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Every year, over four days in early September, thousands of cultural sites and historic buildings in England open their doors for free and invite the general public in. Many of these buildings, museums and heritage sites normally charge whilst others are rarely open to the general public, so these four days are a unique opportunity for locals and visitors alike to peek inside and discover the hidden stories of the people who once lived and worked in them.


Thanks to all our wonderful organisers, volunteers, many local businesses and sponsors there are 70+ Heritage Open Days event this year, of which the majority are in the centre of Winchester. And as you can see the events are not just about historic buildings;

  • Carter Marsh & Co and Jeremy France are opening their workshops, whilst Gieves & Hawkes will displaying pieces from their archives
  • Clue Capers are hosting an escape room at the Royal Oak, and there will be cider tasting at The Stable
  • Vintage Make Do & Mend at Stardust Years, and arty fun and other activities at The Colour Factory Studios
  • The History of Antiquarian Bookselling at The Winchester Bookshop and an Antiques & Asian Arts valuation evening by Andrew Smith at Pilgrim’s Hall
  • Flour Milling, storytelling and vOx Chamber Music at Winchester City Mill
  • Guided tours at and around the Chesil Rectory, Cathedral Close, Serle’s House, Peninsula Barracks, Kingsgate, Oram’s Arbour and Old Hyde House
  • Box Office for Winchester College Treasury at Kingsgate Books and the opportunity to learn the history of one of Winchester’s longest running retail stores – Warren & Son
  • And if you are worried about getting to everything there will be a free vintage bus service run by King Alfred Buses on Saturday 9th


There are also competitions including a chance to win one of the first Monopoly Winchester Edition games. Remember all events are free of charge and the festival is a brilliant way for local businesses to share their heritage as well as engage with residents and visitors alike.


Our aim is to establish this as a major heritage festival in Winchester for locals and visitors to enjoy for years to come. To keep it free and accessible and to secure its future we are reaching out to businesses and organisations for help with funding. If you are interested in supporting us, or know of anyone else who may be, please do get in touch. By joining us you will become part of something truly special in Winchester and the surrounding area.

To get involved this or next year, and for more information on the events and competitions please visit our website or follow us on twitter @WinchesterHods

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