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Days Out Guide

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Heritage Open Days logoFREE peek in 5,000+ hidden property gemsHeritage sites open Thu-Sun. Eng only. No vch needed

Expired

You can get FREE access to many sites and tourist attractions in England between Thu 8 Sep and Sun 11 Sep as part of Heritage Open Days - an annual event now in its 22nd year. The venues included usually charge an admission fee or are closed to the public. 

How to find those open near you

See the full list of heritage sites open for free. Opening dates and times vary for each venue, and you may need to book in advance for some - all the details are on the website.

There are only a small number in London, but a separate event called Open House London is running on Sat 17 Sep and Sun 18 Sep.

Examples of free places that usually charge:

Examples of places rarely open:

  • Cadland Gardens, Southampton. The smallest surviving pleasure garden created by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (Fri only). 
  • The Electric Railway Museum, Coventry. See the largest collection of preserved electric trains in the UK, plus Victoria line signaling centre (Sat & Sun only).
  • Norman Cross Prison Depot, Cambridgeshire. Look around this Napoleonic war prison used between 1797-1814 which housed up to 7,000 French prisoners (Sat and Sun only).
  • Sevington Victorian School, Wiltshire. Take a peek at what schools looked like 150 years ago (Sat and Sun only). 
  • St Bees Head fog horn station, Cumbria. Open to the public for the first time, enjoy views over the Irish Sea (Fri-Sun).

Don't live in England?

Other events in the UK are Doors Open Days in Scotland, Open Doors Days in Wales (both throughout September) and European Heritage Days in Northern Ireland (Sat 10 & Sun 11 Sep).

More info

Why do they do this?

The spirit of Heritage Open Days is to celebrate England’s hidden history and culture. However, a small number of privately-owned properties taking part get funding or have tax-exempt collections, which means they must allow public access for certain number of days a year. But most of them just open up for the joy of it!

Heritage Open Days logoFREE peek in 4,700 hidden property gemsHeritage sites open Thu 10 - Sun 13 Sep. No voucher needed

Expired

You can get FREE access to many sites and tourist attractions in England between Thu 10 Sep and Sun 13 Sep as part of Heritage Open Days - an annual event now in its 21st year. The venues included usually charge an admission fee or are closed to the public. 

How to find those open near you

See the full list of heritage sites open for free. Opening dates and times vary for each venue, and you may need to book in advance for some - all the details are on the website.

There are only a small number in London, but a separate event called Open House London is running on Sat 19 Sep and Sun 20 Sep.

Five free places that usually charge:

Five places rarely open:

  • Cells at Gateshead Old Town Hall, Tyne and Wear. East Street Art members are installing artwork in the Victorian cells. (Fri and Sat only).
  • Lion Salt Works, Cheshire. One of the last open-pan salt works in Cheshire, and one of only four in the world (Sat only). 
  • Avonmouth & Royal Portbury Docks, Bristol. See behind the scenes on a guided coach tour of Avonmouth and Royal Portbury Docks (Sat only).
  • Norman Cross Prison Depot, Cambridgeshire. Look around this Napoleonic war prison used between 1797-1814 which housed up to 7,000 French prisoners (Sat and Sun only).
  • Sevington Victorian School, Wiltshire. Take a peek at what schools looked like 150 years ago (Sat and Sun only). 

Don't live in England?

Other events in the UK are Doors Open Days in Scotland, Open Doors Days in Wales and European Heritage Days in Northern Ireland.

More info

Why do they do this?

The spirit of Heritage Open Days is to celebrate England’s hidden history and culture. However, a small number of privately-owned properties taking part get funding or have tax-exempt collections, which means they must allow public access for certain number of days a year. But most of them just open up for the joy of it!

Also check out Open House London.

Days Out Guide logoLondon Zoo 2for1 with National RailBuy National Rail tickets & print voucher

Expired
Buy a National Rail ticket, register and print vouchers. The key here is you need to print a voucher AND have a valid rail ticket with a London station as the final destination, for the same day. It's worth doing this even if you’re not travelling by train – a cheap single ticket is available for a couple of quid, far cheaper than the entry ticket price.

So just stop by the nearest station on your way and pick one up, then present both to get your 2for1.
More info
National Rail tickets only - excludes London Underground tickets/travelcards/Oyster. Can't be used with other offers or promotions.