We’re a big fan of city tours. However much you think you know about your own city, taking a look at town with a different ‘head’ on – as an open-eyed tourist – is a pretty lovely thing. You start noticing things you’ve somehow never taken any notice of before, and learn stuff that’s previously gone in one ear and out the other. When something’s in front of you every day, you tend to be that bothered: it takes someone to physically point it out for you to really appreciate how amazing this place is.

Which is where RIBA’s acclaimed walking tours come in. The architectural heavyweights are following up last year’s successful get-togethers with two 2012 tours. Laid on twice a week, ‘Gateway To The World’ puts a spotlight on key buildings and spaces down towards the pier that form part of our city’s landscape, characters, commerce and culture. In addition, there’s ‘City of Culture, Learning and Faiths’, based around Hope Street, where you’ll discover stuff about one of the most historic and impressive stretches in the city (yes, including the cathedrals at either end).

The prices are pretty good, too: it’s £7.50/£4 concessions, and that’s for a two hour guided tour. Well worth looking into if you’re keen to strip back some of Liverpool’s many curious layers.

RIBA City Tours
5 May – 31 October 2012
www.architecture.com/liverpoolcitytours

– Image by Chris Vere