45377-9063 Moyry Castle

Heritage Open Days is the United Kingdom's largest grass roots heritage festival.

It's your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are FREE to explore.

Heritage Open Days 2018 will be 6th-9th & 13th-16th September

Scotland Heritage Open Days
Northern ireland Heritage Open Days
Wales Heritage Open Days
English Heritage Open Days

The United Kingdom 

Over 20 million people now go to European Heritage Days, which operates under the motto ‘Europe: a common heritage’.  Each year events offer the chance to explore monuments and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public.  Through widening opportunities and access, it aims to encourage care for architectural and environmental heritage and support understanding and respect among communities.

The first Doors Open Days – La Journée Portes Ouvertes – was held in France by the Ministry of Culture in 1984.  The following year, in Granada, at the 2nd European Conference of Ministers responsible for Architectural Heritage, the French Minister of Culture proposed that the project be internationalised under the Council of Europe.  The Netherlands held their first Open Monumentendag in 1987. Sweden and the Republic of Ireland joined in 1989, and Belgium in 1990.  John Gerrard, then Director of the Scottish Civic Trust, saw the scheme operating in the Netherlands, and decided to introduce it to Scotland.  As a result, Doors Open Days were piloted in 1990 in Ayr and Glasgow (then European City of Culture).  Scotland was thus the first part of the UK to ‘open its doors’.