Culture Coasting
is an ambitious arts and tourism project led by Turner Contemporary Go to Places (Visit Kent / Visit Herts) that aims to increase tourists to the Creative Coast in the South East (Essex, Kent and East Sussex), by creating an innovative and immersive new visitor experience driven by the region’s exceptional art and culture.

Antony Gormley, ANOTHER TIME, 2017. Photo credit Stephen White (8) - 1500px

World-class culture
The South East of England boasts some of the best culture in the world. Through Culture Coasting, internationally-renowned artists will create something completely new – site-specific artworks that span both the physical and digital sphere, and offer new kinds of cultural experiences and tourist treasure trail. They will work with the Creative Coast’s leading art galleries and organisations Creative Foundation, De La Warr Pavilion, Jerwood Gallery, Metal, Towner Art Gallery, Turner Contemporary and Whitstable Biennale.

Installation View, East Sussex Open 2016, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne. Photo Credit - Eva Eastman

New digital cultural trail
Culture Coasting tempts visitors to travel to and between the outstanding galleries along the South East coast using Geocaching – GPS enabled treasure trail technology – where they can find, unlock and log new world-class cultural experiences, both physically and digitally, that have been created by leading UK and international artists.

Jeremy Deller, Sacrilege, 2012, photographer Matt Wilson - 1500px

Artist Rooms
For the first time ever, visitors can immerse themselves fully in the creative life as local artists open their homes and studios in a pioneering Artist Rooms accommodation offer.

John Walter, Turn My Oyster Up, 2014, photographer Bernard G Mills - 1500px

Unique travel experience
Bookable itineraries with travel, food and drink will be available to complete this unique and compelling travel experience


Culture in the South East is thriving. Over the last decade, declining coastal areas have experienced a renaissance, with new cultural initiatives driving regeneration in areas such as Margate, Folkestone, Southend-on-Sea, Eastbourne and Hastings. The economic investment in culture has proven to increase tourism (domestic and inbound) to the South East coast.

Building on this success, Culture Coasting continues the work begun by the three-year Culture Kent project (Kent’s Cultural Destinations 1 programme) which researched key barriers and opportunities for cultural organisations to work with the tourism sector, and the East Sussex Coastal Cultural Trail (CCT).

By using new technologies and tourism itineraries, Culture Coasting aims to:

  • Create exceptional new art by some of the world’s leading visual artists
  • Grow the South East visitor economy by 3% by 2020
  • Respond to current visitor trends
  • Tap into new, unexplored markets
  • Create a step-change for the visitor offer across the area
  • Create a lasting partnership framework across cultural and tourism networks in East Sussex, Kent and Essex
  • Develop the information and knowledge core through perception, quantitative and qualitative research and enhancing event data pool created via the Culture Kent project


The project is led by Turner Contemporary and Go to Places (Visit Kent / Visit Herts), and supported by its delivery partners; Creative Foundation, De La Warr Pavilion, Jerwood Gallery, Metal, Towner Art Gallery and Whitstable Biennale, as well as a host of associate partners across local government, culture, heritage, and travel providers in the region.

Visit to the Towner Collection Store CREDIT Phil Burrowes Avant Commercial - 1500px

This is a three-year project, starting in late 2017 and running until the end of 2020.

Culture Coasting is funded by Arts Council England’s Cultural Destinations programme and VisitEngland’s Discover England Fund, with support from by a number of key investors, including; the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council, Visit Herts, The Historic Dockyard Chatham and Southeastern.