In Heritage

What is Heritage Open Days?

Heritage Open Days is England's biggest heritage festival, celebrating our country's fantastic history, architecture and culture; offering people the chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences - all for FREE.

When does it take place?

Heritage Open Days takes place from Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September across the country.

How do I book?

You may need to pre-book for some of the more popular attractions, details should be available on the Heritage Open Days website.

Some highlight events...

A Walk Around Spital Tongues

Visit a small village tucked away where coal mining, furniture making, brewing, and a lunatic asylum sat side by side with upper class housing.

Saturday 12 September, 14.30

Architectural Treasures of Newcastle

An illustrated talk on the historic buildings of Newcastle, delivered by Dr Michael Johnson of Northumbria University.

Friday 11 September, 11.00 - 12.00

BALTIC 39: Building & History Tours

BALTIC 39 is home to BALTIC’s project space and Northumbria University’s Art Department as well as artists and creative businesses. Come for a guided tour during Heritage Open Days and discover more about the site and its histories.

Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September, 10.30 and 13.30

BBC Newcastle Tour

For Heritage Open Days we are offering a free of charge bite size tour! This is your chance to go behind the scenes, step into a TV studio and see everything that happens in front and behind the camera.

Saturday 12 September, 10.00, 10.30, 11.00, 11.30, 13.30, 14.00, 14.30, 15.00

Bessie Surtees House

Visit these 16th and 17th century merchants' houses now under the management of Historic England.

Thursday 10 September, 10.00 - 16.00
Friday 11 September, 10.00 - 16.00
Saturday 12 September, 10.00 - 15.00

Celebrating Newcastle’s Grainger Market

Join Northern Voices Community Projects in marking and celebrating the 180th Anniversary of Newcastle's iconic Grainger Market. Meet at Olivers Bistro-Cafe for poetry with Dr Keith Armstrong and Tyneside poets and music with The Sawdust Jacks.

Friday 11 September, 12.30 - 13.00

Cells at Gateshead Old Town Hall

Do not miss this unique opportunity to experience the atmosphere of Victorian police cells! East Street Art members based in studios at GOTH are installing work in the cells, ranging from sculptural pieces to projections, all responding to the history of the building and area.

Friday 11 - Saturday 12 September, 11.00 - 16.00

City Highlights Tour

Find out everything you ever wanted to know and things you didn't know you even wanted to know! A walking tour with the City Guides around the heart of our historic city. Tours last approximately 90 mins.

Thursday 10 September, 10.30
Friday 11 September, 10.30
Saturday 12 September, 10.30

Dunston Staiths

Dunston Staiths is celebrating its first opening season following recent restoration. Opened by The North Eastern Railway Company in 1893, Dunston Staiths on the River Tyne is believed to be the largest timber structure in Europe.

Friday 11 September, 14.00 - 20.00
Saturday 12 September, 11.00 - 20.00
Sunday 13 September, 10.00 - 17.00


Home to red kites, roe deer and much other rare wildlife, Gibside is great for exploring trails, meandering through woodland and gardens, soaking up the views across the Derwent Valley and discovering fascinating historic buildings and ruins.

Saturday 12 - Sunday 13 September, 10.00 - 17.00

Great North Museum Hancock Library: Treasures of the collection

Get an opportunity to view old and rare books from the Great North Museum: Hancock Library's collection that are not normally on display.

Friday 11 September, 11.00 - 15.00

Newcastle Castle

Discover how the Castle went from royal stronghold to county prison! Meet costumed characters around Old Newcastle who will tell the tales of this amazing area.

Saturday 12 September, 10.00 - 16.30

Ouseburn Farm

Located in a stunning position underneath three soaring bridges, Ouseburn Farm is a green oasis in the heart of Newcastle. Get up close with the animals.

Thursday 10 - Friday 11 September, 09.30 - 16.30
Saturday 12 - Sunday 13 September, 10.30 - 16.30

Saltwell Park Heritage Walk

A conducted walk around Saltwell Park led by the Friends of Saltwell Park. Visitors will gain an insight into the history of 'the People's Park. The walk will take around 45 minutes. Attendance is by appointment only so you must book a place.

Friday 11 September, 10.30
Saturday 12 September, 10.30 & 11.30

Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books

Come to Seven Stories as we celebrate Heritage Open Day 2015 and explore our brand new exhibitions all about Michael Foreman, the rich world of Nursery Rhymes and everyone's favourite bear called Paddington.

Sunday 13 September, 10.00 - 16.00

The Lit & Phil

The Literary & Philosophical Society is the largest independent library outside London, housing over 150,000 books. A wide selection of current fiction and non-fiction can be found alongside historical collections covering every field of interest.

Thursday 10 - Saturday 12, 10.00 - 15.00 (14.30 on Saturday)

Victoria Tunnel Guided Tour

The Victoria Tunnel was a coal waggon-way in 1842 to transport coal to the River Tyne. It was also used in WWII as an air raid shelter. Taster Tours will be run twice a day throughout the HOD period.

Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September, 10.30 and 13.30

You can find a full list of open days in Newcastle, Gateshead and the North East here.




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