Heritage Open Days 2020

Deer near a sign for Heritage Open Days

From 11-20 September 2020, the Heritage Open Days festival returns with a packed programme of events and activities. The 2020 theme, ‘Hidden Nature’, will celebrate the beauty and heritage of the natural world. This year, join free, virtual events at some of the places we care for, and discover lots more events hosted by local organisations.

What is Heritage Open Days?

Heritage Open Days started in 1994, and has grown into a vibrant celebration of local histories and cultures, with over 5,700 events attracting 2.4 million visitors in 2019 across England.

The festival is now in its 26th year, thanks to the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and over 50,000 volunteers. The National Trust has led the central coordination of this national festival since 2011. It's an important part of how we celebrate the incredible history, heritage and culture not just of the places we care for, but of places and communities across the country.

For the first time, this year's festival will include a mix of in-person and digital events, so everyone can join in the celebrations, while staying safe and adhering to current social distancing measures. With these new online events, you'll be able to explore more hidden places and stories than ever before – and all from the comfort of your own home. 

Uncovering hidden nature

This year, the Heritage Open Days festival theme is 'Hidden Nature'. Through a mix of events and walking trails, virtual tours and digital experiences, the festival will explore our connection to the natural world and reveal the hidden history of natural landscapes and green spaces.

To ensure safe, social distancing and compliance with government guidelines, many of the in-person Heritage Open Days events this year have limited numbers, so pre-booking may be required through the Heritage Open Days website.

National Trust events

Several of the places we care for will be joining in the festival this year with free, digital events, including special online tours. Take a look below to see which places are taking part. 

Please note that these events will be online only and we're not offering free entry to National Trust places for Heritage Open Days 2020. 

 

Standing stones in autumn

Avebury, Wiltshire 

Join our online tour to learn more about this World Heritage Site. Led by one of our volunteer tour guides, we'll explore some of the fascinating stories connected with this 4,000-year-old monument and give you a unique insight into the history and archaeology of this Neolithic monument. The tours take place 19-20 September only.

Books being repaired at Baddesley Clinton

Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire 

For Heritage Open Days this year, we're giving you an exclusive look into some of the conservation work that takes place at Baddesley Clinton. You'll be able to access new digital content through our Facebook page. Join us as we take you behind the scenes of this secluded estate at the heart of the Forest of Arden. This online event takes place from 12 September.

Butterfly at Hidcote

Hidcote, Gloucestershire 

Join staff and volunteers from Hidcote Manor Gardens as they take you on an online tour of one of the UK's most celebrated gardens. Watch new talks and videos to learn about the hidden nature in this Arts and Crafts garden, and discover what wildlife in the garden gets up to when visitors aren't there.

A view of the long gallery at Packwood

Packwood, Warwickshire 

Surrounded by beautiful gardens and countryside, Packwood was once described as 'a house to dream of, a garden to dream in'. With our special Heritage Open Days digital experience, you can explore this idyllic estate from the comfort of your own home. This online event takes place from 12 September.

Sheep on Longshaw Estate, Derbyshire

Rangers reveal their favourite walks 

To celebrate Heritage Open Days, we're sharing some of the favourite walks of Trust staff who work in the countryside, coast and parklands we care for. Download your free walking guide where they share stories and wildlife-spotting tips from some of their favourite natural places.