Research, evaluation, insights
Visitor learning
Visitor experience

Scottish loch-side castle with backdrop of mountains and whispy white clouds

About Heritage Pathfinder



Heritage Pathfinder is here to help you with audience insights, learning planning, visitor experience and project evaluations. As a small business you'll get a personal, professional and bespoke service from me, Ann Nicol.  My passions include the environment, nature and heritage. I love supporting and empowering passionate people, and getting to know your visitors to understand what makes them tick, and how they engage with you.  And of course how you can engage with them even more effectively.

What I do


I offer individually tailored consultancy services for all types of visitor attractions including aquariums, nature reserves, gardens, zoos, heritage sites and museums.  I work on projects as a sole consultant, but I am also part of a network of trusted experts who I can call on for larger or more complex pieces of work

Does this sound familiar?


We'd like to collect some robust evidence of need for a funder...

We need to evaluate what we're achieving or what we have achieved...

We could get our plans sorted faster with a bit of facilitation support...

We want visitors to have a great day but also engage with our key messages...

We just never have enough time to...

How I can help


Research, evaluation, insights

Want to know how your project is doing, or learn more about your visitors?

I can help you with...

project evaluations, visitor motivations & interests, collecting evidence of need


research, surveys, focus groups and bespoke evaluation techniques



Do you have something to say and want to say it better?

I can help you...

identify your core messages, engage visitors with them, find out what works


workshop facilitation, visitor engagement research, education programmes, walks & talks support, great trails best practice, interpretation, staff & volunteer mentoring and training


Visitor experience

Does every one of your visitors have an amazing and inspiring day?

I can help you with... 

whole site planning, prioritising areas for investment to achieve your mission and business objectives


visitor tracking & research, visitor journey mapping & analysis, project planning & evaluation, holistic site & experience planning

About me

My background & experience


My academic background is in biological and medical sciences, before gaining my masters in Museum Studies in Leicester.  I have been a visitor engagement, experience and evaluation professional for over 30 years. I've worked in museums and visitor attractions run by local authorities, charities, universities and commercial organisations. See previous projects or CV pages for more detail. 

My beliefs & skills


I work with organisations who have a story to tell and a cause to champion. I believe great visitor engagement is a pre-requisite to being both a mission-focused and financially sustainable organisation. Full of energy, professional and reliable, I get satisfaction from a job well done. I'm creative but solutions-focused, and strategic with an eye on remaining practical and pragmatic.   

Life outside work


When I'm not working, I love spending time in the countryside and walking, cycling or kayaking with my husband, Andy.  Food, music, films, DIY and garden projects also feature highly in our lives. We have two Burmese cats, Lily and Mia who provide us with endless entertainment.  This is Lily peering down from the bed headboard using her best 'feed me breakfast, now' stare.

Contact Me

Drop me a line and I'll get back to you as soon as possible

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Heritage Pathfinder