HODs Headlines 2017

2017 was another fantastic year for Heritage Open Days, with a record-breaking number of events, put together by more organisers than ever before.  Our four ‘Unsung Stories’ arts events were the chance to add some uniquely moving tales of LGBTQ heritage, part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring that Heritage Open Days (HODs) is a festival for, and by, people from every background, culture and ethnicity.

We cannot thank you enough.  And we’re also hugely grateful to all those who have sent in feedback – it’s so important for us to know how our organisers, visitors and volunteers feel about their HODs experience.  We’ve been reading, collating and processing all your forms, and here’s what they’ve told us...

We’ve grown again!


  • 5,588 sites and events taking part
  • 2,131 organisers who register and put together events…
  • …and who co-ordinate over 46,000 volunteers

Why HODs matters…to local communities

  • 63% of visitors live locally
  • 83% feel more part of their local community after visiting a HODs event
  • 92% feel an increased sense of pride in their local area
  • 62% of organisers participate in order to learn more about their local area
  • 71% of volunteers participate in the event to feel part of their local community

Why HODS matters…to the heritage sector

  • After visiting a HODs event, 80% feel that heritage and/or cultural sites are for people like them
  • 34% of visitors have not visited a heritage site in the last year
  • 83% of visitors feel inspired to visit other heritage sites in the future
  • 75% of volunteers say they are more likely to volunteer with other heritage sites/organisations

As with every year, HODs would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our organisers and volunteers.  As one of our visitors said this year: 

"HODs is a breath of fresh air. People working together for a common cause and doing a fantastic job. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to visit and have a look around."

Want to know more?