About us

What was Discovering Places?

Discovering Places was the London 2012’s Cultural Olympiad campaign to inspire communities across the UK to discover their local environment – with all its hidden places, extraordinary spaces and the stories they have to tell.

The aim of Discovering Places was to give everyone the opportunity to discover, explore and be inspired by the UK’s hidden gems; from historic or contemporary buildings to public or natural spaces in and around the cities, towns and villages where we live and work.

Our projects are Discover Explore, Meet the Species and Walk the World.

Who ran Discovering Places?

Discovering Places was one of the 9 major projects of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, managed by The Heritage Alliance and delivered in partnership with the London 2012 Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games (LOCOG).

The Heritage Alliance, established in 2002 as Heritage Link, is the biggest alliance of heritage interests in the UK and was set up to promote the central role of the non-Government movement in the heritage sector.

What was the Cultural Olympiad?

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad was the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years from September 2008 to September 2012, it gave everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 by inspiring creativity and participation across all forms of culture.

Who did Discovering Places working with?

Discovering Places worked with many partners to deliver large, medium and small scale engagement projects and one off events. This included:

  • Royal Geographical Society – to deliver Walk the World – interactive website themed around discovering the physical links to other Olympic and Paralympic Countries.
  • Bristol Natural History Consortium – to deliver Meet the Species – a race to find and identify 2,012 species.
  • The Workshop – to develop and deliver Discover Explore.
  • Field Studies Council –to develop and deliver a teaching resource based around the design story of the Olympic Park.
  • Pestival –a site-specific performance at the Natural History Museum
  • National Trust – to deliver one off events at Box Hill and Clandon Park
  • Rachel Henson – commissioned to create bespoke walks using flick books at Box Hill and to create a series of films for the London 2012 / BBC Live Site networks
  • All the Bells – supporting engagement in this Festival 2012 project.
  • London 2012 Get Set – working with the London 2012 Education team.
  • London 2012 Sustainability – working in partnership on a Mad about Meadows project.
  • London 2012 Local Leaders – linking in with their engagement imitative.
  • London 2012 Torch Relay
  • London 2012 Creative Programmers – Discovering Places works closely with the network of London 2012 Creative Programmers to develop and promote projects and events across the UK that are building new audiences, creating new experiences and celebrating a sense of place within the historic, natural and built environments. For more information see Uncover Discover.

Discover Explore is working with:

In the Great Glen: The National Trust For Scotland’s Culloden Battlefield, British Waterways Scotland, The Waterways Trust, Abriachan Forest Trust, John Muir Trust, Highland Council (Glen Nevis Visitor Centre & Highland Countryside Rangers), Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, Historic Scotland at Urquhart Castle, Merkinch Local Nature Reserve.

In the Lee Valley: River Lea Tidal Mill Trust, Royal Small Arms Trust, Bruce Museum – Haringey Council, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey Church, Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Markfield Beam Engine Museum, RSPB, Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum, Ware Museum

Who funded Discovering Places?

Discovering Places was funded by a grant from Olympic Lottery Distributor (OLD) through the London Organising Committee of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG)

Discovering Places Events

    There currently aren't any upcoming events for this project.

    But there might be other events happening in your area, and there are lots of other ways to get involved.

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