The National Trust looks after special places, forever, for everyone.
The National Trust was founded in 1895 to protect our built and natural heritage. Today, the Trust cares for almost 800 miles of coastline, 256,000 hectares of countryside and over 500 historic buildings from grand houses to goldmines - preserving them for the future and opening them up for everyone to enjoy.
Players of People's Postcode Lottery have been helping the National Trust in its mission to care for our heritage since 2013, with an incredible £725,000 raised to date. This has helped to fund projects across England and Wales, including conservation of a rare Rembrandt painting at Buckland Abbey in Devon, and the Merryweather steam-powered fire engine at Penrhyn in North Wales.
The National Trust is proud to manage Heritage Open Days, England's largest free festival of history and culture. These events invite local people to discover the hidden history on their doorstep over four days every September. Player support for Heritage Open Days 2016, along with over 40,000 volunteers and hundreds of organisers, enabled 3 million people to discover England's secret cultural and historical treasures.
Heritage Open Days open up buildings that are normally closed to the public, celebrate little-known historical figures in talks and guided walks, and give a voice to local communities and civic groups to tell the stories that matter to them, in their personal corner of the country.
Thanks to support from players, Heritage Open Days will be back to shine a light on fascinating historic places. The festival of history is expanding and diversifying - such as opening up venues from artists' studios to nuclear bunkers, revealing hidden gardens and historic houses and telling tales of those who lived, built, worked and died in them.
At the heart of this year's festival are four 'Unsung Stories'. These newly-created arts events, made possible by funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery, focus on individual histories from the LGBTQ community. 'This is a landmark year for us," said Annie Reilly, Manager of Heritage Open Days. "We have artists looking at Alan Turing with a fresh lens and uncovering the love story of WWII soldiers Gilbert and Gordon, as well as the story of the first mosque in England, and the opening of secret tunnels used by mills workers in Shipley. History is stories, all our stories, and this year, more than ever before, Heritage Open Days is a celebration of that."
To find out more about hidden places and events you can enjoy throughout the festival visit the Heritage Open Days website.