Dozens of buildings and attractions across County Durham will open their doors for free this week as part of a national celebration of history, heritage and culture.
Almost 70 venues, including castles, museums, churches and gardens will offer free admission during this year’s Heritage Open Days event, which runs from Thursday 8th September to Sunday 11th September.
The programme also features a range of special activities including guided walks, open air music performances and stone carving demonstrations as well as access to buildings that are not normally open to the public.
Cllr Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration and culture, said: “Heritage Open Days is a great showcase of our county and the many cultural gems it has to offer.
“It’s an opportunity to visit somewhere new and inspiring and to share in the passion and enthusiasm of the many dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers who run many of the events.
“The wide-ranging programme always proves incredibly popular and I’m confident that this year we will continue to build on that tradition.”
Visitors to Durham City during the four-day event can enjoy stonemason demonstrations at the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre, take a guided tour of the Town Hall and explore the Colleges of St Chad’s and St John’s.
Keen gardeners are spoilt for choice with the chance to explore North End Allotments and Durham Cathedral’s own allotment garden, where the Cathedral’s expert gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and offer tips and advice.
And the beautifully restored 17th to early 18th century Old Durham Gardens will be hosting a range of music performances from jazz to folk and dance.