UCL Launches Free Weekly Walking Tours

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 22 months ago

Last Updated 13 September 2022

UCL Launches Free Weekly Walking Tours
The neoclassical frontage of UCL, surrounded by students
The free tours run weekly. Image: UCL

UCL — a university that's been in central London almost 200 years — is now hosting free historical walking tours.

The hour-long public tours take place every Friday afternoon — from 24 June. Student ambassadors lead visitors to key sites on the Bloomsbury campus, including the columned Wilkins Building, used to depict ancient Rome in the movie Gladiator; a Charles Darwin bust crafted by a robotic arm; and the university's lesser-known Japanese garden.

A man looks at the behatted auto-icon of Jeremy Bentham, inside a glass case
Yep, you'll get to meet Jez. Image: Londonist

(And before you ask, yes, you'll have a chance to say hello to the auto-icon of Jeremy Bentham, too.)

UCL prides itself on its radical thinking through the ages, and guides — who've been been trained by a Blue Badge Tourist Guide — will also describe how this was the first university to admit students regardless of religion, and opened up higher education to women on equal terms to men.

A small group gathers outside the main campus, listening to a young tour guide in a purple top
Student ambassador guides have been Blue Badge trained. Image: UCL

Says Richard Ing, a Blue Badge Tour Guide, "UCL is the cradle of radical and innovative thinking and has produced brilliant academics, medics, artists and scientists over its near 200 year history. Taking a tour of this historic campus opens the door to a fascinating world of academic endeavour."  

Free one-hour tours of UCL run every Friday from 24 June, 12.30pm-1.30pm. Book your slot using the website.