History Town Trail

Town Trail Map: Full of History

If there’s one thing that Kendal isn’t short of, it’s the history of the place. With a market charter dating back over 700 years, everywhere you look there’s a story to be told. But quite often as we’re dashing around, we really don’t notice the ancient tales the town can tell us.

Even looking just at the BID zone in the heart of the town, there’s a multitude of historical information to be told. A town trail is a brilliant way to get people interested in Kendal, while allowing them to explore the current range of shops, businesses and service providers on offer.

Kendal BID asked Felltarn Friends to help come up with a History Trail for Kendal:

May 2017 – Initial Brief:

  • Plan and design a trail to feature points of historical interest within the BID Zone.

  • Incorporate all businesses in whole BID zone.

  • Utilise the “Kendal Branding” designed in previous BID initiative.

  • Trail maps to be FREE to participants.

Kendal BID commissioned Felltarn Friends to plan and design a history trail for those interested in the culture and unique character of Kendal. The objective of the trail would be to boost footfall around the entire BID zone and encourage interaction between the general public and a wider range of businesses than they usually visit, while highlighting historical points of interest to provide an informative and useful activity for visitors.

Phase 1: Information Gathering and Planning.

  • Contact all BID members to gather numbers for participation.

  • Offer advertising opportunity.

  • Plan routes to include all interested businesses.

  • Give all BID members opportunity to devise a Trail Treat.

Throughout June, Felltarn Friends explored the entirety of the BID zone to discover the range of historically significant buildings, yards, structures and people. Photographs were taken and research was carried out to ensure accurate information.

The business owners had the option to participate or not, and were also given the opportunity to place a free advert for their business on the trail map (first-come-first-served basis).

Felltarn Friends proposed an additional feature – the ‘Trail Treat’. Again, this was optional, but allowed each business the chance to engage with trail participants with a unique special offer of their choice.

Phase 2: Design.

  • History Trail to be in a bespoke style to appeal to visitors to the town with an interest in history and culture.

  • Highlight all eateries open during the day.

  • Include advert for Swipii (previous BID initiative).

  • Include advert for Kendal Gift Card (previous BID initiative) and weekly competition to win one.

  • Include adverts for local businesses.

  • Include relevant facts and information.

A map of the BID zone was designed from scratch with a traditional feel, and the trail route plotted out.

The History Trail combined photographs, drawings, facts and information about the town, and the route incorporated 18 specific points of historical interest around the BID zone as well as encouraging participants to explore the town’s alleyways and yards.

The Kendal Branding (a previous BID initiative) was included on the trail to ensure design continuity not only for these trails but also to tie in with other initiatives in the town and strengthen the message that Kendal has lots to offer.

Phase 3: Print and Distribution.

  • 1500 copies of the History Trail to be printed.

  • Locate approx. 30 locations to be pick-up points (in and outside the BID zone).

  • Distribute trail maps to all pick up points.

  • Replenish pick-up points regularly throughout the duration of the trails.

The initial print run of 1500 copies of each trail map (A3 folded to DL size) was covered by the project fee. The BID provided leaflet holders and approx. 30 mostly BID members – shops, cafés, hotels and visitor centres agreed to be ‘pick-up points’.

A local printer in Kendal was selected, and once delivered, Felltarn Friends joined forces with the BID manager to get the maps out to all the pick-up points for the start of the summer holidays.

After just 2 weeks, it became clear that a second print run was required, and a further 1500 trail maps were produced.

Felltarn Friends and the BID manager worked together to coordinate the replenishment of the pick-up points to ensure all were kept well stocked.

PR and Marketing:

  • Advertise the trails prior to launch across the South Lakes region.

  • Design flyers for local shops, cafes and community hubs to give out to the general public.

  • Design banners for social media.

  • Design flyers for businesses to place on countertops.

  • Advertise in local publications.

Administrators for the Visit Kendal website were given relevant information to create new pages and downloadable versions of the trails. A direct link was set up to use on advertising material.

Flyers were designed by Felltarn Friends and distributed to businesses across the BID zone and further afield to place on counter tops in cafes, community hubs and information centres.

Kendal BID Manager sent out a Press Release to local publications, including an image of the flier artwork. Articles appeared in the Westmorland Gazette newspaper and Local Choice magazine.

A social media campaign was launched across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, utilising hashtags that were also advertised on the trails and flyers.

Local bloggers picked up on the trials after their launch and independent articles and posts were produced, as well as regular activity across social media platforms in the form of post shares, photo uploads and discussions.

Feedback and Testimonials:

The number of trail maps needing to be replenished in each of the pick-up points showed an average total of 300 maps per week over the 9-week duration of the trails.

Verbal feedback from trail participants to Felltarn Friends and BID businesses was all positive. Kendal TIC had one of the fastest turnovers of the History Trail as tourists to the town found it a great way to explore and learn about Kendal.

BID businesses were inundated with extra footfall from the trails to the point that they ran out of their Trail Treat giveaways! Business owners and managers commented on the obvious increase in shoppers, browsers and awareness of their business. The trail concept in general was commended as a very good way to promote what Kendal has to offer throughout the BID zone.

The BID manager and board were very pleased with the planning, design, implementation and outcome of the trail project. Statistics from the Visit Kendal website showed an increase in visits to the site during the first month of the trails up by almost 500% on the previous period, with 3400 visits to the trail pages.

Felltarn Friends have since been commissioned to create a Christmas Trail for Kendal BID, and have had interest from other BIDs regarding trails for their towns.

So, what do we do? A summary:

  • First, we need a simple brief from you regarding the theme or objective you want to focus on. You may want to promote evening trade in your town with a trail featuring places to eat and drink, or tie-in with a local festival, or simply keep it seasonal – Easter, Summer or Christmas for example. It’s up to you!

  • Next, we liaise with businesses within the BID area to give each one the opportunity to take part – asking them if they’d be happy popping something in the window to look out for on the trail, place an advert on the trail map, or provide a special offer for trail participants.

  • Then it’s time to get creative and design the trail! The Felltarn Friends style is quite distinctive and instantly recognisable, yet we produce something bespoke and unique with each project.

  • Once you’ve approved your trail design, we send it to print, or send you the artwork to print yourselves, the choice is yours.

  • We will design, print and distribute flyers for local businesses to make available to their customers.

  • We can help with social media marketing too by designing the graphics for an advertising campaign for your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and website.

Also – include a selection of adverts on the trail map to promote additional services, projects and incentives in your town to get people into the BID area.

Get in touch!

Felltarn Friends want to create a trail for YOUR town – and it doesn’t matter where you are, we can still plan and design something to help engage the general public with the businesses and services on offer across your BID area.

  • Contact Amy or 07846805602 and have a chat about how we can help you achieve a higher footfall and an increase in business awareness around your BID zone.

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