Heard of Heritage Open Days? You should have, as it reckons to be England’s largest festival of history and culture.
Every September, HOD organises some 5,500 events to celebrate our heritage, communities and local stories. The events on offer come in all sorts of formats: walks, talks, poking around historic buildings, secret histories, craft events, treasure trails, garden explorations… you name it. Every single event should inspire interest in the history and culture around us.
It’s a doddle to find out what’s going on in your local area. Simply type your postcode into the search box and you’ll be presented with options. For example, I see that I could take my family up a medieval clock tower, spot wildlife in stained glass windows, visit an art and craft fair, or try a nature trail round a cemetery.
This year’s festival, from 11 - 20 September, may be a little different, but there’s still plenty going on for families. More of the programme is digital, but that just means you can participate from further afield. This year, for the first time, HOD is streaming three ‘digital stages’ of digital events. Choose from a Discovery Stage (learning), Hidden Nature Stage, and the Family Fun Stage. There’s simply way too much to unpack in a short article, so head over to the Heritage Open Days website and see what your family could be up to.
Although originally from the Midlands, and trained as a biochemist, Matt has somehow found himself writing about London for a living. He's a former editor and long-time contributor to Londonist.com and has written several books about the capital. He's also the father of two preschoolers.