September is here! And this means that not only is autumn fast approaching, and kids are back to school, but it is also the month when you are invited to discover local history and culture at Heritage Open Days 2021!
On 10-19 September loads of different places will open their doors for the public as part of one of the biggest festivals of the year, all to celebrate culture and history. After the year we have had with lockdowns and being stuck at home it will feel even more exciting exploring new places. And what better way to do so then during a few fun filled days of events.
And do you know what the best part of it all is? It is all for free!
It is an event that was established back in 1994 after a European initiative to raise appreciation for the diverse and rich culture of Europe. And up to 50 of the European states have signed on to have their own Heritage Open Days.
With every year the UK festival has grown in size and it has gone from around 700 events in its first year to over 5,500 currently. There are so many different events that there is bound to be one for every taste. I had personally never heard of it before but after having researched it a little I truly think it sounds like such an amazing thing.
Like I said, there should be something for everyone as there is everything from guided tours around city centres, to walks in gorgeous nature. There are events for adults, and events more aimed at children. There are events involving food and others involving cute little furry animals. So, believe me when I say, that there should be something for everyone.
There are so many beautiful places around the United Kingdom just waiting to be discovered. For a full list please visit Heritage Open Days own website. They have a map over the UK, with all the thousands of events, from far up north all the way down to the south, marked out. There are truly so many events, it would be impossible for me to even mention half of them. I did however have a little look and picked out a little taster of what kind of events there are.
First out is Bletchley Park, close to Milton Keynes and once the home of some of WW2’s greatest heroes. It was here that the World War Two Codebreakers were based, and it was also here that the modern computing was born.
So why not pay them a visit and explore this historically exciting place with the WW2 Codebreaking Huts and beautiful surroundings.
Bletchley Park, Sherwood Drive, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK3 6EB
The Salvation Army, Hadleigh Training Centre, Castle Lane, Benfleet, Essex, SS7 2AP
The next place on my list a somewhere quite close to us. We are yet to visit but it looks like a great day out. There is 900 acres of farmland to roam around. It was bought by the Salvation Army 130 years ago and the Hadleigh Farm was originally created to help marginalized and unemployed people in society.
It is still a fully functioning farm that produces malt for Malteasers and wheat for Hovis bread. And it continues to help the weaker in society.
If you plan to visit there is lots to do! There is a tearoom to sit down and relax in, original farmhouses to explore, and stunning views. There is also a Rare Breed Centre for the little ones, which includes ponies, pigs, poultry and different breeds of goats.
Dover Priory Railway Station, Priory Station Approach, Dover, Kent, CT17 9SB
Dover is famous for its White Cliffs, but now you can go for a guided walk to discover more of what Dover has got to offer.
Put your walking boots on and pack a backpack with provisions, because this is a walk cross-county and there are a few steep hills.
There will be beautiful Sea views (on good days you may see all the way to the French Coast), you get to learn about edible plants and you can view a historic Fortress.
The Old School, Old Wolverton Road, Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK12 5NH
I mean is there anything more magical then sitting under a sky full of stars? As a child I used to love to stop and look up at the dark sky with all these stars twinkling back at me. Now as an adult I live in a far too populated place to be able to see the stars properly.
So to me this even sounds absolutely amazing! You get to gather around a fire, listen to stories, all while looking at the stars. Does that not sound like the cosiest night out ever?
There will be warm drinks and food available and the moon should be almost full harvest moon. I mean, count me in!!!
9 Jesus Lane, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB5 8BA
Anyone a chocolate fan like me? Then you should go and discover how George Cadbury’s decided to use his chocolate factory to help transform the lives of factory workers. There will be a workshop for children where they will learn the story of Mr Cadbury.
What’s not to love? Storytelling, craft and chocolate all at the same event!
Stephenson Railway Museum, Middle Engine Lane, North Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE29 8DX
Are you a lover of trains? Or maybe you got a child that is? Why not go visit the Stephenson Railway Museum and take a trip along the route of the old coal trains, in a 1950s passenger carriage.
In addition to the train ride there is obviously also the museum to visit, with a range of different locomotives on display. One of them being a locomotive called Billy that was built around 1816. How cool is that?
Tavistock Visitor Information Centre, Court Gate, Bedford Square, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 0AE
Ever hear of a heritage stamp trail? Well Tavistock Subscription Library has created on around the historic town center. From 11 September it is open for children of all ages to join in. They get a heritage passport to collect their stamps in. There will be clues around the town on different buildings and at each location they can collect their stamps. When all stamps are collected, they will be given a certificate to show off! Which I’m sure most kids will enjoy, mine would!
The Tasting Garden, The Storey Gardens, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1TH
How amazing does it sound with a Tasting Garden?? A garden full of a variety of apples, pears, plums and cherries, all there for you to taste. In this very garden there are 21 fruit trees to find along the paths.
If you tire of apples and pears there are also herbs to look out for and lots of different insects to look out for.
The Italian Gardens, 8-10 South Parade, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, BS23 IJN
In the Italian Gardens they have something called the Whirligig! It is an event they themselves describes as an ‘extravaganza of free fun!’ And it is all bee-themed.
It is all a celebration with outdoors events, and even a multi-sensory art instillation called Artizani’s Bees where you can walk amongst different types of bee hives.
Ashcombe carpark, Simonsbath, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 7SH
In Somerset I found another little gem, the White Rock Cottage and Ashcombe Gardens. It is a gorgeous place with a cottage and a garden landscape dating back to the Knight family that lived that in the 1820s.
The White Rock Cottage was recently conserved together with an old Victorian school room that is also there to view. They both sound really interesting and I’m sure both adults and children would enjoy a look around. But what really caught my attention was the beautiful woodlands surrounding the cottage. I would love to take a stroll through there and breathing in the fresh air.
Zoological Drive, Discovery Way, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 4AL
I mean have you ever heard of a better combination then a Zoo and a Castle?
Well at Dudley Zoo you would get just that. There are hundreds of exotic animals on a wooded hillside, with a caste just smack bang in the middle of it!
My children would definitely love a day out at this Zoo!!