Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest festival of history and culture. For four days in September, places normally closed to the public throw open their doors to celebrate heritage, community and history. And it’s all FREE. This year is Cheltenham’s biggest ever, with around 30 participating buildings, plus 20 walks, talks and events.
The big bonus for 2017 is unprecedented special access into hidden places – secrets never before seen by the public: ‘Pittville’s Hidden Heritage’. There’s a rare chance to climb St Luke’s clock tower, a specially written play about literary figures with a connection to Chetlenham, intriguingly entitled ‘The Parrot, the Poet and the Philaderer’ and concerts. And at Parmoor House – the Civic Society’s HQ – historic postcards tell tales of Cheltenham past. Then, on Saturday 9 September, an illustrated talk about Captain Skillicorne, the man who “invented” Cheltenham.
The beautifully illustrated brochure, with details of all buildings and events, is available from the Tourist Information Centre (at The Wilson) from 20 July, where you can also book for ticketed events. Download the brochure here.