The Society has publicly launched Discovering Britain: a national network of free walks, trails and viewpoints, all exploring the hidden stories behind Britain’s landscapes. The project forms part of a major initiative by the Society to encourage the public to discover more about the UK’s places, environments and people.
Ever wondered how that church ended up in the middle of that lake? Why there are strange mounds in the middle of that flat field? What happened to London’s rivers? Why Belfast’s clock tower leans?
Discovering Britain helps answer those nagging questions everyone has about quirks in the landscape. And by encouraging people to view Britain’s landscapes in a different way, it also offers fascinating new insights: from why there’s a ‘white lie’ surrounding the Seven Sisters cliffs, to the Highland mystery that even Charles Darwin couldn’t solve.
By exploring the hidden stories behind Britain’s diverse landscapes, Discovering Britain’s activities encourage us all to learn more about how they have been created, how they are changing, and the forces that will shape their future.
Over 200 downloadable Discovering Britain walks, trails and viewpoints are available, covering every region of the UK, with more planned for the coming year. Activities can be searched for based on location, with landscapes divided into urban, rural and coastal.
Longer walks (3-8 miles) include downloadable guide books and audio guides, while Discovering Britain’s shorter trails (1-3 miles) and viewpoints (0-0.5 miles) ensure that activities are available that fit to everyone’s time, mobility and curiosity. All are designed to be self-led and include fascinating insights into landscapes that people may be visiting for the first time or have known all their lives.
The Society’s President, broadcaster and writer Nicholas Crane, said:
“Whether you’re exploring Britain’s towns, countryside or coastline, visiting a place for the first or hundredth time, Discovering Britain offers the opportunity to discover something new. From mysterious lines along mountainsides and missing rivers, to the secrets hidden behind fake houses, its walks and viewpoints encourage everyone to learn more about our remarkable landscapes.
“We’re hoping to engage as many people as possible with Britain’s diverse landscapes, and the stories they tell about our changing environments, society and economy.”
Try the activities for yourself at discoveringbritain.org
Examples of activities:
Debate on the topic 'This house believes the Planning (listed building and conservation areas) Act 1990 preserves our past but denies our future'.
11 March 2020
Miranda explores how powerful information about location can be used to build a system of smarter infrastructure to help the UK economy and society to thrive.
14 January 2019
Dr Anjana Khatwa is Programme Manager for Learning at the Jurassic Coast Trust, based in Dorset, UK.
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