Guidebooks have long been used as a way of directing the visitor through the town. Some, like John Gay’s Trivia, formed a general introduction to the social mores of street life. Others offered detailed itineraries for tours through the town, directing the walker along the improved streets of the town and calling at the most important locations including civic and ecclesiastical buildings, leisure facilities, charitable institutions and increasingly shops. As both practical guides and a form of armchair tourism, these books were important in constructing and broadcasting the image of the town as sites of modern consumption, be it of culture, leisure or material goods. It is perhaps surprising then that they have received relatively little attention: the gaze of historians falling instead on the more serious town histories or guidebooks for tourist destinations such as the Lake District (Sweet, 1997; Whyte, 2000). In this paper, I want to explore the tours and itineraries offered in William West’s History, Topography and Directory of Warwickshire (1830). As the title suggests, this volume was a hybrid, drawing on the topographical tradition of Leland, Camden and others, yet presenting current commercial and tourist information. Within his suggested itinerary through the county, detailed walking tours of Warwick, Leamington Spa and Birmingham stand out, and form the focus of my paper. In it, I contrast the treatment of the three towns, arguing that this was not merely a reflection of their different economic and physical structure; it was also a product of West's conscious construction of them as, respectively, places of history, leisure and commerce. Yet these were not crude stereotypes, but subtle re-presentations of the towns which sought to celebrate and position them within the imagination of the reader.