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Heritage Open Days 2018, our top 10

Posted on September 06, 2018 by Diana


Every year since 1994, the Heritage Open Days has provided free access to thousands of heritage sites across the UK. This year it's your chance to explore hidden places and some of the top attractions in England.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity and visit one of our top 10 picks between 6 – 9 & 13 – 16 September* - all for free. Before you visit, please check the Heritage Open Days' individual links for specific opening times.

Hidcote Manor Garden

Hidcote Bartrim, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, GL55 6LR


Opening Times: Thursday 13 September: 10am -6pm

Experience one of the country's great gardens this September. Created by the talented American horticulturist, Major Lawrence Johnston this enchanted garden is full of surprises. Explore the maze of narrow paved pathways and discover secret gardens, spectacular views and plants that burst with colour.

Stay here - Cotswold House Hotel & Spa

Kingston Lacy

Kingston Lacy, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 4EA


Opening Times: Friday 14 September: 10am-18pm

Visit Kingston Lacy, an elegant 17th century Italian inspired country mansion filled with treasures, a beautiful garden and extensive countryside estate. The house is brimming with historic collections whilst the garden spans a Japanese Garden, Kitchen Garden and woodland.

Stay here - Thistle Poole

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

Studley Park, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY


Opening Times: Saturday 15 September: 10am-5pm

Hidden in a secluded valley, this magnificent National Trust property promises to surprise and captivate with its vast abbey ruins, Georgian water garden, a medieval deer park, Elizabethan Hall and Gothic church.


Cragside, Rothbury NE65 7PX


Opening Times: Friday 14 September: 10am-5pm

Described in 1880 as 'a palace of the modern magician', Cragside House, Gardens and Woodland is a truly unique visitor attraction in the heart of Northumberland. Here, you will discover the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, crammed full of ingenious gadgets.

Polesden Lacey

Polesden Lacey Great Bookham, Dorking RH5 6BB


Opening Times: Saturday 15 September: 10am-4.30pm

Set within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Polesden Lacey is a Regency house transformed into a superb Edwardian mansion where you can admire fabulous portraits including works by Raeburn and Reynolds.

Stay here - The White Horse

Durham Cathedral 

The College, Durham, County Durham, DH1 3EH


Opening Times: Saturday 8 September: Allotment Garden 10am-4pm, Deanery wall painting viewings at 10am, 12pm, 2pm | Saturday 15 September: Chapter House 10am-2pm

Visit Durham Cathedral, one of the great buildings of Europe, renowned for its spectacular location at the heart of the Durham UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will be given a unique opportunity to see the rare medieval wall paintings which decorate the hallway of the Deanery in the Cathedral College and also the chance to discover the Chapter House, which will be especially open for the Heritage Open days Festival.

Stay here - Redworth Hall Hotel 

Gatton Park

Reigate, Redhill RH2 0TW


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Opening Times: Thursday 13 September: 10am, 12pm, 2pm

For a peaceful walk in the North Downs filled with woodlands and open parkland, visit Gatton Park. The 600 acre park is bursting with ancient trees and lakes. Gatton’s awe-inspiring views were designed by renowned English landscape architect, ‘Capability’ Brown in the Eighteenth Century.

Nunnington Hall

Nunnington, North Yorkshire, York YO62 5UY


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Opening Times: Friday 7 September: 10.30am-5pm | Saturday 8 September: 10.30am-5pm 

Nestled on the quiet banks of the River Rye, Nunnington Hall is a picturesque Yorkshire manor house filled with a stunning collection of 16 miniature rooms displaying detailed musical instruments, furniture and accessories.

Stay here - Best Western Premier Collection Dean Court Hotel

Hanbury Hall

School Road, Hanbury, Droitwich, Worcestershire, WR9 7EA


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Opening Times: Saturday 8 September: 10am-5pm | Sunday 9 September: 10am-5pm

Visit Hanbury Hall, a beautiful country retreat set in the heart of Worcestershire. Admire the original wall-paintings by Sir James Thornhill and the formal gardens and catch a glimpse into life at the turn of the 18th Century.

Stay here - The Southcrest Manor Hotel 


Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 0RP


Opening Times: Friday 7 September: Gatehouse Tower, Conservation Studio, courtyards & cafe 10am-5pm; Showrooms 12pm-4pm (last entry 3.30pm) | Saturday 8 September: Gatehouse Tower, Conservation Studio, courtyards & cafe 10am-5pm; Showrooms 12pm-4pm (last entry 3.30pm)

Visit Knole and observe the wild deer in Kent’s last medieval deer park through their 4.5 mile walk around their grounds. The 600 year old estate is filled with grand courtyards, the tranquil Orangery and the gatehouse tower where you can admire breath-taking views.

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