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Heritage Open Days 10th – 13th September

Family visitors flying kites by the South Foreland Lighthouse, Kent, on a sunny day in August.
After a spectacular 20th anniversary event in 2014, which saw a record three million visitors, Heritage Open Days 2015 is set to build on the successes of last year with  a host of wonderful properties taking place for the first time. Heritage Open Days is now wholly supported by the National Trust, with funding from Players of People’s Postcode Lottery, enabling the four-day festival of heritage to continue to grow and develop.
“After last year’s triumphant event, we’re looking to make 2015 another superlative year,” says Loyd Grossman, Patron of Heritage Open Days. “New funding sources and a higher profile means we are in a stronger position than ever before to celebrate our wonderfully diverse local heritage, and to encourage local communities to engage with the hidden histories on their doorstep.”
This year’s festival promises to be the most diverse yet, with a greater variety of places taking part and regular participants invited to create original and innovative events.
Join guided walks, visit secret archives, discover hidden works of art – or simply soak up the sunshine in a garden of your choice. With every event free, Heritage Open Days makes a great family day out, with plenty of new activities this year to keep all ages entertained.
HODS - Heritage Open Days

A selection of new highlight for 2015:
Wilton House, Salisbury – This gorgeous 17th century Manor House opens for free on the Saturday of the HODS weekend, giving the chance to discover works of art by van Dyck, Rembrandt and Brueghel, the opulent interiors and 22 acres of parkland and gardens, with a fabulous adventure playground for kids.
Winchester College, Hampshire – A unique opportunity to discover the medieval heart of the college, with guided tours taking in the 14th century Gothic Chapel, the original Scholars’ Dining Room, the medieval cloisters and the 17th century redbrick schoolroom. Advance booking essential.
Great War Huts, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk – A unique chance to get a first look at a collection of 100 year old wooden army huts and re-created trenches, that will form part of a new First World War visitor centre and museum, opening in 2016. Visitors will also be able to see the trenches site, and handle British and German uniforms and equipment.
* Westgate Excavations, Oxford – Discover the largest ever archaeological excavations in Oxford, with guided tours around the Westgate site, the chance to meet archaeologists and the opportunity to discover the remains of Greyfriars Abbey. On Saturday, join an Archaeology Walk through Oxford, to discover the city’s Saxon, Medieval and more recent history.
 More than Fish @ Hub, North Tyneside – Discover the hidden heritage and historic industries around Tyne & Wear in a special HODS exhibition at the Hub, an open-plan exhibition and co- working space in North Shields. Join in with a project to create a new map of the North East and discover that there’s more to fish than Fish Quay!
Halesworth Heritage, Suffolk – A brand new hub of events in and around Halesworth, including archive films at the Cut Arts Centre, tours of the 16th century Black Dog Antiques Building and the 18th century Cross Ram Office Building, guided town walks and exhibitions of rarely seen historic photographs and maps.
Every year dozens of National Trust properties open for free on the Saturday of the weekend, offering special events and tours. This year, many sites are taking the chance to do something new…
Read more about Heritage Open Days
Coventrian narrowboat