City Safari
The capital and most populated city of the Netherlands
11th - 14th April 2024

Led by Sue Constable
3 nights, from £695 Discount for AIA members
Payment can now be made by credit card
This tour is now fully booked

City Safaris and Industrial Explorer Weekends
These walking tours take a look at an industrial city's civic, commercial, industrial and transport legacy on foot, guided by an expert. Our groups are deliberately kept small so that everyone has a chance to ask the leader questions as we go and to make walking as a group practicable in an urban environment.

We go away for a long weekend and stay together as a group at a reasonable hotel. A dinner is held on the Thursday evening which is a chance for new members to be introduced and old friends to catch up on news. After dinner there is a short talk to introduce the city and its history as well as to explain the programme.

City Safaris use whatever public transport is available: bus, tram, metro or train which is a great way to gain some understanding of how the area works and may be of historic interest in themselves.

Industrial Explorer Weekends are the same but we use a minibus to reach areas where public transport does not go and to give us the possibility of conveniently exploring a slightly wider area.

We tend to spend more time looking at buildings than we do going inside, but we usually try to include at least one visit to a site of industrial interest. In Sheffield, for example, we visited a small, specialist scissor maker. In the Black Country we rode through the Dudley tunnel on a trip boat and ended the tour in the Black Country Museum.

We look at all kinds of buildings: industrial, civic, retail and domestic. We cover everything from workers' cottages & workshops via pubs and factories to the magnificence of northern Victorian Town Halls and don’t forget the merely quirky. And we like interesting buildings in all kinds of condition, be they in use, re-used, shabby, derelict or forgotten. Transport is always part of the story: roads, railways and canals.

We generally walk about 5 miles a day. When walking around we are often asked why we are standing looking at a particular building, perhaps by people who now live or work there. Sometimes we are able to tell them more about the building than they know themselves but in response they are sometimes able to fill in some interesting snippets of social history which adds greatly to the mix.

Group members are provided with a full set of notes describing details of every building we stop by. We usually include stops for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea.

Tour members often say that these trips allow them to see things that "we never knew were there" and to view urban areas from new angles.
Amsterdam (literally, "The Dam on the River Amstel") is the capital and most populated city of the Netherlands, with The Hague being the seat of government. It has a population of 921,402 within the city proper, 1,457,018 in the urban area and 2,480,394 in the metropolitan area. Located in the Dutch province of North Holland, the city is sometimes referred to as the "Venice of the North", for its large number of canals, now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site [Wikipedia].

We first visited Amsterdam in 2001 so it’s high time we visited again! We will be staying in a city centre hotel and will be using the extensive public transport network to travel between sites. There will be suitable breaks on each day to let you rest your feet.
On Thursday the tour will start with the group assembling in the early evening at our hotel for a walk just around the block to a pizza restaurant for a group meal (included).

At the end of dinner Sue will give a short introduction to the weekend.
On Friday we will begin our exploration by looking at the east side of the city. We will see some of the early docks and the buildings associated with them as well as some later developments and one of the remaining windmills in the city.

After lunch our route will be along the banks of the River Amstel. We will examine some of 20th century housing developments in the south of the city as well as the transport links which developed to cater for the increased population in the area. The afternoon will also include mention of the diamond trade and the Jewish heritage of Amsterdam. We will finish our walk at Waterlooplein close to the hotel.

There will be breaks for coffee, lunch and tea during our walk (own expense).

Evening at leisure.

The River Amstel
(Zairon, CC BY-SA 4.0)
On Saturday we will begin our day by looking at some of the late 19th and early 20th century developments in the dock area. Then, having explored the area round Centraal Station we will make our way along Haarlemmerdijk to Haarlemmerpoort. The Dijk was one of the original flood defences for the city and later developed as a business and residential area. After lunch we will continue our visit to the western side of the city and will look at the evidence for the development of public utilities such as the waterworks and gas works. We will also be looking at some interesting housing developments especially Het Schip.
There will be breaks for coffee, lunch and tea during our walk  (own expense).

Evening at leisure.

Haarlemmerdijk c1902
(Public domain)
On Sunday we will be examining the city centre looking at civic and commercial buildings.

Our walk will take us to Dam Square and then on through the heart of the city to Muntplein and finally Rembrandtplein. On the way we will see a selection of shops and office buildings as well as the city hall and other civic buildings.

There will be a break for coffee and the group will take lunch together at a restaurant near Rembrandtplein (included).

(Marion Golsteijn, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Sue Constable will be well known to anyone who came to the Ruhr, Moravia or Romania with the AIA or has joined one of her previous City Safaris or Explorer Weekends. She was born in Buckinghamshire but moved to Hastings at an early age. She read History and Archaeology at Liverpool and also has a qualification in museum studies. She may have started out as an archaeologist but soon changed to being a social and industrial historian. She has worked in museums for most of her life, apart from a spell teaching and a break when her daughter was small. Much of her work in museums has been with industrial collections, ribbon weaving, nail-making and shoemaking. With her husband, Mike, she has explored much of the British and European waterways network. As a social historian she is also interested in how people live and how they organise their living spaces and environment.

