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Lancaster Unlocked once more for Heritage Open Days

John Freeman

The Lancaster district will be throwing open its doors again this year when local buildings of every age, style and function take part in the biggest free celebration of England's history, heritage and culture.

This year’s Heritage Open Days take place from Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 September with more than 30 different openings, guided tours and events taking place which will allow people to explore some of district's hidden gems and bring local history and culture to life.

As well as having free access to many buildings which normally levy a charge or are closed to the public including Lancaster Town Hall, the Quaker Meeting House in Lancaster and the Lady Freemasons Lodge in Morecambe, there will also be canal boat tours and history walks along Lancaster Canal and around Lancaster Castle to the quayside beyond.

As part of the Heritage Open Days weekend, Morecambe will be celebrating its own heritage day on the Sunday with a number of exciting events.  These will include the famous Bradford to Morecambe Historic Vehicle Rally on Morecambe Promenade which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.  You can step back in time at the Platform with a special vintage village hall and tearoom or take a free trip along the promenade to Heysham on an open top double decking bus to take in the best views over Morecambe Bay. There will also be a chance to reflect on Morecambe’s 1930s heyday with an art deco guided walk and to pop into the Winter Gardens to see a display of classic motor cycles in the auditorium of this famous old Morecambe theatre.

 The Bradford to Morecambe Historic Vehicle Rally is kindly sponsored by JCT600.

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 are making their first appearance in the programme."

The majority of the 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 programme containing full details of property openings and special events during this year’s Heritage Open Days from visitor Information centres and town halls at Lancaster and Morecambe. The programme is also available online at

More information about nationwide events can be found at