'Helicopter' around Winchester this weekend

National Architecture Week, the annual event jointly co-ordinated by the Arts Council and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), is now well under way with its offering of talks, guided walks and buildings to visit.

This year's theme for the South East is 'different perspectives' so you can expect an unusual and interesting selection of events to be available.

On Saturday 23 June at 3pm, Winchester's official tourist guides are offering the public an opportunity to look up towards the city's roofscapes in their 'helicoptering around Winchester on foot' guided walk.

"People rarely look up at the rooftops of this wonderful city, which is a pity, as ours are a delight. Join this tour to see Winchester from a truly different perspective" said Sue Coles, Chair of the Winchester Area Tourist Guides Association.

A chance to learn a little of Winchester's scandalous past comes on Sunday 24 June when Graham Scobie from Winchester City Council's Museums Service offers to take people along the High Street looking at stories behind the façade of some of the city's finest buildings. There are two FREE 'Facing Forward: Looking Back' tours, one at 10.30am and the other at 3pm starting from the Westgate Museum.

Winchester City Council's Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport, Cllr Patricia Stallard, stated: "As the City Council's nominated Historic Environment Champion, I am keen to ensure that we use opportunities such as National Architecture Week to promote our beautiful town and increase awareness of its historic buildings and heritage. Our annual Winchester Open Weekend in September has a loyal local following, and we are sure of strong interest in these intriguingly-titled walks."

Places are limited for all tours so it is advised that you pre-book at Winchester's award-winning tourist information centre on 01962 840 500 or email tourism@winchester.gov.uk. The centre is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sundays.

The cost for the 'helicoptering around Winchester on foot' tour is £4 for adults and £1 for accompanying children.

A local architect, Architecture PLB, based in St Thomas Street, is offering a chance to find out more about the impact ecological issues have on building design. A range of sessions is available during Architecture Week; contact their office on 01962 842 200 or email yvonneirvine@architectureplb.com for further details.

To find out about events and activities happening elsewhere for Architecture Week, go to the dedicated website at www.architectureweek.org.uk  Alternatively call in to the tourist information centre at Winchester Guildhall on the High Street where a free booklet is available.

Architecture Week runs from 15 to 24 June 2007.  It is an Arts Council England and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) initiative in association with the Architecture Centre Network and aims to explore architecture and the built environment via the arts and culture in an entertaining and informative way. 
For more details visit www.architectureweek.org.uk.