Artful Ways invites people to put culture and creativity on the map; it will mark the county’s cultural places and its creative makers and doers, and the connections between them. Everyone who takes part will be adding to a new map of Cultural Cumbria, and can also share a piece of work made in any artistic medium. Above all, Artful Ways invites people to have a good time … but what might a walk look like?

An Artful Way needs to include cultural feature or an element of creativity – preferably both! Participants will also be asked to carry three questions along the way (see below).

Take part and share your route and your response with us by August 16th!

With art/culture along the way, a walk may be anywhere you choose to go, and it can be as long or as short as suits you: in a village, a town, a city; along a valley, through a woodland, over a fell. Cumbria’s tapestry of open spaces and built-up areas holds all sorts of cultural venues, from independent studios to theatres, from iconic ‘Wainwright’ fells to town-centre bookshops, from cinemas to museums, village halls to stone circles, castles, or parks.

A route may also be a journey that connects one creative person with another; one poet walking to another, painters taking a walk together, a musician walking to a library, or a work-team walking together. The permutations are almost endless! Creativity may be anything from sculpture to dance, from cooking to painting or basket weaving. Choose anything that inspires you, choose someone to take your slow journey with, and away you go.

For details of how to track your walk, visit the MAP page here.

If you are unable for any reason to be outside and carry out your own walk, we invite you to meet with other people online and, as if taking a walk from your armchair, re-connect in this way and recall, imagine or re-imagine your own ‘way’. Artful Ways is open to many different forms of engagement and interpretation. Highlighting obstacles to access, as well the range of places that are inclusive, may be one of the outcomes of this project; and including perspectives from people who face obstacles in everyday life may help to broaden the conversation about diversity and accessibility.

Walking with 3 Questions

Artful Ways has three strands: creativity, connection, and place. We invite all participants to walk with three questions. Let these enter your thoughts and the conversations you have along the way, and allow any of the three strands to feed into your creative response.


Joys, challenges, provocations, pleasures …

What does creativity/culture mean to you?

Solway sketch – Alison Critchlow


Covid-19 has forced us all to reimagine ways to connect …

What have you missed – and what new possibilities have opened up?


Places shape people & people shape places, impacting the wellbeing of us all, including wildlife and the natural environment.

How can we, collectively, and artfully, better care for the environment?

What might an ‘artful’ walk look like?

No two walks will be the same! You can walk on your own, as a pair or small group, or you might join an event that has been organised as part of the project. We’re looking forward to finding out what people get up to, what cultural gems are revealed along the way, and the creativity that emerges. Find out what’s been going on – visit the blog.

Keeping it Carbon-Low

Cumbria is a huge county and while public transport connections are pretty good along some of the major routes, there are many areas that remain very difficult (or impossible) to access without a car, or a bicycle if you’re super fit.  This is likely to change in the coming decade as Cumbria works towards become a zero-carbon county; but for now, this is how it is.

So, with an emphasis on walking, we want to keep this project as low-carbon as possible. Please use public transport if you can, and car share where you can, mindful of staying safe in Covid times.

We hope that by encouraging connection between people within reasonable walking/wheeling distance, new networks may arise so that in the longer term there may be opportunities to work together in ways that make less of a draw on the planet’s resources. For instance, if you need a screen printer, or a writer, or a sculptor, actor, singer, and you discover there’s someone with these skills near you, rather than 40 miles away, how good is that? Or if the project helps you connect with others in your area – maybe through a book, life drawing, walking, singing or performing group (in any combination!) this could be an exciting thing to follow up.

Please take Artful Ways as an opportunity to explore walking routes and opportunities for enjoying art in all its forms in places that are local to you. You may be surprised by what’s on your doorstep and the new networks and friendships that emerge.