Welcome to Itchy Feet Guides for Intrepid Explorers!
We are two life-long friends from Northern Ireland: Adrian Thompson, a business development director now living in England and Ashley Craig, a former Belfast Telegraph cartoonist, now a primary school teacher living in Singapore.
We met at school, in Ulster, in the 1980s and have remained friends ever since despite now living on two separate continents! A few years ago, now parents, we found ourselves looking for travel guides to inspire our children and pupils. Having found none that we felt fitted the bill, we came up with the idea of pooling our talents and experience to create our own – and so Itchy Feet Explorers Guides was born.
Itchy Feet Guides aim to introduce children to the world through character-driven guides packed full of colourful stories, games and puzzles, which also provide parents and teachers with a valuable resource for contextual learning.
Guides are planned for major cities across the world, however we have used our home country as the location for the first edition which introduces explorer Mick and his two dogs, Max and Molly.
Introducing Mick, Max and Molly
Mick is our storyteller and guide. There isn’t much he doesn’t know about Ulster and he loves to tell a tale or two. Molly is the keen student. She can’t wait to learn new things and laps up Mick’s stories and knowledge. However young Max is more impatient, easily distracted…and always hungry! The trio take off around Ulster in a quest to discover fascinating stories and legendary characters and Mick has to work hard to engage both his dogs with Ulster’s rich and exciting history and in doing so he enthralls and excites young readers of the guide too.
In our first book, the three explorers visit famous sites, such as the Giants Causeway and the Harland & Wolff Shipyard, to learn about their history and they also get to know some of Ulster’s legendary characters like Cuchulain, The Hound of Ulster. Along the way they challenge readers with games and puzzles that tease out key facts, skills and knowledge not only about Northern Ireland but on key primary education topics.
Ideal for a wide range of children aged from 5-12, the guides have been tested in schools and with children visiting Ulster with their families and are designed with both fun and education in mind. Some of our most important researchers and reviewers for the book were kids and we also worked closely with parents and teachers too to make sure we were creating something that worked well within the educational curriculum.
The guide is designed to get dog-eared, scribbled-on and much thumbed as kids use it to explore their world. But we simply couldn’t fit absolutely all of the good stuff into 300 pages! So this website is designed to complement the book. It is packed with tips on more places to visit, stories that we just couldn’t wedge into the jam-packed guide, quiz and puzzle answers from the book and games to play online.
The Itchy Feet Explorers Guide to Ulster is now available to buy in tourist information centres across Ulster and on this website.
Click here to buy your copy!
Get more from Itchy Feet Guides
Over the coming months we will add more and more resources and eventually entire lesson plans that you can download. You can access the current material for free, and stay in touch with us as more becomes available, by registering below.