Call to action: Cultural Olympiad and the Historic Environment

07 May 2012

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Urquhart Castle, Scotland - one of the historic locations for our Discover Explore project, part of the Cultural Olympiad. Learn more at Castle, Scotland - one of the historic locations for our Discover Explore project, part of the Cultural Olympiad. Learn more at

We hope you’ve enjoyed your Bank Holiday weekend and all the weird and wonderful Cultural Olympiad projects we featured last week on the blog. We discovered a forest pitch deep in the woods of the Scottish borders, the bright spectaculars of Lakes Alive, artworks travelling along the waterways of the East Midlands, and theatrical gnomes in Hampshire gardens. This is just a taste of the creative energy that is sweeping across the country in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with inspirational projects in all parts of the UK telling local stories in new ways and engaging audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

This week we are focusing on London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and Inspire Mark projects that are influenced by the UK’s historic environment – a particularly rich source of inspiration in a country where every village, town, city or region has a wealth of heritage sites, historic buildings and monuments, and therefore has a lot of stories to tell.

Young and old share their stories about the local heritage of Hadleigh, Essex, as part of the Team Hadleigh project.

Projects such as Talacharn Trails at Laugharne Castle in Wales are actively encouraging the local community (especially its younger members) to discover the hidden stories of their local heritage site and to interpret them for new visitors to the castle. Cultural Olympiad and Inspire Mark projects in the East of England are also drawing attention to their local heritage – from the illumination of historic Suffolk churches in Olympic colours, to the recording of local residents’ voices (young and old) as they tell the story of Hadleigh’s heritage, they are enabling local people to explore and celebrate the historic environment they know and love. And let’s not forget our own project, Discover Explore, a new exploration game that offers children and families the chance to embark on daring missions in Scotland’s Great Glen, where they can discover historical sites such as Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield and Inverness Museum in fun and adventurous ways.

Stick with us over the coming week to learn more about these projects and their special relationship to the UK’s rich historic environment.

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