We are working with Historic England and the National Trust to launch a series of self-guided, immersive sound walks to help people discover the magic of their local high streets.

We are producing new Sound Walks for six High Street Heritage Action Zones across England during Heritage Open Days, from 10-19 September 2021.

Each sound walk will be a distinctive, immersive soundscape to take listeners on a journey of discovery. They will bring hidden histories and stories to life, helping people to see their high street in a new light. Listeners will take a self-guided route, supported by an illustrated map created by artists for each place. The walks will encourage people to slow down, pause and reflect, and to experience their environment in a new way.

The six sound walks will be launched as part of Heritage Open Days and will be available online and in accessible formats.

Locations and Artists

Anna Maria Murphy, Sue Hill and Ciaran Clarke will explore layers of time to unlock the fascinating strata of sound, voice and story within the high street. Produced in association with Carn to Cove.

Aundre Goddard and Richard Bentley’s engaging sound walk combines music, audio drama and outdoor museum spaces. Produced in association with CultureMix, Readipop and Reading Borough Council.

Great Yarmouth
Artist Oliver Payne’s sound walk explores the contrast and diversity of Great Yarmouth’s high street. Take a journey amongst shops selling used electronics and Eastern European groceries next to pop-up spaces, medieval architecture and decades-old market traders. Listen to the stories of local people who have witnessed the street changing. Find yourself immersed in the evocative sounds that capture the street’s unique identity, from the gentle resonance of a medieval Row to the loud and vibrant music heard from outside a barbershop. Take a moment to slow down, pause and experience the high street in a new way. Produced in association with originalprojects and Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

Embark on a sonic journey of Grantham’s high street relived through memories of residents. Sandra Kazlauskaite’s evocative soundscape will guide you through St Peter’s Hill and Westgate’s transformation over time, unearthing fascinating hidden histories. Take time to listen, pause and experience Grantham in a new way. Produced in association with Emilie Nunn and South Kesteven District Council.

Dan Fox will embrace the diversity of people in Barrow. Listeners will explore the landmarks of work and play on the high street including iconic shops, businesses and the clubs of Cornwallis Street, alongside civic events like cycle races, and the centenary of the town hall. Produced in association with Full of Noises.

Jez Riley French’s sound walk evokes Whitefriargate’s complex social, cultural and physical history. Using a fascinating range of hidden, overlooked or usually inaudible sounds, it invites you to take time to listen, pause and discover this street in a new way.. Produced in association with Absolutely Cultured.

We will share more details on each Sound Walk, the composers and the partners involved over the coming months.

For more details, visit:

High Street Sound Walks is a commission by Historic England, National Trust and Heritage Open Days with support from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery and produced by Sound UK. It is part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zones Cultural Programme, led by Historic England.

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High Street Sound Walks

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