The 2021 Heritage Open Days season runs from the 10th to the 19th September and this year sees the return of live visits. Billed as England’s largest festival of history and culture, every September thousands of volunteers across England organise events to celebrate this rich legacy from the past. With around 5,500 events, it’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are FREE to explore.
Established in 1994, Heritage Open Days is England’s contribution to the European Heritage Days and has since grown into the country’s largest community heritage festival. Further details here: https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/
There are over 90 industrial heritage sites in England offering activities from lectures and walking tours to food events and virtual experiences, or you could just walk around industrial sites that have not been open, in some cases, for 18 months. Industrial Heritage sites opening for this year’s Heritage Open Days include 21 watermills, 18 windmills, 13 textile sites, ten railway sites, eight metal working sites, and five pumping stations. These tend to be smaller industrial sites that are largely volunteer led.
So now is your opportunity to visit the world’s largest tidal mill at Home Mill in London, the only eight-sailed windmill at Heckington in Lincolnshire, take a behind the scenes tour of the workshops at the Stephenson Railway Museum in North Shields, gaze at the huge horizontal steam engine that once powered the Leigh Spinners cotton spinning mill in Leigh, Greater Manchester, or explore the buildings and machinery of the Westonzoyland Pumping Station at Bridgwater in Somerset. Or explore one of the many other industrial heritage sites available this year.