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It’s Arrived! Step Back History Trail designed and created by students at Ryde Academy

Happening from Friday 19th August until Sunday 18th September 2022 around Ryde Town Centre.

You’ll need to pack a smart phone with QR scanning and mobile data, perhaps some headphones, good walking shoes, water, and a few light snacks to keep you going!

Designed and created by Year 9 History students at Ryde Academy for The Earth Museum, and generously supported by Historic England and the Museum of Ryde.

Image: Museum of Ryde
Image: Museum of Ryde

Step back in history with the experimental trail created by Ryde Academy students for you to explore. They have been following the intrepid adventures of our time-travelling explorers, the Powell-Powell sisters, who first visited Ryde in October last year from their own present time in the 1930s. Along with their companions, Henry and Bennelong, the Powell-Powell sisters have discovered new artefacts and met new characters from across Ryde’s history who have shared their stories.

You can discover these artefacts and story fragments in various shop windows across Ryde town centre. Visit Ryde equipped with your smartphone and our online digital trail map. Spend 1-2 hours on a walk around Ryde streets, follow our clues, scan our QR codes and find the students’ stories. And perhaps do some shopping at the same time!

You will need:

  • A mobile device with good mobile data and QR code scanning function
  • Headphones will help you hear some sound clips on route
  • Access to our online digital trail map on your mobile device
  • Good walking shoes, water and light snacks
  • Suitable adult supervision for walking around town on a self-guided tour, if a young person

Take a look at our online digital trail map for route details. There’s an option in the top right hand of the map screen to change the base map from satellite image to street map if you prefer that style to navigate with. Each ‘waymarker’ (marked as ‘orange footprints’ on the digital map) has a QR code on a clipboard + a small display in a shop window.

You can start the trail at any point, but we recommend you start at Ryde Pier, walk along the Esplanade, up Monkton Street, along Melville and Cross Street, and back down Union Street. There are clues on the map to help you find the first waymarker. At each waymarker just scan the QR code to discover a story written by a student inspired by the history of Ryde. You will also find directions and clues to find the next waymarker on the trail after you have read the story. And you can always return to the map to help you navigate. If you click on the ‘circle’ below the house button in the top left of the map screen, you can add your own position to the map and see where you are in relation to the QR code.

If you get really stuck looking for the QR code waymarkers, you can always click on the ‘Discover more’ link on the map under each pin to find the story anyway. And you can also use this ‘Discover more’ link to follow the trail online if you are not able to visit Ryde.

We do hope you enjoy our experimental little trail, which should take between 1-2 hours to complete all 12 waymarkers. This project is experimental and we know we can always improve, so please let us know any feedback at

Produced by Ryde Academy Students for The Earth Museum, and made possible with the generous support of local shopkeepers, the Museum of Ryde and Historic England.

This is a self-guided trail. Your use of this trail is at your own risk which is operated on an ‘as is, as available’ basis. In no event shall The Earth Museum or its representatives be liable for any damages arising out of, or in any way connected with, the use of this trail.

NB This resource requires the latest versions of most common desktop browsers, and works best with Chrome and Firefox. It also supports most common current iOS and Android mobile devices. Strong WiFi/ phone signal coverage is required for full functionality.

Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of The Earth Museum. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.