Are we there yet?

How do we make sense of place? How can we describe its community? Where do we look for information?

We like tourists.

A collaboration with Wide Eyed Theatre. The Alternative Tourist Information Stations are aimed at those visiting or hoping to rediscover the city they live in.

"Destination Managers have customer service, marketing and visitor experience knowledge and expertise that those working in the cultural sector could utilise and learn from"

Our stations share multiple perspectives of place and community as we drift through the city dreaming with open eyes.

The first station was launched at the Wise Words Festival 2013 in Canterbury. The festival has "Reawakening Wonder & Encouraging Curiosity" as its Mission and engaging new audiences as its aim. So many interesting questions were generated about how we currently map the places we live and how we might better navigate our constantly evolving geography to include the hidden spaces, and multiple perspectives that could increase the local offer.

Our first station was positioned along the high street where we encouraged the public to take bespoke tours of the city often lead by themselves. These tours included the 'penny tour' where direction of travel was decided by the flip of a coin, 'draw your on map of the city' where we asked people to walk and take note of 'hidden places' and share them with those taking the next tour. We were supported by members of the Kent University Youth Theatre for a regular procession of alternative street signs, some left on street corners to tap into the city's inner landscapes and inspire shoppers.

Our station formed a hub of information not normally available at traditional tourist centres. The station changed throughout the day, reflecting the diversity of the people who work, live and visit Canterbury and their multiple perspectives on place. There was always something new to discover both on and off the map!


This project is funded by Canterbury City Council, Wise Words Festival and Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.