This September sees one of the year’s biggest cultural events taking place across England with the Heritage Open Days. With 40,000 volunteers, around 1,500 organisations taking part and an expected 3 million visitors, it promises to be bigger and better than ever. So we’ve cast the Sykes spotlight around the country and picked out some of our favourite open day locations for you to have a look through.
Glendurgan Gardens, Cornwall
On the 12th of September, Glendurgan Gardens, in the heart of the Cornish countryside, will be free to visit as part of the Heritage Open Days scheme. Between the garden’s three valleys, you’ll be able to lose yourself in banks of wildflowers, thick woodlands and of course the garden’s famous maze. No booking is required to visit Glendurgan on the 12th so it’s perfect for an impromptu trip with the family, however due to the loose gravel and steep pathways, it might not be the best choice for wheelchair users.
Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire
Or if you’re up north, you could pop into Fountains Abbey near Ripon in Yorkshire. As part of the open day you can investigate what remains of the Abbey or head off the beaten track and explore the 800 acres of medieval deer parkland, water gardens and the old monastic grounds. There are also specialist tours being held throughout the day meaning that you’ll be able to get the inside track on both the majestic abbey and its stunning water gardens.
St John the Baptist Cathedral, Norfolk
Finally, we’ve got the Cathedral Church of St John the Baptist in Norwich. Constructed in the late 20th and early 21st century, it’s one of the city’s most famous buildings and a member of the celebrated Norwich 12, but you’ll get to experience it like never before through the upcoming heritage open days. From talks on the architecture and engineering of the cathedral itself through to demonstrations by a group of local stonemasons, it’s the perfect way to learn more about one of the area’s iconic buildings.
Hopefully that’s whetted your appetite to try out a Heritage Open Day this year? If so you can find the full list of them here, and don’t worry if you’ll need somewhere to stay over the weekend as our flexi-breaks are perfect for a shorter trip, have a look and see if you can find a cottage to suit you.