Heritage Open Days 2020

Heritage Open Days (11-20 September 2020) is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers. Be part of the celebration of the country’s fantastic architectural and cultural heritage. Search and explore the district’s hidden gems. Enjoy one-off tours, events and activities bringing history and culture to life. And even better it is all FREE.


This year, as well as on-site / in-person events, some events are being delivered online, allowing an even wider audience to enjoy the amazing buildings and gardens around the district.


COVID-19 Guidance

If the event is being delivered on site, there may be some restrictions or guidance to follow regarding Covid-19 safety regulations. Please be prepared to prebook where advised (click on the title of the event to find out more details including booking details), bring a face covering with you when visiting indoor sites, and observe social distancing wherever possible.



Please note that these events are delivered by private organisations and not by Lancaster City Council.


Morecambe Bay Events

Lost Pleasure Gardens of Morecambe

On site / in-person event at Morecambe Winter Gardens, 209 Marine Road West, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA4 4BU

Saturday 12 September: 11am – 4pm. Talk at 2pm
Sunday 13 September: 11am – 4pm. Talk at 2pm
Wednesday 16 September: Walk at 2pm
Saturday 19 September: 11am – 4pm. Talk at 2pm
Sunday 20 September: 11am – 4pm. Talk at 2pm

With the prospect of Eden North coming to Morecambe, we are offering an illustrated talk on the Lost Pleasure Gardens that once attracted thousands of tourists to Morecambe in the 19th and 20th Century.
No booking required.

Morecambe Heritage Centre

29 Royalty Mall, Arndale Centre, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA4 5DH

On site / in-person tours, commencing from various locations:

Friday 11 September: 2pm – tour commencing Morecambe Police Station
Saturday 12 September: 12pm- 4pm Morecambe Heritage Centre
Friday 18 September: 2pm tour commencing Morecambe Police Station
Saturday 19 September: 12pm – 4pm Morecambe Heritage Centre

Visitors can access the visual displays within the Heritage Centre, attend walks with our historian around old Morecambe and view a digital presence on our Facebook page.
No booking required.

Guided Walk to Stainton Aqueduct

On site / in-person event at Millness Depot, Nr Millness Lane, Crooklands, Cumbria, LA7 7NT

Friday 18 September: 1pm

Explore the rich heritage and beautiful scenery of the Lancaster Canal’s Northern Reaches, and visit the recently restored Stainton Aqueduct.
Prebooking essential via Eventbrite.

Lancaster Canal Northern Reaches – Virtual Tour

Online event

Friday 18 September: LAUNCH at 10am

Experience the beauty and heritage of the Northern Reaches from the comfort of your own home!
Visit the Heritage Open Days website from 10am on 18 September to access this virtual tour.

Gunpowder Walk

On site / in-person event at Wakefields Wharf, Crooklands, Milnthorpe, Cumbria, LA7 7NW

Saturday 12 September: 10am and 2pm
Wednesday 16 September: 10am

Visitors can have a guided walk around the old gunpowder works on the Northern Reaches of the Lancaster Canal.
Prebooking preferred.

FIRE! – Morecambe Bay Sunset Series

Online event

Tuesday 15 September: 7pm – 8.30pm

How did our ancestors create fire? What resources were used for ancient fire-making? Learn ancient techniques with Dr Bill Shannon!
Prebook this online lecture via Eventbrite.

Hincaster Walk

On site / in-person event at Stainton Car Park, Stainton, Kendal, Cumbria, LA8 0LG

Monday 14 September: 10am and 2pm

Visitors will see Hincaster Tunnel and the Horse Path, a scheduled Ancient Monument.
Prebooking required; please call 07763561572.

Lancaster Canal Bat Walk

On site / in-person event at Well Heads Lane, Hincaster, Kendal, Cumbria, LA7 7NE

Wednesday 16 September: 7pm

Join us for a bat walk! This fun evening will include a talk about bats, and an after-dark walk to spot these fascinating creatures.
Prebooking essential via Eventbrite.

Pen and Ink from Goose Quills and Oak Galls

Online event

Sunday 20 September: 7pm – 8.30pm

Learn how to create writing materials from natural resources, just as medieval clerks, scribes and scholars did for hundreds of years! Join Bill Shannon for a fascinating insight to ancient writing tools.
Prebook for this online event via Eventbrite.

Newland Charcoal Iron Furnace

On site / in-person event at Newland Iron Furnace, Newland, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 7QG

Saturday 12 September: 10am – 5pm
Sunday 13 September: 10am – 4pm
Saturday 19 September: 10am – 5pm
Sunday 20 September: 10am – 4pm

Visitors will get the chance to look round the Newland Charcoal Iron Furnace. There will be an exhibition of the furnace history and operation and guided tours will be given to explain things further.
No booking required.

Lancaster Events

All things bright & beautiful: Nature in a Gothic Church

On site / in-person event at St. Josephs Church, Slyne Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 2HU

Saturday 12 September: 2pm – 3.30pm

A short talk and tour exploring how churches use symbols, often taken from nature, from flowers, plants, creatures of the earth, sea and sky, to help us to understand the supernatural things of life.
Prebooking preferred.

Christ Church

On site / in-person event at Christ Church, Wyresdale Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 3EA

Sunday 13 September: 2pm – 4pm
Wednesday 16 September: 10am – 12noon
Sunday 20 September: 1pm – 4pm

Christ Church is a beautiful Grade II listed building, with stunning views across the Bay. Having been a Chapel for the Lancaster Workhouse and Lancaster Royal Grammar School, it remains a place for worship loved by many in and beyond the parish.
No booking required.

Ruskin: Museum of the Near Future

Online event delivered by The Ruskin, Lancaster, Lancashire

Friday 18 September: Available any time
Saturday 19 September: Available any time
Sunday 20 September: Available any time

A virtual exhibition to explore The Ruskin Whitehouse Collection at The Ruskin – Library, Museum and Research Centre at Lancaster University.
Visit the Heritage Open Days website from Friday 18 September for access to this online event.

St John the Evangelist, Lancaster

Online event delivered by St John’s Church, North Road, Lancaster, Lancashire

Available any time throughout the festival

Enjoy a virtual tour of this historic church using our free downloadable 10 Things to See Guidebook.
Visit the Heritage Open Days website from the 11th September to download the guidebook.

St Joseph’s Church & Kitchen Garden

On site / in-person event at St. Joseph’s Presbytery, Slyne Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 2HU

Saturday 19 September: 2pm – 3.30pm

A short tour of the magnificent neo-Gothic Church of St Joseph’s, designed by the famous Pugin family, followed by a visit to the grounds and new community garden.
Prebooking preferred.

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