Thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the National Trust runs Heritage Open Days. This brings together over 1500 organisations and volunteer led groups to take part in the festival, welcoming visitors free of charge and putting on events to share what they do with the local community.
Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest festival of history and culture, the events across the country offer a brilliant chance for everyone to see something new. This year, many of the 4,000 events will be celebrating the cutting-edge creations that make all our lives easier. From the humble chocolate bar to the World Wide Web, England has a wonderful and diverse history of innovation and discovery. This year’s festival will help celebrate these “Astounding Inventions”, diving into some of the brilliant stories behind famous innovations.
The festival has been running since 1994 and shows that heritage is great for wellbeing. Thousands of people have the chance to learn something new or bring together with family and friends. Heritage Open Days offers a brilliant chance to engage with heritage by removing barriers for many visitors who don’t usually access it. Three quarters of visitors are inspired to make more regular visits again in future.
The festival also helps to support and sustain the heritage sector – which was hard hit during the pandemic. During the festival more than 2/3rds of visitors make donations at sites.
For example, last year at Mansfield Unitarian Chapel, Vivienne Brown said:
“It’s a real highlight in our yearly calendar and we, as a community, gain tremendously in so many ways. Although our Chapel is in the middle of town, it is tucked away in its own grounds and many local people have never visited”. A visitor to the museum also explained how important free entry is right now “My larger than average family went to a great museum that would have cost us a lot of money that we just can't justify at the moment”.
In 2022, Heritage Open Days is running from 9-18th of September with more than 4,000 events taking place across the country. Find out more by clicking here or follow them on social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.