Heritage Open Days: 10-19 Sept. 2021 - what will you discover?!

Friends invite you to explore

The sun is shining, the ribbon is cut… and your festival event directory is now LIVE! Hundreds of extraordinary local organisers have been working hard to plan some (COVID safe) September fun for us all. Including many local Friends groups who champion and care for special places from inspiring collieries and churches, to glorious gardens. Here’s a taster of what they have planned...

It's Volunteers Week so before we begin our spotlights tour, please pause for a round of applause, a huge cheer and a massive THANK YOU to all the festival volunteers across the country who make these opportunities possible.

Northern stars

Nice day for a Victorian picnic in the... cemetery?! / © Friends of Wombwell Cemetery

CemeTreats & Funeral Feasts – Friends of Wombwell Cemetery, Barnsley, South Yorkshire

The Friends of Wombwell Cemetery are serving up a day with a difference for you. Alongside their usual brilliant offer of history tours and tree trails they will take you back in time to discover amazing foody traditions including some surprising stories connected to cemeteries!

A park for the people – Friends of Haslam Park & Nature Reserve, Preston, Lancashire

Given to the people of Preston in 1901 there are original features to discover as you explore its diverse habitats from wetland to woodland this September with extra activities for all the family.

Midland marvels

An iconic skyline / © Chatterley Whitfield Friends

A famous frame – Chatterley Whitfield Colliery Friends, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

The Friends group return with their ever-popular tours of this Victorian time capsule.  An extraordinary example of a deep mining site whose structural frame will be familiar from many tv shows and adverts.

Cathedral of the Peak – Friends of St John’s, Tideswell, Derbyshire

Your promised a ‘Towering Taste of Tideswell’ here with tempting local treats as well as spectacular views when you climb to the top of this ‘cathedral of the peak’.

Eastern wonders

A face from the past - Hosea Ward at 61 Castle Street

Castle Street Crawl – Friends of St Peter’s / Rectory Lane Cemetery, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

Step back in time on this tour to rediscover a lost street scene where cows wandered alongside commuters!

Be bowled over – Friends of Waterloo Park, Norwich, Norfolk

Get VIP access to the Pavilion balcony for a new perspective of the grounds, and the history of park from the pleasures of bowling to the intricacies of weaving work.

Southern suns

Fingers crossed, new journeys await! / /© Ray Stenning

Driving dreams – Friends of King Alfred Heritage Buses, Winchester, Hampshire

These lovingly cared for vintage beauties always raise a smile on the streets for those lucky enough to glimpse them. Over the festival the Friends are herding them together so you can admire their polish, and maybe hop aboard!

A space to reflect – Friends of Bath Jewish Burial Ground, Somerset

A rare chance to step through the restored wrought iron gates and visit this serene site. The Friends have also developed a new app to help you explore the stories of people remembered here.

Explore more...

This is just the start, hundreds more events will be registered in the coming months, and of course, others will be updated as we all keep a watchful eye on changing circumstances, so do keep looking!

PLEASE NOTE - These events were accurate at the time of publication but this year more than ever the details are subject to change. Please check the individual entries for more.