Find answers to some common questions from local organisers below + links to helpful resources. If still in doubt though just drop us a line!

Does my event have to take place across the whole festival?

NO - events can take part on any number of days, from just one afternoon to several different days. It is entirely up to you, how many hours you wish to participate. As long as those hours are within our festival dates.

Can I participate if my event doesn’t fit with this year’s festival theme?

YES - although we hope that you consider linking to the festival theme, it‘s not a requirement! If you are struggling to find a connection, then do not worry.  As long as it meets our general criteria, you can register with us.

I missed the deadline, can I still submit an event?

NO – over a quarter of events are submitted in the two weeks before registration closes, and it can take several weeks to process them all. This means that we are unable to accept extra events after the deadline to ensure we can work through all the submissions in time. To avoid being caught up in this backlog, or missing out from taking part in the festival, be sure to register as early as you can!


Heritage Open Days is a festival based on the principle of free access, so NO event can purely be about fundraising. However, there are ways to raise money through extras.

Can I ask for donations?

YES - BUT be careful how it is framed. It should not come across as an obligation. (Nb. 2/3 of visitors in 2023 gave a donation where they saw an opportunity.)

Can I charge for refreshments etc?

YES – if these are IN ADDITION to the main event offer. If the event is a cream tea at the castle, then NO – it must be possible for visitors to attend the HODs event as described in the directory’s main event description details entirely for free.

Do we have to drop the car park charge?

Ideally yes but parking charges are a grey area considering the sheer diversity of events and methods of reaching them people have. So, we will allow existing car park fees to be kept, but do not raise them or add one where it was free – don’t use this element as a fundraising option. Also, do make sure you include parking details in your entry so that visitors know in advance.


We are a trademarked festival so it is ESSENTIAL that all events are registered correctly by the deadline. Anything else cannot be part of our umbrella, use our name or branding. This ensures that people (visitors, press, and the insurers) are clear what is taking part, when, and where.

How do I register?

If you’re new to Heritage Open Days, you’ll first need to submit a login request to join the community. Once approved, this gives you access to our Organiser Area. Here you’ll find our online registration form, and be able to save, edit and submit your event(s). Check out our Registration Roadmap for an overview.

I took part last year. Do I need to complete the whole form again?

NO – the online registration system enables you to copy an old event, update and submit for the new cycle.

I’m new, but my organisation took part before. Do I have to start from scratch?

NO – request a login to join the community and we will connect you to your organisation’s records. You will then be able to access the old events, clone, update and submit them for the new festival year.

How do I know if my event has been registered?

  • Everyone – From June anyone can search for events on the directory.
  • Organisers – At all times you can check the status of your entries in the Organiser area by filtering the My events table to show events for the current festival year.
  • Promoters/ Coordinators – At all times you can check for events using the HODs Community searches in the Organiser area.
  • If still in doubt – ask the team!

Can I still edit my event once I have submitted it?

YES – things change, and it’s really important that you keep the publicly advertised entry up to date. See our Registration Roadmap and tips for guidance on how to do this.

What if I need to cancel the event?

Not a problem. There is no deadline for this. Cancel online or let us know and we will do it for you. Do let people know locally as well – not all visitors check back for cancellations!

Can my colleague access and amend the events I have registered / register their own?

YES – they just need to request a login for the Organiser area.  We’ll then link them to your organisation where you can both access, amend and submit events. You will see all events under your organisation but not each other’s contact records. The person who last edited an event will be the Organiser linked to it.

Connecting with the community

Part of the beneift of taking part is joining a nationwide community. We encourage you all to connect to share ideas, challenges and opportunities.

How can I find other organisers who have registered events near me or that are similar to me?

Within the HODs Community section, you can search for events by area or keyword – enabling you to connect with organisers to discuss common issues or cross-promote your events.