Follow your nose

Launched in autumn 2016 we ran a seasonal series of Sense Safaris:

We ran four “Sounding out Greenwich” listening walkshops and four “Follow your nose” smell safaris.  Here you will find some details of what took place on the smell safaris.

Follow your nose

Walkshops took place in November, February, May and August.


Greenwich Park – from the herb garden

Start: The Flower Hut, Greenwich Rail Station, Greenwich High Road, London SE10 9EJ

We worked with ‘urban smellscaper’ Kate McLean, who is a lecturer in graphic design at Canterbury College of Art and undertaking a PhD in urban smellscapes at the Royal College of Art in London.  We also worked in association with Greenwich Flower Hut Girl Katie as it completes the seasonal cycle we began last autumn.


Roadside lavender

We may not have the expertise of cats or dogs in tracking down prey or making us aware of hungry predators, but our noses are on ‘alert’ all the time.  On this delightful seasonal walkshop (a walking workshop) you can learn how to discern and capture the scents and smells (fragrant and noxious odors too) of Greenwich, at the same time as discovering secret haunts and the little known history of smell.


Eucalyptus drapes its scent from over a garden wall

We are delighted to be working with two exceptional Kate’s – one the proprietor of Greenwich’s innovative Flower Hut and the other a world-leading authority on Smell walking.  Katie McCorkindale set up the Greenwich Flower Hut in 2011  while Kate McLean,  is an artist and designer, creator of ‘smellmaps’ of cities around the world. Her research concerns the visualisation of ‘smellscapes’ and how we might detect, record, understand and share the experience. She has mapped smells in Edinburgh and New York, as well as Singapore. Read her blog on Urban smell walking here.

“Smells form part of our knowing, but are elusive, disappearing before they can be fixed in place.” Kate McLean

Image gallery from the November 2016 Smell Walk in Greenwich:

Everyone participating on the Follow your nose walkshop will get to contribute to Kate’s smell walking research (come and meet her at Tuesday’s Sense Safari), and qualify for a discount on flowers bought at the Greenwich Flower Hut.

The walkshop will be facilitated by the Museum of Walking’s founding director and Greenwichurbansmellwheel_1 resident, Andrew Stuck, a Walking Creative.  Sense Safaris took place each season throughout 2016/17.

Intrigued and want to find out more about ‘smelly London’ check out these weblink, several of which Kate MacLean has had a hand in:

Brilliant Maps – London smells

Smelly maps: The digital life of Urban Smellscapes

Londonist – London Smell Map

Want to find out more about smells and how they can help us call up memories? With help from the Museum of Walking community we are drawing up a handy resource of interesting articles – you can download it here (available in due course).



Smell walk hand out showing 3 regions of Greenwich

What participants told us on previous Smell Safaris: 

What I like best about the event | What I found surprising | How much I enjoyed it and why?

  • Fresh air with lovely people | The number of smells | 5 stars | Excellent route
  • Rediscovering the joy of the ‘nose’  | Three smells: cigarettes, sewage, and flower scent sequentially in Circus Street | 5 stars | Learned so much about my own capacity to smell
  • The unexpected | How emotional smell is | 5 stars | New ideas
  • Walking with a different sense, smell rather than vision, brought a new experience | The difficulties of describing subtle smells | 4 stars | The challenge

Walking in Step with:

Katie MccorkindaleThe Flower Hut fullsizerendera

Kate McLean – find out more about her and her sensory maps herekatemclean_sensorymapslogo