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Heritage Open Days

Unearth the rich tales of England's past on Heritage Open Days! Enjoy free visits to fascinating heritage sites and exclusive cultural events.
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When it is?
September 6
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United Kingdom
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Come September 6, it's time to dig into the rich tapestry of England's history with the Heritage Open Days! This fascinating event is an annual celebration of England's architectural and cultural heritage, aiming to make the old and new wonders of England accessible to everyone. Heritage Open Days were born out of the idea in 1994 to celebrate England's diverse, local history while throwing open the doors of well-known and hidden gems alike that may usually cost or be off-limits. From historic buildings, museums, garden tours, to fun cultural events, Heritage Open Days offer something incredible for everyone. Immerse yourself in the vibrant stories and diverse traditions of England's past, and be prepared to be amazed by the untold stories waiting to be discovered!

History of Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days Dates

Heritage Open Days Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1994</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Heritage Open Days Inception</div><div class='timeline-text'>The concept of Heritage Open Days was born, aiming to celebrate England's diverse local history by providing free access to its rich heritage sites.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1996</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Festival Expansion</div><div class='timeline-text'>The festival expanded to include community-led events and unique experiences showcasing local culture and traditions as part of the celebration.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2002</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Partnership with National Trust</div><div class='timeline-text'>The National Trust established a partnership with Heritage Open Days, allowing free access to many of their properties for the festival.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2010</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Digital Inclusion</div><div class='timeline-text'>Heritage Open Days began incorporating digital resources and online experiences, broadening their reach and accessibility.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2015</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Half a Million Visitors</div><div class='timeline-text'>The festival reached a milestone, having attracted over half a million visitors, proving its widespread popularity and significance.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2020</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Virtual Heritage Open Days</div><div class='timeline-text'>Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Heritage Open Days pivoted to provide virtual tours and online experiences, ensuring the celebration of England's heritage could continue safely.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Heritage Open Days

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Explore a new heritage site</h3><p class='facts-text'>Take advantage of the open access to sites that are usually closed to the public or charge an entrance fee. Delve into a spectacular castle, a hidden garden, or a historic house and let the hidden stories of places around you come alive.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Participate in themed events</h3><p class='facts-text'>Heritage Open Days often host special themed events. These can range from historical re-enactments to music performances, craft workshops, and more. Find an event that captures your interest and immerse yourself in the experience.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Volunteer at a local event</h3><p class='facts-text'>Get more involved in the celebrations by volunteering. Heritage Open Days rely on the support of volunteers to run successfully. Offering your time is a rewarding way to contribute to the event, meet people and learn more about your local heritage.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Embark on a historical walking tour</h3><p class='facts-text'>Join a walking tour to discover the architectural marvels and historical hot spots of a city. Guided by local enthusiasts, heritage walking tours are a fantastic way to get to know your town or city from a different perspective.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Create your own Heritage trail</h3><p class='facts-text'>Design your own heritage trail. Plan a route that takes in several events or sites. This could be in your local area or provide a good reason to explore a new part of the country. Whether on foot, cycling, or driving, it's a great way for an eclectic experience of the rich local history.</p></div></div>

Why We Love Heritage Open Days

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Unleashes the Explorer in You</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Heritage Open Days allow us to become adventurers and explorers. This annual event lets you delve into the fascinating heart of England's history, enter the enchanting castles, explore hidden gardens and historic houses, and discover untold stories waiting to be unearthed.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Cultural Immersion and Learning Experience</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Heritage Open Days gives us the chance to immerse ourselves in the rich heritage of England's past. Whether it's participating in historical re-enactments, attending craft workshops, or engaging in music events, it presents us with the wonderful opportunity to learn and interact in diverse cultural and historical contexts.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Opportunity to Volunteer and Create Connections</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Heritage Open Days are made possible by volunteers, and joining them can be a rewarding experience. Contributing your time supports this celebration of culture and history. Not only does it help you connect with your community, but it also gives you a deeper understanding and appreciation of your local heritage.</p></div></div>

5 Astonishing Facts Behind Heritage Open Days

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Heritage Open Days: The Largest Free Festival of History and Culture in England</h3><p class='facts-text'>With over 5,000 events per year spanning across the country, Heritage Open Days make history and culture more accessible by unlocking the doors to England's hidden heritage treasures.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Heritage Open Days: A Platform for Hidden Histories</h3><p class='facts-text'>Heritage Open Days aim to champion everyone's heritage by celebrating the lesser-known stories and cultures that make up the community's rich tapestry, hence bringing attention to often overlooked cultural sites and histories.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Heritage Open Days: An Environmentally Responsible Festival</h3><p class='facts-text'>Many events and sites included in the festival promote sustainability. They encourage visitors to use public transport, bike or walk to venues, reducing the environmental impact of the festival.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Heritage Open Days: A Chance for Community Engagement</h3><p class='facts-text'>Local communities play a fundamental role in running the events. The festival provides an opportunity for communities to showcase their history and engage in local pride.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Heritage Open Days: Promoting Inclusivity and Accessibility</h3><p class='facts-text'>Many events put on special features like British Sign Language tours, braille resources, or wheelchair accessibility, making Heritage Open Days a truly inclusive festival that caters to diverse populations.</p></div></div>

Heritage Open Days FAQs

Heritage Open Days Dates







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