• Kelly

Heritage Open Days 2021 - Free Entry Days Out - North East

Updated: Sep 7


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Every September thousands of volunteers across England organise events to celebrate our fantastic history and culture. It's your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are FREE to explore.

We tend to visit as many of these events as we can over these days and we plan to do the same again this year.


Whether it's free entry to some well known attractions, behind the scenes tours or discovering a hidden gem, there is something for everyone as part of England's biggest festival of history and culture, running from 10 - 19 September.


There are hundreds of options to choose from, right here in the North East, but here is just a small selection of what we consider to be best for families.


Please note: Some events/activities require pre-booking and numbers are limited and any of these events could be cancelled at short notice. We have not organised any of these events and are not responsible for them and have no control over visitor numbers. Please direct any queries to the venue/organiser and I always recommend checking for any restrictions before travelling. For more details including accessibility and any required booking details, please click the links below.





Gibside, Near Gateshead

Free entry for all on 18 & 19 September. No booking required.


Segedunum Roman Fort, Wallsend

Free entry for all 11, 12, 18, & 19 September. No booking required.


Head of Steam Railway Museum, Darlington

Free entry for all from 10 - 19 September Pre-booking preferred.


Land of Oak & Iron, Gateshead

Various guided heritage and nature walks Pre-booking required


Empire Theatre, Sunderland

Free backstage tours 11 September Pre-booking required


Berwick Barracks, Berwick-Upon-Tweed

Free entry for all 18 & 19 September No booking required


North East Land, Sea and Air Museum, Sunderland

Free entry for all 18 & 19 September No booking required


Cragside house & Gardens, Near Rothbury

Free entry for all 17 September No booking required


Tanfield Railway, Near Stanley

Guided walks from East Tanfield station to Causey Arch 12 & 19 September

Pre-booking preferred


Jarrow Hall

Free tours of the medieval herb garden 10 & 11 September Pre-booking required


Locomotion, Shildon

Locomotion Lates: The Golden Age.

Various activities after normal opening hours. 18 September Pre-booking required


Ormesby Hall, Middlesbrough

Free entry for all 10 & 11 September No booking required.


Aln Valley Railway, Alnwick

Behind the scenes tours 11 September Pre-booking preferred


Souter Lighthouse & The Leas, Whitburn

Free entry for all 12 & 19 September No booking required


Stephenson Railway, North Shields

Workshop tours 11th September Pre-booking required

Free train rides 19th September Pre-booking required


The Old Rectory, Houghton Le Spring

Heritage trails, art displays and workshops No booking required


Seaton Delaval Hall, Whitley Bay

Free entry for all 11 September No booking required


Bowes Railway, Springwell, Gateshead

Guided tours and allotment activities 10, 11, 14 & 16 September Booking preferred


Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle

Guided tours 15 - 18 September Pre-booking required


Washington Old Hall

Free entry for all 10 & 11 September Booking preferred


St. Marys Lighthouse, Whitley Bay

Free entry for all 10 - 12 September Pre-booking required


Wallington, Near Morpeth

Free entry for all 12 & 13 September No booking required


Alnwick Playhouse

Guided tours 11 September Pre-booking required


Maritime Heritage Centre, Sunderland

Guided tours 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18 & 19 September Pre-booking required


Whitburn Windmill

Open to the public for viewing 12 & 19 September No booking required


Derwentcote Steel Furnace, Rowlands Gill

Open Days 11 & 18 September No booking required


Victoria Tunnel, Newcastle

Taster tours 16 September No booking required


Wharton Park, Durham

Nature's Table: Food based activities 10 - 19 September No booking required


Brancepeth Castle, Durham

Guided tours 12 - 14 September Pre-booking required



This is just a small selection of the hundreds of options available during the Heritage Open Days. For even more options, check out their website, https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/




Check out these other posts

Review | Our Recent Visit to North East Land, Sea & Air Museum

9 Train Themed Days Out in the North East and North Yorkshire.

Our morning at the re opening of Locomotion National Railway Museum - Shildon

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