We will be staying at the Lancaster Hotel, Plantage, Middenlaan 48, 1018 DH – Amsterdam

The hotel is located near ARTIS (the Amsterdam Royal Zoo), within easy reach of bars and restaurants and on tram route 14.

The tour starts at the hotel on the Thursday evening and ends at about 14:30 after lunch on the Sunday afternoon. Those travelling back to London via Eurostar can take their bags with them and place them in lockers at Centraal Station at the start of the Sunday morning walk so that we can go straight from lunch to Centraal to catch the 16:45 train.

We leave you to make your own travel arrangements to and from  Amsterdam to suit your own convenience and use of alternative departure points.

You should expect at least 5 miles of walking, in short sections, on Friday and Saturday, mostly on hard surfaces.
Detailed joining instructions will be supplied about two weeks before the start of the tour.

The cost of the tour is £695 per person sharing, single supplement £300. The single supplement is entirely accounted for by the additional costs charged by the hotel for single occupancy. With a high proportion of singles on these tours it is not possible to avoid this.

Heritage of Industry is pleased to offer a discount of £10 to any paid-up member of the Association for Industrial Archaeology  at the time of the tour.

The cost includes:
  • 3 nights bed & breakfast accommodation
  • Dinner on Thursday, Lunch on Sunday
  • All entrance fees and 3 day travel card covering all public transport
  • Expert guiding and services of an experienced tour manager throughout
  • Research for the visit
  • Professionally produced, comprehensive tour notes
Excluded are:
  • Lunch on Friday & Saturday
  • Dinner on Friday & Saturday
  • Drinks
  • Expenses at the hotel other than bed & breakfast
All prices are quoted in Pounds Sterling (GBP) whilst most of the costs are in Euros (EUR). In these turbulent times, changes to exchange rates, accommodation, transport costs or taxes may necessitate a price change

Please note that cancellation charges will apply from 8th February 2024, and, although these will be modified to the extent that costs are not actually incurred, you are strongly advised to insure against the need to cancel.

You must ensure that you have a valid passport for travel in the European Union (and possibly visas for Non-EU citizens). For UK residents, the Global Health Insurance Card (UK GHIC) replaces the former European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you have an EHIC which is still in date you may use it. If yours has expired then you should apply for a GHIC here: They are free and usually come quite quickly.

Non-UK residents also need to consider medical treatment and repatriation charges in the event of illness etc. Participants who do not have travel insurance must nevertheless accept full responsibility for these eventualities.

Bookings will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to space availability. Booking is subject to a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 20 people. Book as soon as possible and by 8th February 2024 to ensure a place but please feel free to enquire after that date if a place is still available. We will contact you as soon as possible to confirm the booking.

Invoices for the balance of the price will be issued about 8 weeks before the tour starts. A non-refundable deposit of £70 per person is required on booking. Bookings can be made definite only when the booking details and deposit are received and accepted in writing/email by Heritage of Industry Ltd. The company's standard terms and conditions apply. The balance of the price is to be paid to Heritage of Industry Ltd on presentation of the invoice. All monies paid to Heritage of Industry Ltd will be held, in accordance with government regulations**, in a customer protection account until the tour is complete so that your money is safe no matter what happens.

Payment should be made via your bank’s online banking facilities, the necessary details are shown on the confirmation of booking. Please send an email note when you have made payment.

We are pleased to announce that we are now also able to accept payment by credit card.

This tour is now fully booked

** The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 (SI 1992 No. 3288)

The Association for Industrial Archaeology

For the last three centuries industry has had a major influence on the society, environment and landscape in which we live and its remains provide a link with the past that can also serve the future.

Uniting individuals, local societies, academics and field professionals the AIA:

  • Promotes Industrial Archaeology and Heritage both nationally and internationally
  • Supports the development and sharing of knowledge about Industrial Archaeology
  • Publishes IA Review - the leading Industrial Archaeology journal
  • Seeks to ensure the value of industrial sites is recognised in planning decisions
  • Supports local and special interest societies
Through its programme of awards and grants it:
  • Sponsors research and rewards excellence
  • Assists preservation and restoration of Industrial Heritage assets
  • Encourages research and publication
And through its Young Members Board it:
  • Promotes the aims of the AIA through broader engagement with people in their early careers
Heritage of Industry Ltd is very pleased to support the activities of the Association and very much hopes that you do too and will become a member.

Apart from the discount available on Heritage of Industry tours AIA members enjoy a range of benefits which are shown on the Membership page of the AIA website where you can also find full details of how to join:

An AIA member joining this tour will already have recouped nearly 1/3 of the AIA membership fee but more importantly the support members give enables the AIA to continue its work.