RIBA North - Architecture Walking Tours of Liverpool

Liverpool is one of the UK’s greatest cities. From Georgian terraces and the world-famous docks to grandiose commercial and civic monuments, the city is alive with architecture and buildings that chart over 300 years of history and development.

The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site comprising of six locations including many of the city’s most famous landmarks. Our tours currently cover five of these locations.

Whether you are a city resident, or just visiting Liverpool – on our tours you will discover the architecture and the history of Liverpool through its key buildings and public spaces. Join us to learn the story of Liverpool’s past, present and future.

All our tours last approximately two hours.

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Liverpool from the Mersey
Mann Island (c) Rob Battersby

Our Tours

We currently run a total of seven different walking tours around Liverpool.

Tickets are now on sale for all tours scheduled from February to April 2018. We will announce our Summer programme in the Spring.

Buy your tickets for these tours now.

Please see below for further information on the individual tours.

Albert Dock Liverpool
Pier Head from Albert Dock (c) Rob Battersby

Gateway to The World

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Liverpool established its international reputation as the pre-eminent gateway for shipping, trade and the movement of people leaving one continent to find new lives in another.

The city that was created to service this exchange is rich in its buildings, streets and public spaces. Many of these have changed since they were originally build, helping to create the vibrant and modern Liverpool that exists today.

Starting at the RIBA North Architecture Centre at Mann Island, this tour puts the spotlight on key buildings and spaces that form part of the contemporary city landscape, its characters, its commerce and its culture.

This tour explores The Pier Head, UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of Liverpool’s famous ‘Three Graces’, before heading up towards the Commercial Quarter (also a UNESCO Heritage Site) and the Town Hall taking in some architectural firsts such as Peter Ellis’ Oriel Chambers and beautifully decorated buildings like Martin’s Bank that showcase Liverpool’s mercantile past. The tour ends at Liverpool ONE.

Meeting point: RIBA North Architecture Centre, Mann Island, L3 1BP

Tour ends: Liverpool ONE shopping centre, L1 8JQ

Tour time: 2 hours approx.

In The Spirit of John Piper

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In association with Tate Liverpool

John Piper is one of the most significant British artists of the twentieth century. Renowned for his powerful and romantic paintings of his native landscape and views of churches and historic monuments, he worked across an extraordinarily diverse range of artistic disciplines including designs for stained glass and theatre.

Piper also has a significant connection to Liverpool, designing the magnificent stained glass windows in the Metropolitan Cathedral.

You can take in the architectural and artistic treasures of Hope Street on this specially created walking tour to coincide with Tate Liverpool's fantastic John Piper exhibition (running until 18 March 2018).

Start by experiencing the glorious scale of Piper's 'Crown of Glass' in the Metropolitan Cathedral, enjoy decorative reliefs, glass and statuary along the route and end with Frink's 'Risen Christ' at the Anglican Cathedral and the funereal ramps and catacombs that so fascinated Piper.

The Tate's major exhibition emphasising Piper's pivotal role in the development of modern art in Britain marks the 50th anniversary of the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral's consecration in 1967.

Meeting point: outside Piazza Cafe, at the base of the front steps of the Metropolitan Cathedral, Mount Pleasant, L3 5TQ

Tour ends: Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

Tour time: 2 hours approx.

City of Culture, Learning & Faiths

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Join the RIBA guides on a walking tour around Hope Street, one of the most important streets in the city, and discover more about the buildings and spaces that have influenced generations. It is also the home of the RIBA’s 2014 Stirling Prize winner, the Everyman Theatre.

We start at the beginning of Hope Street at Frederick Gibberd’s Metropolitan Cathedral and finish at the other end of Hope Street at Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s Anglican Cathedral. There can’t be many streets that boast two cathedrals. The tour tells the tale of a street that has inspired creativity and gives you a taste of the arts, education, music, politics, religion and even places to relax and unwind in.

Meeting point: Piazza Café (at the base of the front steps of the Metropolitan Cathedral, Mount Pleasant, L3 5TQ

Tour ends: Liverpool Cathedral, St James’ Mount, L1 7AZ

Tour time: 2 hours approx.

Sculpture, Culture & Civic Pride

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The first view that greets visitors to the city from Lime Street Station is St George’s Hall, one of the finest examples of Neoclassical architecture in the world. The Plateau in front of the hall, with its monuments and memorials, provides the city of Liverpool with an area for congregation in good times and in bad.

It is an important meeting place in the city for political demonstrations, Remembrance Day services and a place for the city to come together and support one another. This area is home to many of Liverpool’s fine examples of classic architecture and sculpture, warranting its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Meeting and finishing point: St George’s Hall shop

Tour time: 2 hours approx.

Liverpool city centre
Liverpool ONE (c) Rob Battersby

The Ropewalks - Growth, Decline & Regeneration

This area once played a crucial role in the commerce and growth of the city as a world-class seaport. Evidence can be seen in its large collection of warehouses, factories and merchants’ houses. Over time it became forgotten, until the late 1990s when the city council decided to initiate the re-development of the area by bringing derelict buildings back to life. New buildings have been introduced along with open spaces to encourage greater use of the area for creative industries and leisure activities.

Meeting point: Liverpool ONE Travel Centre, Liverpool ONE Bus Station, L1 8LB

End point – At the bottom of Bold Street

Tour time: 2 hours approx.

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Albert Dock Discovery

Find out all about the iconic Albert Dock and the important role it has played in the history of Liverpool. Discover more about its origins, its deterioration and eventual regeneration to become a vibrant cultural hub for the city. The tour also looks at the surrounding docks, which all help to tell the story of Liverpool’s growth to become a great maritime port and city.

Meeting point: RIBA North, 21 Mann Island, Liverpool Waterfront, L3 1BP

Tour time: 2 hours approx.

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Liverpool One: Remaking a City Centre

Find out more about the development that changed the way we interact with our city and the buildings that were built for it, as well as those that remain from before.

Meeting point: RIBA North, 21 Mann Island, Liverpool Waterfront, L3 1BP

Tour time: 2 hours approx.

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Group Tours

We can arrange private tours for groups of any size, from anywhere. Tours can be especially tailored to suit your needs or one of our regular tours delivered at a time to suit you. For more information email lct@riba.org or telephone +44(0)151 703 0107.

Contact Us

Telephone : +44(0)151 703 0107
E-mail : lct@riba.org

Please note our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

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