Welcome to City Safaris and Industrial Explorer Weekends

Forthcoming tours in 2024

City Safaris and Industrial Explorer Weekends take a look at an industrial city's civic, commercial, industrial and transport legacy on foot, guided by an expert.

Our groups are deliberately kept small so that everyone has a chance to ask the leader questions as we go and to make walking as a group practicable in an urban environment.

We go away for a long weekend and stay together as a group at a reasonable hotel. A dinner is held on the Thursday evening which is a chance for new members to be introduced and old friends to catch up on news. After dinner there is a short talk to introduce the city and its history as well as to explain the programme.

City Safaris use whatever public transport is available: bus, tram, metro or train which is a great way to gain some understanding of how the area works and may be of historic interest in themselves.

Industrial Explorer Weekends are the same but we use a minibus to reach areas where public transport does not go and to give us the possibility of conveniently exploring a slightly wider area.

We tend to spend more time looking at buildings than we do going inside, but we usually try to include at least one visit to a place of industrial interest. In Sheffield, for example, we visited a small, specialist scissor maker. In the Black Country we rode through the Dudley tunnel on a trip boat and ended the tour in the Black Country Museum.

We look at all kinds of buildings: industrial, civic, retail and domestic. We cover everything from workers' cottages & workshops via pubs and factories to the magnificence of northern Victorian Town Halls and not forgetting the merely quirky. And we like interesting buildings in all kinds of condition, be they in use, re-used, shabby, derelict or forgotten. Transport is always part of the story: roads, railways and canals.

We generally walk about 5 miles a day. When walking around we are often asked why we are standing looking at a particular building, perhaps by people who now live or work there. Sometimes we are able to tell them more about the building than they know themselves but in response they are sometimes able to fill in some interesting snippets of social history which adds greatly to the mix.

At Cutlers Hall in Sheffield we were being guided by the Archivist but by chance met the Master Cutler. He was delighted to give us an impromptu talk about the position he held and how he saw the relevance of it in the modern world – particularly, after so much large scale industry is gone, how important it was to be an advocate for the specialist steel makers now. It was a lucky meeting and a wonderful addition to our tour.

Group members are provided with a full set of notes describing details of every building we stop by. We usually include stops for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea.

Tour members often say that these trips allow them to see things that "we never knew were there" and to view urban areas from new angles.

The scheduled trips in 2024 are: Amsterdam, Manchester

Please explore the site to discover details of all our tours and perhaps browse through some of our previous Tours

City Safaris and Industrial Explorer Weekends are run by Heritage of Industry Ltd.