Theme: Routes - Networks - Connections

In 2024 we will be celebrating how people and ideas have moved around and come together throughout history. The transport routes, communication networks, trade unions and social clubs. The travellers who have spread ideas and the hosts who welcome them. There are so many stories on our doorsteps just waiting to be uncovered.

Mosaic of images of transport and communications.
(© Mid-Norfolk Railway / London Canal Museum / Gosport HODs / Sheffield History / Frank Sutcliffe / British Library / Jack Herron / Paul Harris / HODs)

In our 30th anniversary year we are delighted that the European* wide theme is encouraging us all to celebrate what connects us – be that ideas or actual transport routes! We look forward to hearing your stories and encourage you to make the most of the incredible festival community network. If you haven’t before, make this the year you reach out and chat with someone else that takes part in Heritage Open Days.

*Nb. Heritage Open Days is part of European Heritage Days

Some inspiration...

  • What’s in a name? Place names can tell us a lot about the people who settled in an area in the past. Are you in the ‘Viking’ north east or the ‘Celtic’ south west?
  • Wish you were here?! Why did people settle in your area, why did they visit, have those reasons changed? Do you have a market place or a village green? Meeting and trading places have hundreds of stories to tell.
  • Where does the river run? From source to sea, how has it shaped the land, who travels on it? How has it brought people together?
  • Lost links. Are there any ‘forgotten routes’ near you? Perhaps a lost Roman road, railway line, postal path or maybe there’s a street name on an old map that has changed or infilled with building over time?
  • Famous faces. Thomas Cook, a pioneer of the package tourism industry, was a Leicester lad. Sarah Guppy whose inventions included an early suspension bridge design was born in Birmingham and lived in Bristol. Who is linked to your local area?
  • The world on our doorstep. Look around and there are global influences everywhere. Are there some ‘Corinthian Columns’ in the local architecture – where have these designs come from? Check your local park – plants and trees that seem everyday to us now may have exotic origins!

Get involved

If you’ve got a story to share we’d love to hear from you.

Document - theme pack Document - theme pack


Routes Networks Connections Pack


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