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Themed Tours

Charles Darwin’s Science Adventure

Darwin spent 5 years of his young life on board HMS Beagle travelling the globe and collecting the natural world for study back home. Re-trace the collecting journey that inspired his ideas about evolution, and in Tierra del Fuego, discover some of the collections that survive from his travels.

Created with the support of the British Academy, Newnham College Gibbs Travelling Fellowship, and kind generosity of museums/ collections holding Darwin material.

You might also find this Beagle itinerary guide useful.

Discovering the World of D.H. Lawrence

Immerse yourself in the creative world of D.H. Lawrence, and discover the everyday and extraordinary places he visited that inspired his famous works, including the notorious Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

Created in partnership with the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum

World Civilisations

From the mystical Silk Roads of Kazakhstan to the mysterious stone circles of Senegambia, discover the richness of our planet’s cultural and natural history. Take a virtual tour of our selection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, curated with additional content to transport you there in your imagination.

‘The Last Goodbye’ – Personal Stories from WW1

It can be too easy to forget from a distance the impact of war on people’s lives. This curated collection of short stories, inspired by museum artefacts, reminds us of those who lost lives and loved ones, and of the truly global nature of World War 1.

Created in partnership with Gosport and Fareham Multi-Academy Trust.

East Cowes: Home of Shipbuilders and Royalty

Soon after Queen Victoria bought nearby Osborne House on the Isle of Wight as her summer palace, this once sleepy waterfront village became one of the shipbuilding capitals of the world. 

Discover how these two events transformed East Cowes through the wonderful collections of East Cowes Heritage Centre.

Ghosts, Smugglers, Sea Air: Ramsgate Heritage Trail

Uncover the secret histories of this seaside town which attracted the likes of Mary Shelley, Vincent Van Gogh and Charles Darwin to walk its streets and leave their footprints in the sand.

Created in partnership with Ramsgate Arts Festival.

Dreams, Tides, Poetry: Margate Heritage Trail

Ramsgate’s sister, this quirky gem of a seaside town has been an inspiration for J.M.W. Turner, Tracy Emin, T.S. Eliot and Hawkwind! With a history wrapped up in stories of empire, discover a few of its links to slavery, tea and war.

Created in partnership with Mr. Dan Thompson

The Big Seaside Map

So, we have an idea – to create a big map of local heritage stories shared by coastal communities anywhere! Not just the well-known, but the hidden trivia, myths and legends that perhaps only a few people have noticed!

With the Back & Fill Festival at Marine Studios, we’ve started the ball rolling with this experimental map tour for you to dive in and explore. Get in touch if you have new stories to add to the map!

The John Lubbock Collection at Bromley Historic Collections

Lubbock lived next door to Charles Darwin in Kent and collected artefacts from across the world. Volunteers at Bromley Historic Collections are building this map to reconnect these objects with their places of origin.

Fragments of Hope: Protecting Belize Coral Reefs

Immerse yourself in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, as you explore the beauty, wonder and fragility of the Belize Coral Reef World Heritage Site, with the wonderful Fragments of Hope.

Explore the Wonderful Heritage of Antarctica

Visit this magical continent, discover monuments in the landscape left behind by past explorers, view a selection of treasures from their stories of adventure, and immerse yourself in the polar ‘sense of place’.


The shipwrecks that lie at the bottom of our world’s oceans are an amazing historical resource that tell of lives lived and lost over many centuries. This first instalment of our Shipwrecks themed tour includes vessels up to 1700.

The Ridgeway Trail: A Hike Through England’s Ancient History

The Ridgeway runs from Overton Hill in Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. Often described as Britain’s oldest road, it has been in use for over 5,000 years; it became a National Trail in 1972. Studded with ancient archaeological sites of great importance, not to mention the winding chalk path itself.

Enjoy this themed tour in partnership with our budding volunteers, Eliza Ader & Genista Astell. They are branching out into building an interactive heritage map on The Earth Museum. Their first instalment about Wayland’s Smithy is published here.

World Reconnections: Objects from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

One institution that has pioneered the opening up of its heritage data is The Met Collection in New York. Their Open Access Artworks resource contains more than 375,000 hi-resolution images of public domain works, which can be used by anyone for any non-commercial and commercial purpose.

Enjoy this themed tour as it takes shape over the next few months. Each day we are adding an object from every country in the world we can back to its origin. There are over 200 countries so travel with us around the world, courtesy of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art collections.

UK East Midlands Museums Map Your History Project 

Thirteen community-based museums and heritage organisations across the UK East Midlands have been working together over the last few months contributing to a combined heritage map with over 650 objects from across their collections. 

We have discovered a shared geographical and cultural space where key historical themes that have helped shape places begin to emerge: industry, empire, trade, transport, war and conflict, slavery, manufacture, mining and innovation. Take a few minutes to explore our collective map and discover a few of these stories and themes for yourself. 

Introducing The Isle of Wight Museums Explorer Maps

The Isle of Wight may only be 22 miles long and 13 miles wide but it’s packed full of history stretching back over 400,000 years. Seven great community museums on the Island have brought some of their collections together in these maps for you to discover.

Dive in and explore the traces left behind by the first migrants to these shores who came from Africa and Asia via Europe. Travel through time from Roman and Saxon times right up to the amazing scientists and innovators living on the C19th and C20th Island. Discover how our Island has always been globally connected.

Undiscovered Ryde Pop Up Experience Maps

Discover the escapades of our time-travelling history explorers, led by the enigmatic Powell-Powell sisters, on their expedition to Ryde on the Isle of Wight in the UK. And take a look at the map we created with contributions from local people and heritage in this fascinating town.

Taken Rapanui Heritage Project

Thousands of Rapanui artefacts sit in the collections of museums across the western world with stories untold. Taken Rapanui Heritage seeks to help re-connect this invaluable collective cultural treasure with source communities. We have created a suite of maps for you to explore in partnership with the Rapanui Pioneers Society.

Chesterfield Culture Map by Chesterfield CEP

Welcome to this fun interactive map created by the Chesterfield Cultural Education Partnership. They have plotted sites of historical and cultural significance in and around Chesterfield. Soak up some wonderful heritage and environment online with a cup of tea by your side. Be inspired to make a real life visit if you can!

‘Escaping in Suburbia’ by Gram Hilleard

Gram Hilleard is an artist and photographer of the urban realm who communicates visually. During lockdown he was inspired to paint the everyday life of Escaping in Suburbia, reflecting on unique moments and memories about the mundane suburban south London life of his youth. This map is both an exhibition of Gram’s work and a geography of his childhood.

The Artful Business of Making Light

A cornucopia of light bulb histories illuminating the creative business genius of innovators and the impact their ideas have had on the way we live our lives. Showcasing work undertaken with the National Trust Cragside in Northumberland.

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. 

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