guided tours (11am and 1pm) which include information on the city’s spectacular buildings. The tourist office, where the general walk starts, also offers specialist tours on request. Price includes entrance to King’s College, too.

£17.50; £15.50, 01223 457574,

{2} The Olympic Site

Take a two-hour walk through the Olympic site and learn the background to its construction and the legacy it is yet to have. The tours are at 11am on Saturday and depart from Bromley-by-Bow.

£9; £5,

{3} RIBA Liverpool City Tours

Catch the last weekend of these fantastic two-hour walking tours in Liverpool organised by the Royal Institute for British Architects. Two different routes (first: Sat 23 March at 10.30am and 1.30pm; second: Sunday 24 March at 11am) focus on key buildings and public spaces.

£7.50; £4.50, 0151 7070729,

{4} Birmingham’s Invisible Architecture Tour

This 80-minute guided walk lifts the veil on Birmingham’s hidden history. Expect details in back streets, underground levels and lavish interiors. Meet at Art Gallery Gas Hall at 3pm on 20th April for the next walkaround.

£5.00, 0121 303 1966,

{5} Manchester Architecture Trail

From Oxford Street to St Ann’s Square and Deansgate, this guided walk examines the city’s rich architectural legacy. Go to the Corner House on Oxford Street at 1.30 pm on 26 April.


{6} Glasgow School of Art Architecture Walking Tours

Led by bright and well-informed students, these popular tours take in a century of urban development and look at the creative regeneration. In spring and summer they run Wednesday to Saturday, two hours 45 minutes.

£24.50; £11. 0141 353 4584,

{7} Architecture On Your Bike Smithson to SOM

Organised by Open City, a non-profit organisation that promotes better understanding of London’s urban environment, this is a cycle tour of the East End that looks at post-industrial upheaval. The next one is on the 24th at 10.30am and begins outside Leila’s Shop 15-17 Calvert Avenue, Bethnal Green.


{8} Engineering on the Thames

Starting at Greenwich and going out to Dartford and back, this boat tour led by specialist guides looks at the engineering and architecture that flanks the river, as well as its bridges. Next one is on the 13 April at 1pm and lasts three hours.


{9} Sustainable London Architecture

Looking at the way environmental consciousness has informed architecture and design, highlights include the world’s first building with integrated wind turbines, a building held up with plastic and a secret rooftop park.

£25, 0844 504 8080,

{10} Belfast: An Urban Walk

Organised by urban development charity PLACE, this two-hour tour looks at how 400 years of industry, wealth, conflict and peace have shaped the city’s architecture. Departs at City Hall front gates and runs from Saturday 30 March to Tues 2 April at 2.30pm.

Free, 028 9024 6609,

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