The libraries of London Cycle Tour - Saturday 20 July 2024 1.30pm

The libraries of London Cycle Tour - Saturday 20 July 2024 1.30pm

Regular price £9.50
/
Tax included.

Ticket type

Join Open City for a cycling tour exploring the fascinating history of public libraries and bookshops from Bloomsbury to the East End

This fun and inspiring cycle tour led by Golden Key Academy graduate Justin Manley celebrates London’s extraordinary buildings which bring readers and writers together.

Bookshops and public libraries have long brought book lovers together to browse, buy, and borrow books. But a 2004 report on the state of British libraries warned that the institution was in decline and would be obsolete within 10-to-15 years. Bookshops were also struggling: over the ten years following this pessimistic library report, the number of bookshops in Britain declined by a third.

Today, bookshops are thriving once again, and — despite repeated funding cuts — libraries are very much not obsolete. This tour traces the ways British bookshops and libraries have reinvented themselves time and again — not just over the past decade, but over the past century — borrowing ideas from each other along the way.

The tour begins at the expansive and inviting British Library and ends in Whitechapel, where the local council has boldly attempted to reinvent the library for the twenty-first century. Along the route, we will pass beloved independent bookshops and visit some of the most vibrant public libraries in Central London. Over the course of the tour, we will see how architects working across a range of building styles express the ideals of their bookish institutions.

Highlights of the route include: British Library, Mary Ward House, Holborn Library, Bishopsgate Institute and the Whitechapel Gallery.

Key information 

Participants must be competent riders and bring their own bicycle. 

Meeting point: British Library piazza, in front of the main entrance by The Last Word Cafe 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB

End point: Whitechapel Gallery 77-82 Whitechapel High Street E1 7QX

Duration: 3 hours approx

Difficulty: Moderate, the route does include some large main roads.

Distance: 5.2 miles / 8.4km

Accessibility: There is a very gentle downwards incline across the entire route. There are no places where participants are required to carry bicycles up or down stairs.

Justin Manley is a graduate of the 2023 Golden Key Academy, a masterclass for urban and architectural tour guiding run by Open City. Previously, he designed and led architecture tours in Chicago as part of that city’s annual urbanist festival. An avid reader, Justin holds library cards from across the US and UK: the New York City suburbs where he was born; Chicago; San Francisco; and of course, London. Chances are that at this very moment, he has books checked out from two or three public libraries around London. Learn more about Justin at http://justinmanley.work. He joined the Open City tours team in December 2023.

Tickets are non-refundable and tours go ahead rain or shine.

* Please check for any planned transport engineering works, planned strike action or large scale events that may affect your journey before making your ticket purchase *

If you find you can no longer make the tour for any reason we are unable to transfer you to another date, but please feel free to pass your booked place onto a friend to go and enjoy the tour in your place. 

In the event your tour date is cancelled you will be issued with a credit note (with no expiry date) that you can use to 

- book onto a rescheduled date
- book onto any other tour from our programme 

or you can request a refund. 

All ticket purchases are in support of the work of our organisation including our pioneering education programmes. We really appreciate your support! 

Get in touch with Adrianna at tours@open-city.org.uk with any queries.

 

If you find you can no longer make the tour for Covid or any reason we are unable to transfer you to another date, but please feel free to pass your booked place onto a friend to go in your place. 

In the event your tour date is cancelled due to Covid or any other reason you will be provided with the opportunity to book onto a rescheduled date, book onto another tour, provided with a credit note (with no expiry date) or you can request a refund. 

All ticket purchases are in support of the work of our organisation including our pioneering education programmes. We really appreciate your support! 

Get in touch with Adrianna at tours@open-city.org.uk with any queries.

This is an in-person tour and the guide is with you for the duration. Zoom is used in order to help with social distancing and allow better spacing between participants and allow image sharing. 

Attendees must download Zoom to their smartphone before the tour. Bring your fully charged smartphone (with an internet connection) and headphones. Zoom joining info will be sent out to bookers 48-24 hours before the tour.

Get in touch with Adrianna at tours@open-city.org.uk with any queries.