About Walk Manchester


John Alker is a trained green badge guide working in the centre of Manchester, the world’s first industrial city. He currently offers a wide range of informative and entertaining guided tours specialising in the political and industrial history of Manchester, popular culture, art and architecture. John’s walks combine a depth of specialist knowledge with fascinating human stories, urban myths, and tantalising pub facts about the city once known as “the workshop of the world.”

Discover Manchester Walks: A general history tour looking at Manchester as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the home of Free trade and a powerhouse for radical and progressive politics, from Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto to the Pankhurst sisters and the beginning of suffrage. These walks also reveal how Manchester, the first industrial city, became the home of pioneering movements in popular culture and music, from Ewan McColl to Morrissey and beyond.

Pub Walks: General history and pop culture pub tours ending with an entertaining pub quiz. Perfect for office parties and visiting tourist groups.

Industrial Walks: Explore the cholera pits, mills, canals, markets, warehouses, railways, and ragged schools that made Manchester, the home of a world wide industrial revolution.

Popular Music Walks: Investigate the personalities and impresarios who put Manchester on the international musical map. Madchester pilgrims will be taken to all the shrines of this movement, from the Hacienda to the legendary Dry Bar. Smiths fans will be taken to the places referenced by Morrissey in his many songs about the city and find out why Manchester has been the home to so many world renowned musicians from The Hollies to Joy Division, Oasis and Elbow.

Art Walks: Stand and look with fresh eyes on the art and architecture that has shaped the city. See the influences of Andy Warhol, Mondrian, Picasso, Robert Venturi and Salvador Dali on the city centre’s sculptures and buildings. See the legacy of the Pre-Raphaelites in both the city’s art gallery and Town Hall murals, visit the hidden gems in Manchester Cathedral and find out more about the elusive L.S. Lowry. 

John Alker’s background is in education with over 10 years experience in schools and 20 years in further education as a senior lecturer. He is a trained classical musician (BA Hons) and he currently lectures part time in music, fine art, performing arts and contextual studies. He occasionally works as a visiting lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.

There is an existing timetable of walks but John is also available for private bookings outside this schedule.