Be a tourist in your own town

A survey by Heritage Open Days has revealed that becoming a tourist in your own town can make you feel better about yourself, healthier and more relaxed as well as having a significant impact on the wellbeing of your own community. 

HODs 2015 at Kings Lynn Town Hall© Rahil Ahmad - Volunteers and visitors at King's Lynn Heritage Open Days

Find out more below or download the press release here.

Researchers talked to visitors who enjoyed free access to sites and happenings of historic or cultural interest across England during Heritage Open Days in September 2015. 85% said that visiting a Heritage Open Days event had helped them to relax, keep active and healthy or feel better about themselves.   

Registration for organisers planning to put on Heritage Open Days events this September opens on Tuesday 8 March.

Katja Condy, Heritage Open Days Manager said, 'Once a year, Heritage Open Days showcases the treasures on our own doorsteps that many take for granted. Often people are living within a stone’s throw of an interesting site but wouldn’t consider paying to visit somewhere in their own town or region.  Being completely free of charge, the festival removes a potential barrier that may be stopping people from accessing their local heritage.'

A sense of appreciation, being proud of your town and feeling connected with your own community were among the positive responses that came out of the interviews with visitors to heritage and cultural events held in a range of historic places across England during the annual Heritage Open Days festival.

The survey also measured for the first time the impact of the festival on local economies and on communities. The results are released today (Monday 7 March) as part of English Tourism Week. Over 3.4 million adults visited nearly 5,000 Heritage Open Days events in 2015, which was estimated to bring benefits of more than £15 million to local economies.

Heritage Open Days is coordinated and promoted centrally by the National Trust with funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery.  Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said, 'We're delighted that Heritage Open Days is helping people to discover the treasures in their own communities and that the festival impacts so positively on people's sense of wellbeing and civic pride.'

Download the full press release here.

Download the full impact report here.