Designing Walking Tours With Hadley Meares - Atlas Obscura Experiences

Designing Walking Tours With Hadley Meares

5 sessions
$200 per person
Up to 30 people
See Dates
$200 per person
$200 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this five-part workshop, learn how to plan, write, and deliver your own walking tour.

Course Description 

Walking offers a unique way to experience place—one in which storytelling, history, sensory detail, and human interaction come together to form a layered topography of past and present. In this course with tour guide and historical journalist Hadley Meares, you’ll learn how to create your own walking tour, curating one for a park, graveyard, historical home, neighborhood, or any place that you really care about. Over the course of five sessions, you’ll learn how to conduct research, map out your tour, write your script, and deliver it in a way that keeps your audience engaged. You’ll get to practice through group exercises, receive personal feedback from Hadley, and rehearse your tour with fellow participants. By the end of the course, you’ll be well on your way to producing a walking tour for friends, tourists or fellow enthusiasts to enjoy.  

Syllabus at a Glance

This course includes five total sessions, each lasting 1.5 hours.

Winter Section: Meets Thursdays starting January 11.

Session 1 (Thursday, 1/11, 8–9:30 PM ET) | Finding Your Story and Exploring Research Methodologie

sIn our first session, we’ll brainstorm the story we want to tell and cover how to research it so that the history of each stop sings.

Session 2 (Thursday, 1/18, 8–9:30 PM ET) | Tour fundamentals: Length, Mapping, and Tone

Using examples and exercises, we’ll develop tools to map our tours and decide on the breadth of the information we want to convey.

-week off-

Session 3 (Thursday, 2/1, 8–9:30 PM ET | Writing Your Script

Using examples of tour scripts as reference, we’ll move through a few exercises and prompts that will help us prepare and write a walking tour script.

Session 4 (Thursday, 2/8, 8–9:30 PM ET) | Performance Basics

We’ll explore delivering the script and keeping the audience amused, engaged, and excited!

Session 5 (Thursday, 2/15, 8–9:30 PM ET) | Tour Sharing and Feedback

Your time to shine! Students will perform a stop from their tour and submit their mapped-out tour outline for the group to enjoy.

Between Sessions

Students will be given optional assignments to complete between sessions, including brief prompts and exercises crafted to help aid in crafting and practicing your walking tour. You can spend as much or as little time on assignments as you'd like—this class is what you make of it!

Course Materials

You will need something to record yourself practicing your tour; either audio or video is fine. (A phone works!)

Pricing Options

In addition to full-price tickets, a limited number of no-pay spots are available for this course. Please note that these tickets are reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course and who expect to attend all sessions. No-pay spots are distributed via a randomized drawing two weeks before each course begins. For more information and to apply for a no-pay spot, please click here. To learn more about our pricing model and randomized selection process for no-pay spots, please visit our FAQ page.

Community Guidelines for Students

Please take a moment to review our community guidelines for students, which aim to share our classroom ethos and help set the stage for the best possible learning experience.

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Atlas Obscura Courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses. For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.

Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive community-driven guide to incredible places across the planet and is now an award-winning company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in person and online.

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to each class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access all sessions of your course via Zoom.

About Your Instructor
Hadley Meares
Hadley Meares

Hadley Meares is an LA-based historical journalist, tour leader, talking head, and the host of the history podcast Underbelly LA. She is a frequent contributor to Vanity Fair, The Hollywood Reporter, Curbed, HISTORY, LAist, Los Angeles Magazine and Atlas Obscura, among other outlets.

What Else You Should Know

This is an interactive, small-group seminar that meets over Zoom. Students may be encouraged to participate in discussions, work on assignments outside of class, and workshop projects with their instructor or classmates. Due to the interactive nature of this course, we strongly recommend students attend as many live sessions as possible. Within 72 hours after each session meets, students will receive access to a recording of the live session, which they can watch for up to two weeks after the course concludes. This is an interactive, small-group seminar that meets over Zoom. Students may be encouraged to participate in discussions, work on assignments outside of class, and workshop projects with their instructor or classmates. Due to the interactive nature of this course, we strongly recommend students attend as many live sessions as possible. Within 72 hours after each session meets, students will receive access to a recording of the live session, which they can watch for up to two weeks after the course concludes. 

Instructors may use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors may use this platform to post resources, discussion questions, or assignments. This platform also offers a space for students to connect with one another about course material between sessions.

We provide closed captioning for all of our courses and can share transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at experiences@atlasobscura.com if you have any questions, requests, or accessibility needs.

Group Size

There are 30 spots available on this experience.

Dates and Availability

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