Established in 1994, Heritage Open Days is England's contribution to the European Heritage Days and has since grown into the country's largest community heritage festival.

European roots

In 1985 the Council of Europe set up European Heritage Days, to raise awareness and appreciation for Europe’s cultural heritage, and the need for its care and protection. Today, 50 countries take part, each running it in their own way to highlight the dazzling diversity of Europe’s heritage, and our intercultural links. 

Logo. Circle of yellow stars around a line silhouette of buildings against a blue background.

Today's community tree

In England, Heritage Open Days has expanded and diversified from 701 events at its launch to over 5,000 today. Spanning the public, private and voluntary sectors, it is a unique and powerful partnership. Growing from European roots we are nationally supported but locally led - working with organisations and individuals across England to explore and celebrate our diverse heritage. Providing countless opportunites for more people to come together and enjoy, often surprising, always interesting, doorstep discoveries!

Highlighting our diverse heritage

Heritage Open Days has always been a fantastic showcase of the diversity of our heritage. To further encourage people to share different places, or highlight new stories of familiar places, each year we provide an inspiration prompt with our annual festival theme. 

Creativity Unwrapped
Astounding Inventions
Edible England