Looking for a great day out? Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture. It brings together over 2,000 organisations, thousands of events and 40,000 volunteers! Every year in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. Undoubtedly this is a great chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – and it’s all FREE.
This September, England’s biggest festival of history and culture celebrates its 25th anniversary. There are thousands of amazing, free days out across the country, thanks to support from the National Trust and players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Plus, with over 5,700 events, it’s officially the biggest year yet, with over 3 million visitors expected to take part across 10 days! In recognition of the 40,000+ volunteers who help run the festival each year, the theme for 2019 is ’25 Years of People Power’.
A special programme of events will highlight communities, groups and individuals – both contemporary and from history – who have affected positive change. A key point is that buildings are saved, green spaces are created, friendships forged, campaigns fought and voices heard. A series of 25 ‘craftivism’ workshops across the country will also encourage everyone to become change-makers, by combining craft and activism as part of this year’s Unsung Stories arts project, Dare to Dream.
This is an ever-growing festival, 25 new places are being highlighted by 25 for 25; showcasing everything from country houses, museum archives and gardens, to theatres, wildlife reserves, distilleries and even a solar farm. With the majority of events being drop-in, the festival is perfect for making last-minute plans with friends and family!
Who co-ordinates the Heritage Open Days?
Heritage Open Days is coordinated nationally by the National Trust with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Locally, it is thousands of organisations and individuals from all walks of life who make the festival happen.
Image credits, Lancashire County Museum Service / Lancashire County Council, Winchester Music and Opera Society, Oxford Preservation Trust, Eton College, Dore Village Society
Who is involved?
Heritage Open Days is organised by an enormous network of people who share a passion for places, history and culture. Locally, over 2,000 organisations and some 40,000 volunteers programme, fund and manage thousands of site openings and events. These events jointly attract over 2 million visitors. This makes Heritage Open Days England’s biggest voluntary cultural event. Does this sound like the sort of thing you would like to be involved in? If so, click here to find out more about the process, and you could be take part this time next year!
What is there near me?
It’s really easy to search for events near you. Or perhaps you’d like to go further afield, and use the opportunity to visit new places. Usefully, there is an interactive map enabling you to search by postcode. Plus you can narrow your search by category and area of interest. To search, click here.
Discover the heritage of your name
Are you on a journey of family discovery? You could add some colour to your research with a coat of arms and surname history scroll. Each is packed with fascinating details about your choice of surname and includes the earliest known coat of arms relating to a bearer of the name.
Of course, a wide range of heritage attractions sell Hall of Names products. You are able to find more information about our retailers here.