• Kelly

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

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

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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/

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