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Heritage Open Days return, free entry to local attractions on offer

John Freeman
Local history and culture will come to life again in September when local buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors during this year's Heritage Open Days.

Heritage Open Days are the country’s annual celebration of its rich architectural and cultural heritage and provides visitors with a unique opportunity to explore and enjoy these sometimes hidden, often curious and always interesting places in English cities, towns and villages - and completely free of charge.

This year's celebration takes place over four days from 6 to 9th September and includes a trip down memory lane with Morecambe Vintage Day which takes place on 9th September, which includes the Bradford to Morecambe Historic Vehicle Rally on Morecambe Promenade.

Along with the many famous museums and popular historic buildings opening their doors in our district this year, there will also be a chance to enjoy a free canal cruise from the centre of Lancaster to 'one of the wonders of the waterways' the Lune Aqueduct. 

Take part in a free tour of Lancaster Town Hall and enjoy an Olympic display featuring one of the torches which carried the flame through our district.

Explore one of Lancaster's hidden secrets conceived as a fitting 'living' memorial to the fallen of Lancaster in the  First  World  War at Westfield War Memorial Village.  

Those who haven't yet had the opportunity to explore parts of Lancaster Castle unseen for 50 years can join a special guided tour which will include the court yard and former prison.

Morecambe Vintage Day also  includes a vintage village hall and tearoom at the Platform,  free tours on Morecambe's Heritage Open Top Bus as well as art deco guided walks and a classic motor cycle show at the Winter Gardens.

Coun Ron Sands, cabinet member for culture and tourism, said:  "Our district is blessed with buildings of every age, style and function and the open days will give both local people and visitors a once-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures. 

"This year's programme of tours, events and activities promises to be bigger and better than ever before and includes some absolute gems that have never appeared in the programme before."

All openings and events in the Lancaster area are free of charge  but you may have to book in advance for some activities as places are limited.  Disabled access is available to at least some parts of the many participating venues, so it’s advisable to check in advance.

You can pick up a leaflet containing full details of property openings and special events in and around the Lancaster district from  visitor  information centres at Lancaster and Morecambe - telephone 01524 582394 or 01524 582808.

The leaflet is also available from Lancaster City Council’s Customer Service Centres or to download from

• More information about nationwide events can be obtained from