Gems of the county open doors for free

Woodhorn's own artist-in-residence Clare Money
Woodhorn's own artist-in-residence Clare Money

Hidden gems and iconic visitor attractions will be opening their doors for free, as part of a diverse celebration of Northumberland’s architecture, culture and history.

Visitors will be given a special chance to see some of the county’s most memorable venues and attractions during the Northumberland Heritage Open Days event.

Running from Thursday, September 6, to Sunday, September 9, it provides the opportunity to see places which are not usually open to the public or which would normally charge for admission.

It is part of a national event which celebrates historic properties and attractions all over the country.

And Coun Neil Bradbury, executive member for customer relations and culture at Northumberland County Council, is delighted that the county is once again taking part.

He said: “Heritage Open Days provide a great opportunity to see behind the scenes at some of the county’s many great houses and castles while also providing the chance to see some of the hidden gems tucked away in our towns and villages.

“There is something for everyone, including expert talks, guided walks and exhibitions.

“The event is a firm favourite in the Northumberland calendar and I would encourage as many people as possible to explore the county’s heritage and learn more about our history.”

Just some of the attractions taking part in Northumberland during the Heritage Open Days event include the Aln Valley Railway site in Alnwick, Belford Hall, Kielder Observatory, Wallington, Cragside and St Cuthbert’s House in Seahouses.

There will also be the chance to see the ecological self-build house in Belford which is under construction, or to take part in The Elsdon Murder Walk.

Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest voluntary cultural event and attracts more than one million visitors to attractions nationwide.

The four-day event offers a once-a-year chance to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.

For more information about the events and attractions taking place in Northumberland, visit

Alternaitvely, visit and click on the leisure, tourism and culture tab and look for Heritage Open Days 2012.