Heritage Open Days to Experience this September 

Tuesday 26th July 2022

Want to explore a few hidden attractions in your nearest city? Say hello to the Heritage Open Days festival. This amazing annual event is set to take place from the 9th until the 18th September, showcasing plenty of attractions not typically open to the public. The festival programme is also set to be packed with unique experiences – from wonderful history-themed workshops to special talks about ancient cultural traditions. And the best bit? Heritage Open Day events are all completely free.

There are loads of wonderful events to enjoy in cities and towns across the North. Need a few ideas? Here’s our pick of the bunch for Heritage Open Days 2022.

Delve beneath the River Mersey in Liverpool

When: 10th and 11th September

Liverpool is no stranger to fantastic heritage sites. While most are open all year round or host regular tours, there’s one landmark that’s rarely able to be visited… In Liverpool and intrigued by the subterranean? The Mersey Tunnel runs for over a mile beneath the Mersey River, connecting Liverpool City Centre with Birkenhead. It’s easily one of the city’s most understated historic landmarks, dating back over 100 years.

While you may have driven through it many times, why not learn a bit more about its past with a Liverpool Heritage Open Days event? For one weekend only, visitors can gain access to the Georges Dock Building – one of the tunnel’s six ventilation stations which sits just seconds from the monumental Albert Dock. Book your ticket (they’re limited…) and get ready to see the station’s amazing Art Deco interiors.

The building also hosts a mini exhibition about the design and construction of the tunnel, plus there’s regular free site tours led by knowledgeable guides. These will let you uncover several intriguing rooms within the station, including one dating back to the 1770s when Liverpool was one of the world’s most important trading ports.

Uncover hidden histories along the River Don in Sheffield

When: 14th September

There are loads of Sheffield Heritage Open Days events to get involved with if you’re in the city. Are you a fan of Kelham Island and its contemporary dining options? Before it was one of the city’s coolest places to hang out, it was bustling with factories and industrial steelworks.

It’s an area packed with hidden histories, all of which will be revealed during the Heritage Open Days’ Kelham Island to the World’s End walking tour. Part of the Sheffield Walking Festival, the guided event led by local expert, Simon Ogden, takes you on a whirlwind tour of some of Sheffield’s best – yet mostly little-known – historic sites.

Journey through the city for over 2.5 kilometres and get to grips with some of its forgotten tales and characters.

Step back in time to the Victorian era in Hull

When: 16th September

History is everywhere you look in Hull. The city was once a major trading port – even as far back as medieval times – and it has numerous grand buildings, once the homes of Hull’s most prosperous residents.

If you’re in Hull, why not make the most of Hull’s Heritage Open Days by visiting Christopher Pickering’s House? You might just recognise this beautiful Victorian townhouse from TV. It featured in an episode of BBC 2’s Restoration Home and has been beautifully refurbished to how it would have looked when it was first constructed in the 1850s.

The owners are running guided tours of the house for one day only (Friday 16th September) which will allow you to uncover the secrets of its 150+ year old past. From being owned by Christopher Pickering (one of Hull’s most prominent figures during the city’s Victorian heyday) to being used as a children’s clinic after WWI, its walls really do have so many fascinating stories to tell.

See where military prisoners were once held in Carlisle Castle 

When: 10th and 17th September

Can’t resist visiting a handsome medieval castle? While Carlisle Castle in the very heart of the town is open all year round, it’s only during the Heritage Open Days that you can gain access to its eerie cells which were once used to imprison important military figures.
There’s two days to choose between for your Carlisle Castle visit, during which you’ll be able to enjoy a free guided tour of the prison led by volunteer guides with a passion for military history. Get ready to find out who once languished in these damp, dark rooms, from traitorous soldiers to betrayed royals.

Tour one of the UK’s oldest working theatres in Lancaster

When: 17th September 

Fancy a night out at the theatre? Or how about a day at the theatre? If you’re in Lancaster, you can enjoy this fantastic heritage event, which will see you soaking up the stunning architecture and history of the city’s most iconic theatre.

Lancaster Grand Theatre is one of the oldest working theatres in the UK and it’s even celebrating its 240th birthday in 2022. First opened in 1782, it’s been a source of entertainment and culture for locals and visitors for centuries. Many famous faces have graced its stage and seats, including Charles Dickens. The theatre has many intriguing stories woven into its décor and design, all of which will be unveiled during its free open day on 17th September.

Kids are also welcomed, with the venue providing special activity packs to keep them busy. While you’re there, why not check out the theatre’s programme for the rest of the year and bag tickets for a comedy show, play or pantomime?

Keen to make the most of Heritage Open Days? Remember to check before you travel and book your tickets in advance on our website or using the TPExpress app.

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