I’ll meet you in City Square and take you on a tour that introduces you to the development of the city over the centuries. You’ll understand the reasons for the early success of Leeds, how it changed during industrialisation as a ‘cradle of innovation’, how the place has become a thriving regional capital and how it’s adapting in the 21st century. I’ve learned and written about many elements of Leeds history and development since the mid-90s. I’ve also been actively involved in many strands of the life of the city and so can give a strong insider’s sense of the place: its history and geography come alive. You could just look at individual entries on an app or in a guide book (not that there’ll be an up-to-date guidebook until I write a new one) but with me you’ll hear about connections through time and across different parts of the city – a more joined up story, with more context, rather than isolated and obvious ‘sights’. There’s no set spiel; I always tailor what I say to the level of understanding and the interests of the participants.
I’m an experienced guide with wide-ranging knowledge of Leeds. If you come on an outing with me, you’ll not only learn about the city, you’ll also have fun. (That’s not just because I know where the best beer can be found). As a lecturer at the University of Leeds for 20 years I led many tours for students, professionals and community groups. Now as a freelancer I carry on mixing tour guiding with research and writing. Amongst my publications: ‘21st century Leeds: geographies of a regional city’ (2004) A guide book to Leeds city centre (2008) 'Leeds: Cradle of Innovation' (2018)
I can’t tell you exactly what we’ll see during our walk together. The city’s always changing and there are so many possible themes and routes. It also depends how energetic you and your companion(s) feel on the day. As for the weather: it’s never put me off so far. I still pressed on one Sunday last March when the top risk was being hit by falling icicles. (No fatalities to report).
Wear comfy shoes and suitable layers so you can peel off/add protection. A brolly might be handy.
Food, drink and transport to and from the tour not included but I can give you hints and tips.