Top Ten: Towns, cities and everything in between further North!

Part two of our ‘Top Ten Places’ blog. We’ve taken the chance to explore some of our favourite places with the best coordinators around the country.

© Andrew Hurley - Experience the wonder of Blackpool Pier for yourself this Heritage Open Days!

Heritage Open Days (HODs) is nothing without the wonderful volunteers, organizers and coordinators that make the festival what it is. In some very special places around the country, from large cities to small towns, we have amazing coordinators that organize a whole host of exciting events in their area. In our countdown of the top ten, we’ve spoken to the coordinators, looked at the history of their area and found highlight events for you to explore. To round off, here are four of our favourite northern locations… 

The vibrant St Boisil's Parish Church is one of our favourites in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Image credit to Jim Herbert.


A HODs list of places in the north of England simply wouldn’t be complete without Berwick-upon-Tweed for two reasons. First, the coordinators here have again delivered an amazing programme of events. Second, it’s the most northerly town in England!

Berwick-upon-Tweed has long been one of our favourites and this is because they fully embrace our belief that heritage is all around us! The coordinators, organisers and volunteers here all work hard to produce a diverse programme for locals to explore their heritage. From the historical tours of Berwick Castle and many church open days, to the weird and wonderful Archaeology and Artichokes tour- yes you did read that right- this town really does have it all.

This striking feature of Hull's city centre is Hull Minster, open over the HODs weekend for you to explore. Image credit to Michael Bland.


2017 is Hull’s year for all things history, culture and heritage related! As the UK’s City of Culture 2017, their programme for Heritage Open Days is more exciting than ever. With over 100 events, there is sure to be something for everyone, especially as many of these are family friendly, with a whole host of children’s activities going on!

Just to give you a flavour, we don’t think you should miss the weekend at Hull Minster, a striking building which was awarded cathedral status in 2017 and are hosting an array of activities to celebrate this. We also have the Hull and East Riding Museum opening for free over the whole festival, be sure to check it out and explore over 235 million years of history. As we said, Hull really does offer something for everyone!


Blackpool Tower, Pleasure Beach, Town Hall and Central Library all throw open their ‘doors’ for locals to learn more about their heritage this September! Possibly our favourite seaside resort, Blackpool offers one of our most diverse programmes which local organisers have worked hard to create.

We are especially thrilled to have Blackpool Central Mosque holding their open day - this is one of our 14 mosques who take part with a chance to learn more about Islamic history, faith and culture. With so many chances to explore Blackpool and its glorious history - you will definitely be wanting some fish and chips at the end of the day!

This September, make like these visitors and enjoy a heritage trail around Beeston! Image credit to E.H Atherton.


The area in and around Beeston is one of our fastest growing and most exciting celebrations of heritage! This has all been made possible through the wonderful work of Eileen Atherton and the Beeston & District Civic Society, who have grown the number of events to over 50 - an amazing number for a relatively small town!

When we spoke to Eileen recently, we asked her what she felt was so special about the HODs weekend for her and her local area…

“I think that the HODs weekend helps everyone to recognise and appreciate the past and over the last twelve years we have been helping our society to support the national festival”.

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