Architecture photo walks and courses

Walks: Explore places through photography and discover the stories about architecture and urban change in different parts of the city.  

Courses: Photography courses run throughout the year at the Mary Ward Centre and Gloucester Adult Education and include:

  • Digital Photography in the City - learn practically how creative ideas take shape from location to photograph
  • Digital Photography Introduction - be more in control of your digital camera and use it more creatively
  • Photography Studies- learn from the photographers whose images changed the way we see 
  • Photography with an iPad - use your smartphone or tablet and learn about photography composition  
  • Photography at Gloucester Cathedral and at the Docks - learn to use your camera and take better photos  

Further details on the photo walks, below, with links to recent listings. 

Concrete Futures - Poplar Brutalism

Balfron Tower and the Robin Hood Gardens estate are two of the most well-known examples of Brutalist architecture in East London. Located in a Conservation Area, the Balfron Tower is Grade II* listed and being refurbished whereas Robin Hood Gardens is undergoing demolition as part of the Blackwall Reach regeneration scheme. On this walk we reflect on the utopian ambitions of the architects behind these great social housing projects and question what aspects of their pasts might have led to such diverging futures. 

See listing of this walk from the 18 May 2019 at

Olympic Park - legacy landscape 

London’s proposal for the 2012 Olympics was to develop a ‘legacy’ park for the future that would long outlast the temporary setting of the Games. The Park would be a model of sustainable urban landscape design and provide a backdrop for some inspirational architecture including the London Aquatics Centre and the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlisted Velodrome. With photographs from before and after the Games along with insights of living within the local neighbourhood this photo walk looks at the legacy of the Park and considers the changes that are yet to come. 

See listing for this walk from 25 Sep 2021 at

The Leaway - urban connections

From Pudding Mill Lane to Leamouth, the Leaway is a walking route through a once fragmented urban landscape of East London’s industrial past. It is also the backbone for an extended Lea River Park that links the Olympic Park to the Thames. On this photo walk we will see the historical features of this once industrialised area as well as the emerging new landscape and stop at Cody Dock where the community is leading the redevelopment. Along the way we will pass several sculptures on The Line art trail as well as find thriving wildlife and surprising views of London’s skyline.

See listing for from the 24th Oct 2021 at

Canada Water and Rotherhithe:  

The industrial wharves of Rotherhithe were some of the first in London to undergo a change to residential use.  We will walk through what is now a largely residential area but which was formerly full of dockyards and timber ponds with trading connections to the Baltic and Scandinavian countries. Starting at Canada Water the walk will scale Stave Hill for spectacular views to Canary Wharf, find Georgian inspiration on the longest street in London and end at Rotherhithe Village - a suitable place to enjoy some well-earned refreshment.

Deptford Creekside - conservation and culture

Deptford Creekside was granted conservation status in 2012 and along with architectural and industrial heritage the area is also well-known for its many artists studios and galleries. Starting at Cutty Sark, this walk heads in the opposite direction to Greenwich and considers the importance of arts and culture to the urban regeneration underway. A stop to see the translucent Laban Dance Centre by Herzog and de Meuron, which won the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2003, is one of the highlights before exploring the rest of the historic Creekside conservation area.

See listing of this walk from 5 Oct 2019 at

Golden Lane Estate and the Barbican

These two great estates were designed about ten years apart by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon to provide much needed housing in City of London locations that had been heavily bomb damaged during the war. Now listed they continue to be exemplars from a period of utopian ideals for city living with gardens, open spaces and leisure facilities that were all carefully designed to meet the needs of residents. Starting at Barbican station the walk explores the vantage points around Golden Lane before heading up onto the Barbican Highwalks and finishing at Moorgate.  

Kings Cross and St Pancras

Explore one of London’s largest re-development zones on this architecture photo walk that focusses on the extensive regeneration of Kings Cross and St Pancras. Previously an industrial area defined by its rail landscape and dissected by the Regent’s Canal, the space has been re-imagined as a new creative quarter. With many of its historic buildings re-purposed we will walk through the Granary Building, find views of Gasholder Park and visit the bustling Coal Drops Yard before exploring the new architecture and the sustainable ideas at the Skip Garden.

See listing of this walk from 16 Nov 2019 at

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