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National Trust Heritage Open Days

This September thousands of volunteers across England will organise events to celebrate the country's fantastic history and culture
National Trust - Heritage Open Days - Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool

Every September, museums, historic houses, archives and gardens throw open their doors, free of charge, to share what they do with their local communities.

Thanks to support from players of People's Postcode Lottery, the National Trust runs Heritage Open Days. This brings together over 1,500 organisations and volunteer-led groups to take part in the festival, putting on events to open their doors and welcoming visitors free of charge.

Astounding Inventions

Heritage Open Days is England's biggest festival of history and culture. The events across the country offer an excellent chance for everyone to see something new. This year, many of the 4,500 events will be celebrating the cutting-edge creations that make all our lives easier. From the humble chocolate bar to the World Wide Web, England has a wonderful and diverse history of innovation and discovery. This year's festival will help celebrate these "Astounding Inventions", diving into some of the wonderful stories behind famous innovations.

The festival has been running since 1994 and shows that heritage is great for wellbeing. Thousands of people have the chance to learn something new, or come together with family and friends. Heritage Open Days offers a brilliant chance to engage with historical culture by removing barriers for many visitors who don't usually access it. Three quarters of visitors say they are inspired to make more regular visits again in future.

Community Impact

Heritage Open Days helps to support and sustain the heritage sector, which was hit hard during the pandemic. During the festival more than two thirds of visitors make donations at sites.

Last year at Mansfield Unitarian Chapel, Vivienne Brown said, "It's a real highlight in our yearly calendar and we, as a community, gain tremendously in so many ways. Although our Chapel is in the middle of town, it is tucked away in its own grounds and many local people have never visited."

A museum visitor explained how important free entry is right now, "My larger than average family went to a great museum that would have cost us a lot of money that we just can't justify at the moment."

Playing Our Part

Simon Murray, Senior Director of Strategy, Curatorship & External Affairs for the National Trust said, "The popularity of Heritage Open Days grows and grows. It is an expression of the love we all have for our heritage and particularly the history of places local to us."

He elaborated, "The National Trust's strategy Playing our Part recognises this and we are very enthusiastic about the role Heritage Open Days can play in helping us deliver the strategy. For this reason we are delighted for the support from the players of the People's Postcode Lottery and we are committed to supporting Heritage Open Days into the future."

Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery, said, "The history of the places where we live and work is what shapes us and through their support for the festival, our players help people to connect with those places, and each other. Our players have raised over £4.4 Million to support the National Trust to date and we're looking forward to seeing lots of visitors coming together to enjoy shared experiences again this year."

Get Involved

In 2022, Heritage Open Days is running from 9th to 18th September with more than 4,500 events taking place across the country. Find out more on the Heritage Open Days website (opens in new tab) or follow them on social media:

Liam Montgomery, Heritage Open Days Marketing and Projects Manager, said, "The festival is just around the corner and it is fantastic to see that our community is putting on a staggering 4,500+ events, with more than 500 focusing on our Astounding Inventions theme.

"Whether it's a doorstep discovery, a local curiosity, a world-famous attraction or a one-of-a-kind experience, there really is something for everyone this year."

Making A Difference

People's Postcode Lottery players are helping deserving causes like National Trust make a difference every single day. Read more about the range of Charities which our players support.

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Published: 05/09/2022

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