Taking Part Survey

Taking Part is a national survey that collects data about participation in culture and sport, and includes information on participation in the historic environment. It is commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and its partner public bodies, including English Heritage. It is used by English Heritage and other partners to improve their understanding of those who do, and do not, visit historic sites. Below we have highlighted the key up-to-date Taking Part products and analysis. 

Mapping Leisure image

Mapping Leisure

The Mapping Leisure report uses visualisation techniques to create a series of pictures of Taking Part data, allowing the landscape of cultural and sporting participation in England to be visually explored. To our knowledge, this is the first time this approach has been used to understand the survey.
The pictures visualise the participation levels, demographics, and connections, of over 100 cultural and sporting activities (including heritage). The report interprets the pictures and discusses the questions they raise.

Visiting the Past

The Visiting the Past report analyses the factors which affect people's likelihood of visiting three kinds of historic sites:

  • Historic parks and gardens
  • Historic places of worship
  • Monuments, castle and ruins

It examines the effects of demographic characteristics, other activities and social circumstances on the probability of visiting these sites. The findings are based on a statistical analysis of the visiting patterns of over 25,000 people surveyed in Taking Part.

Visitors examining a cannon, Dover Castle

Visitors examining a cannon, Dover Castle

Headline results for participation in the historic environment

For the latest adult participation figures (down to regional level) please see the PDF on adult participation on the DCMS website. The proportion of adults who currently visit at least one heritage site in the last 12 months is 70.9%. The proportion who have visited heritage sites has not changed significantly since the survey started in 2005. 

For the latest child and young people participation figures please see the PDF on child participation on the DCMS website. For those aged 5-15 years old, 71.6% had visited a heritage site in the last 12 months. 

Visitors brave the rain at Housesteads Fort, Hadrian's Wall

Visitors brave the rain at Housesteads Fort, Hadrian's Wall

National Statistic

Taking Part is a National Statistic and is subject to pre-release access regulations. For more information on what this means please visit the reference library section of the DCMS website.

Further Information

For more information on the technical detail of the survey or information on participation in other cultural sectors and sport visit

DCMS website