Heritage Open Days kicks off today (Thursday 8th September) with a chance to explore history and heritage on your doorstep.
Every year across four days in September, Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest heritage festival offering the public opportunity to see hidden places and try out new experiences, all of which are FREE to explore.
Running this year from 8th to 11 September 2016, it is chance once again to celebrate the vast riches of history, architecture and culture with more than 5000 free events over four days across towns, cities and rural areas across England.
Heritage Open Days was established in 1994 as England’s contribution to the European Heritage Days, a scheme initiated in 1991 by the Council of Europe to raise appreciation for Europe’s rich and diverse cultural assets and their need for care and protection.
The principle behind it all was to simply throw open the doors to historic monuments and buildings, in particular those normally closed to the public. One of the key requirements therefore was to offer free access to all properties taking part in the European Heritage Days, with September being designated as a month of Open Days across Europe.
As a travel and heritage writer for a UK publisher with two magazines that focus on UK tourism and heritage (Discover Britain’s Gardens magazine, and Discover Britain for Groups magazine), and someone who has an interest in local and regional heritage and history, Heritage Open Days is something of real interest and right up my street.
And by searching the Heritage Open Days website, you will find many attractions to explore close to where you live!
When it comes to local heritage there are many places which we tend to forget about or take for granted, or simply do not even know exist. But there are many – in most cases right on your very doorstep, and for the next four days will be open to explore.
Click on the Heritage Open Days search page to find out what is near you.
As a footnote, here in Rugby, the birthplace of the game, it is a little sad and disappointing to again see that the place where it all began – Rugby School, is not involved with tours and opening up its excellent small museum (maybe next year!?). There is however the Webb Ellis Museum which is well worth a visit.