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Norwich Heart, Heritage Economic & Regeneration Trust

Heritage Open Days in Norwich

Heritage Open Days 2015

Heritage Open Days (HODs) is set to return to Norwich and Norfolk between Thursday 10th and Sunday 13th September!

This year marks the 21st anniversary of the national free heritage event, and the 11th for which HEART has co-ordinated events locally. We are working with heritage venues across the county to pull together another fantastic programme, bursting with new events as well as firm favourites!

The HODs brochure will be available from Monday 3rd August from venues around the county, and also to download. Online listings and booking will also be live from this date. 

'Do Something New'!

This year's national HODs campaign theme is 'Do Something New' with a focus on refreshing, reinvigorating and reinterpreting local HODs locations, sites and events. 


HEART is appealing for HODs volunteers who make such a big difference in the success and delivery of this fantastic weekend celebration of local heritage. In 2014, HEART's dedicated army of volunteers played a huge part in making the Norwich and Norfolk HODs weekend the UK's largest outside of London. Last year, HEART's HODs booking team dealt with a record number of bookings for local events – a staggering 1,261 in total and 38 very special volunteers helped across a variety of roles from bookings to brochure distribution, photography to stewarding and being HODs ambassadors. If you are interested in volunteering, please download the appropriate version of the application form below and return to

HODs Volunteer Application Form (Word 2013 version)
HODs Volunteer Application Form (Word 97-2003 version)
HODs Volunteer Application Form (PDF version)

Jo Archer, HODs Project Lead at HEART, said: “We are very excited about this year's HODs and already the programme is looking more impressive than ever. Last year HEART coordinated 226 free events across Norwich and Norfolk and we are hoping to develop this further by appealing to new venues and organisers for 2015. If you know of a heritage gem that the public never gets to see, please get in touch and we can work together to help make it accessible for this one very special weekend in September.” 


Keep up to date!

Check this page regularly for festival updates!

Follow HEART on Twitter and Facebook, and search using hashtags #NorwichHODs and #NorfolkHODs for all the latest information.

Stay up to date with HEART by signing up to our e-newsletter, or become a HEART Supporter.


Last year's event

Last September saw over 230 free events take place - including open buildings, guided tours and walks, heritage literary events, exhibitions and performances - across Norwich, Thetford, South Norfolk, Broadland, Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and further afield.

You can take a look at the events that were on offer by downloading the Heritage Open Days 2014 brochure PDF.

Themed trails

Last year we collated a series of themed trails to help you get the most out of your Heritage Open Days experience. Download the Norwich Historic Pubs Trail, which celebrated the city's unique heritage in conjunction with City of Ale.

With trails featuring family-friendly activities, secret gardens, Norfolk's arts scene, and commemmorations of our wartime heritage, there were events happening right across the county and a little something for everyone.


Highlights included:

The Guildhall Literary Day – talks on Norwich Murders, the Pettus family, the history of Bracondale, Robert Toppes, Julian of Norwich and more

• Norfolk in the First World War at Norfolk Record Office

Kid's Takeover Day at The Guildhall – the 'Heritage Heroes' were your guides for the day, revealing the fate of William Tuck in a Victorian trial re-enactment and giving you the chance to make your own stained glass window

• The East Anglian Pilgrimage Network ran two heritage walks on the life of St Walstan, and William of Norwich

Blitz Street – a life-size street scene transporting the visitor back to the 1940s to experience wartime life

RAF Coltishall – a special tour around this 600-acre important WWII and Cold War site. All 312 spaces sold out!

Thetford's Great Information Centre played host to a medieval moneyer

Barford took a turn back in time with a WWI weekend where the village pub was transported back to the early war years, with WWI exhibitions and farm machinery

• The Grade II listed Cromer Signal Box


About Heritage Open Days 

Heritage Open Days (HODs) is England's largest and most popular voluntary cultural event, celebrating all of its fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to events and interesting properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission.

The HODs programme involves open buildings, guided tours, exhibitions, talks, family activities, window displays, music recitals and dance performances. Participating venues include museums and tourist attractions; private homes; churches and cathedrals; city centre shops, restaurants and pubs; and offices and workplaces.

Nationally HODs is co-ordinated by The Heritage Open Days National Partnership and attracts one million visitors annually. In Norwich, HEART has co-ordinated HODs since 2005, with the programme growing year on year.



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