London Unseen – Heritage Tours and Trails

We were hand-picked by the Mayor of London’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm to deliver a training workshop for heritage practitioners to share our expertise and support them to develop their walks, talks and tours to be more inclusive and accessible for wider audiences.

We were really excited – not only would our workshop be part of a day organised to celebrate London’s community heritage practitioners and the launch of their new website, it was also going to be held at a place very close to our hearts, the Museum of London.

Being passionate advocates for London and London’s heritage, we were all motivated to start thinking about how we could deliver our workshop in our unique purpleSTARS way.

We identified what we felt were essential nuggets of information to share, our top tips for a more accessible and inclusive talk and tour. We created a public Wiki and an easy read version of our top tips to accompany our workshop.

Top Tips Wiki

The group thought it was important that heritage practitioners think about how to make a walk, talk or tour, sensory and interactive. A sensory bag containing items relevant to a particular walk, talk and tour would be the most practical solution.

The purpleSTARS members presented their top tips at the workshop, during which practitioners were able to look at, listen to, touch and smell different objects.

Practitioners were then invited to create their own sensory bag. To get their creative juices flowing, purpleSTARS showcased the bags they had made. A member of purpleSTARS supported and facilitated the seven practitioner groups and shared ideas on the types of items they may want to include, like scents, objects, edible items, photos and audio clips.

The heritage practitioners enjoyed creating their bags. There were lots of discussions and questions asked around how they could make their walk, talk or tour include sensory elements. It was fascinating to hear the practitioners, who run a walking tour of the Welsh Harp in Brent, discuss, whilst working on their bags, how to include smells and items to touch as part of their tour.

It was encouraging to hear that our top tips had clearly been taken on board. The delegates who were presenting after us, acknowledged that their slides were not in easy read, were not clear enough and contained jargon. It was reassuring to hear that they would bear these top tips in mind for future presentations.

“You were all amazing, your presentation, practical session and the members were brilliant, you made this event a real success.”
Vanessa Ansa, Producer, London Heritage Walks & Tours

As part of the Mayor of London’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, there are a series of free walks and tours taking place between July – November 2022.

London Unseen free walks and tours

purpleSTARS website

Kanchan Kerai, The Rix Centre