Heritage Open Days
Between 8 and 17 September 2023, Heritage Open Days returned with a packed programme of events and activities. Please check back next year for details on Heritage Open Days 2024.
2023 marked the 29th year of Heritage Open Days, thanks to the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery and more than 33,000 volunteers. We’ve helped to manage this festival since 2011, and it's an important part of how we highlight the history, heritage and culture of not just the places we care for, but of places and communities across the country.
You can find more details about Heritage Open Days on their website.
Heritage Open Days is brought to you by the National Trust, supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery and delivered locally by a large range of organisations, including civic societies, heritage organisations and local councils, community champions and thousands of volunteers. It's England’s contribution to European Heritage Days, taking place across 50 countries. Other events in the UK are Open Doors Days in Wales, European Heritage Open Days in Northern Ireland and Doors Open Days in Scotland.
Heritage Open Days 2023
Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture. Running for 10 days every September, it offers free access to heritage events and activities across England. Last year, many of the places in our care opened for free between 8 and 17 September 2023. There were also free in-person events running across the country with a wealth of hidden places and stories.
The theme for Heritage Open Days 2023 was Creativity Unwrapped, which focused on the colourful history of creativity, covering a variety of areas from art to zoetropes. Visitors could discover what 17th-century life was like at Moseley Old Hall in Staffordshire, go on a literary 'walk and talk' at Box Hill in Surrey, join in with some print making at Blickling in Norfolk or see inside the Gothic Temple at Stowe in Buckinghamshire.
There were also some co-created events with young people at places such as 575 Wandsworth Road in London and the Bath Assembly Rooms in Somerset.
Alongside these events, there was plenty more to explore with your free entry, including collections of art and objects, historic gardens and walks through wild landscapes.
Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have been supporting us for the past 10 years, raising £5,481,500 to date. From funding Heritage Open Days to contributing to our work at the Castlefield Viaduct, their help has made a big difference. Learn more about the projects that have been made possible thanks to their support.
Learn about some of the most unusual houses we look after and find out what makes them so special, from a tiny woodland cottage to a romantic country retreat.
Find inspiration for your next Heritage Open Days visit by joining our podcast presenters at some of the participating places in our care. Learn about the visionary Victorian inventor at Cragside in Northumberland or the secret past of Hughenden Manor in Buckinghamshire.
Planning a day out that the whole family will enjoy? Let children's imaginations run free as they explore our gardens. The kids will love connecting with nature and it's a great way to feel refreshed.