Creativity Unwrapped

What gives England’s heritage the X-factor?! From monastic architecture to modern street art; morris dancing to Regency balls; a house of fashion to the theatrical stage, and so – much – more! This year we’re unwrapping the colourful history of creativity but with so much to explore, where to start? Let’s break it down with a highlight list from a-z!

Collage of images around Creativity Unwrapped logo showing topiary, morris dancers, someone painting, a shelf of books and hands holding film negative.

Art and design

Open wooden box of paint pigments with a sketch of a landscape leaning against the inside lid.

From rocks and minerals to colour blocks to art on our walls, explore the historic creation of colour at this special shop. / © Mark Hilsden

  • The Amazing Colour Makers House: A very special shop showcasing thousands of years of tradition – see how pigments become paints, and get a sense of the stores where famous painters like Turner and Constable would have picked up their supplies. (Castle Fine Arts, Cumbria)
  • Concrete Canvas: Find out about the chuckles, challenges and controversies involved in creating a city-wide street art trail. (Chelmsford Civic Society, Essex)
  • The Art of Advertising: Discover 100 years of print advertising in Stockport with this exhibition and special presentation on artists across the decades. (The Richard Roberts Archive, Greater Manchester)
  • Out of the Blue: Explore the history of early photography with this exhibition and hands on activities. (Heritage Centre Bellingham, Northumberland)
  • Fish & Chippings: See some of the finest preserved fish ponds in the UK and explore monastic architecture with this fun tour. (St Benet's Abbey, Norfolk)


Old film still of a group of morris dancers in white and a woman playing the accordion at the front.

Hankies at the ready? Let's dance! Check out the history of this folk dance and see displays across the country. / © Museum of Bath at Work

  • The Way of Morris: Discover the story of one of this traditional folk dance. Watch an award winning documentary or check out the displays happening in towns all over England! (Museum of Bath at Work, Somerset)
  • A Bridgerton Ball?: Ever wanted to dance at a Jane Austen style ball? Now’s your chance! Step up and have a go in Winchester’s stunning Great Hall. (Hampshire Regency Dancers, Hampshire)
  • Dress to Dance: Check out the colourful costumes and then watch or even join in with some medieval dancing at Hadleigh Guildhall. (Dance Historia, Suffolk)


Black and white photo of a woman in a dark coat and hat decorated with white hearts, clubs, and spades.

Even when resources are limited, we find ways to be creative. Explore how we express ourselves through our clothes. / © Delia Bonugli

  • Fashion on the Homefront: Discover how wartime clothing controls led to Ramsgate residents embracing the make do and mend mentality by getting creative with their clothes – from swap shops and classes to knitting circles. (Ramsgate Tunnels, Kent)
  • Manchester Made: Hear the voices of the people who helped shape Manchester’s garment industry – from working on haute couture to high street favourites. (Stitched Up in partnership with Historic England, Greater Manchester)
  • Dressed to Impress: Explore the birthplace of ‘The Father of Haute Couture’ Charles Worth, follow his journey from rural Lincolnshire to Paris and how he ended up dressing the likes of European royalty! (Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire)


Illustration of a garden plan.

How does your garden grow? Just how natural is your landscape? Explore the art of garden and landscape design. / Surrey Gardens Trust

  • Sustainability in Surrey: Uncover the world of garden design with a talk by the Chair of the Surrey Gardens Trust. Celebrate Surrey’s rich garden heritage and how they are focusing on sustainability to preserve these beautiful landscapes for future generations. (The Farnham Society & Farnham Town Council, Surrey)
  • Remembering Repton: Join this guided walk around Gotts Park Mansion (now a Golf course clubhouse) nestled in stunning parkland designed by landscaping legend, Humphry Repton. Discover the legacy of Repton’s work including his work for Benjamin Gott, a leading figure in the Industrial Revolution. (Leeds Civic Trust, West Yorkshire)
  • Garden Rooms: Go on a journey around the world at these Victorian gardens inspired by many worldwide wonders – from a Chinese garden to an Egyptian Sphynx and yew pyramid! (National Trust, Staffordshire)


Shelf of old books.

Explore amazing old libraries like this one, and the lives (and homes) of great writers this September. / © Hawkshead Grammar School Museum

  • Writers around Exeter: Take a special walk around this UNESCO City of Literature to explore the people and places of literary fame. As the first trial of a new tour it is also a chance to shape future wanderings! (Exeter City Council, Devon)
  • Voices at times of crisis: From the  poetry of WWI to pieces from the Pandemic, explore how words, and the act of writing has provided a release in times of trouble. (Chelmsford Civic Society, Essex)
  • Cranston’s Library: Tiny, but mighty, check out this little gem that was possibly the first public lending library in England. (The Cranston Library, Surrey)


Postage stamp with an illustration of medieval bellringers.

The art of bellringing goes back a long way. Search for a church near you to have a go! / © Derek C Johnstone, Dewsbury Minster

  • Bells and Song: The beautiful sound of bells and choirs has rung out across England for centuries. Hear it here and learn about these artforms from local leaders. (Eckington Town Team, Sheffield)
  • House of Music: Explore the home (and studio) of one of our greatest composers and the talented singer he shared his life and work with. (Britten Pears Arts, Suffolk)
  • Hip Hop Heritage: Delve into the sound of the underground with this interactive event exploring fifty years of Hip Hop in St Helens. (Powered by Hip Hop - UC Crew, Merseyside)


Black top hat on top of a picture of a theatrical or circus show.

Roll up! Roll up! Go backstage at theatres across the country & discover the ones we've lost along the way with walks and talks.

  • Music Hall Tales: Take a walk along the ‘Shaftesbury Avenue of Sheffield’ and hear tales of the music halls, circuses, and singing rooms that were once found here. (Sheffield Walking Festival, South Yorkshire)
  • Passing Through: Discover the stories people who ‘passed through’, maybe looking for work or as part of the circus. Were any of them your ancestors? Explore the stories and pass on your own. (Romany and Traveller Family History Society, Devon)
  • Backstage Tours: See behind the scenes of Britain’s oldest working theatre. (King’s Lynn Civic Society, Norfolk)


Old fashioned looking wooden camera style device.

From flick books to the big screen 'flicks', explore the history of films and cinemas this September. / © Tewkesbury Museum

  • Picture Palaces: From magic lanterns to Marvel films, explore the local history of going to the ‘flicks’ in Tewkesbury. (Tewkesbury Museum, Gloucestershire)
  • Astounding Invention: In the 19th century people were astounded by a little invention called a Zoetrope -  the first examples of moving pictures. Make your own at this family activity. (Whitchurch Museum & Archives, Shropshire)

PLEASE NOTE - These events were accurate at the time of publication but the details may change. Some events require pre-booking. Please check the individual entries for updates and details.

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