8 things to do for free in Norfolk during Heritage Open Days 2021

Norfolk Heritage Open Days 2021 features a jam-packed programme, including a day out at Pensthorpe Natural Park. 

Norfolk Heritage Open Days 2021 features a jam-packed programme of free events, including a day out at Pensthorpe Natural Park. - Credit: Keiron Tovell

Heritage Open Days, England's largest festival of history and culture, is back for 2021 with a jam-packed programme of free events.

This year it will run from Friday, September 10 until Sunday, September 19 and includes exhibitions, tours, performances and much more. 

Here are some of the best events taking place in Norfolk, with booking open now at norfolkheritageopendays.co.uk 

EDIBLE ENGLAND

Norwich Cathedral Garden

Norwich Cathedral Garden - Credit: Supplied

1. What: Norwich Cathedral: the herb garden, the infirmary and health in monastic times

Where: Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 4EH

When: September 14 and 16, 11.30am-12.30pm 

Pre-booking required 

Most Read

A visit to the cathedral herb garden to hear about the culinary uses of various herbs and particularly focusing on those used for medicinal purposes within the infirmary.

FAMILY FUN

File pic of a bee

Make your own Air Bee-N-Bee Hotel and learn about the important role bees play. - Credit: Chris Bishop

2. What: Make your own Air Bee-N-Bee Hotel

Where: Cathedral House, Unthank Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 2PA

When: September 10, 11, 17 and 18, 11am-4pm 

Pre-booking required

Visit the cathedral gardens to learn about the important role bees play in every aspect of our lives. Make your own bee hotel to take home.

Learn about the fantastic beasts and ghastly gargoyles found in historic churches at the St Martin at Palace Centre. 

Learn about the fantastic beasts and ghastly gargoyles found in historic churches at the St Martin at Palace Centre. - Credit: Supplied

3. What: Ghastly Gargoyles! Children’s activities at St Martin at Palace

Where: The Norwich Historic Churches Trust Ltd, St. Martin At Palace Centre, 15 St. Martin At Palace Plain, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1RW

When: September 12, 12pm-4pm 

Pre-booking required 

Learn about the fantastic beasts and ghastly gargoyles found in historic churches. Create your own scary beast from clay to take home and design medieval heraldry using animal symbolism. Activities are open to all but most suitable for children aged 6-12.

ONLINE

Samphire grown on Stiffkey marshes. Some can be seen on Stiffkey's main village sign. Picture: SIMON

Samphire grown on Stiffkey marshes. - Credit: © Eastern Counties Newspapers

4. What: Edible East Anglia on Film

Where: Available online

When: September 10-19

Links available from September 10 - check back on the website to connect

From mustard spreading to samphire picking, East Anglia has a rich regional history of culinary traditions. Explore them from the comfort of your sofa thanks to this curated selection of films from the collections of the East Anglian Film Archive. 

Scaffolding for repair works at Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk

Scaffolding for repair works at Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk - Credit: National Trust Images/Mike Selby


5. What: Oxburgh Hall - Look Inside the Roof Spaces

Where: Available online

When: September 10-19

Links available from September 10 - check back on the website to connect

Climb inside the roof spaces at Oxburgh Hall and see the hidden history behind the scaffolding without leaving home. Join the National Trust’s experts as they show you the rooms where maids once sat by the window mending clothes or servants loaded cartridges with lead shot and share information about the ongoing conservation project.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Great Yarmouth Ice House

Great Yarmouth Ice House - Credit: Supplied

6. What: The Great Yarmouth Ice House

Where: Great Yarmouth Ice House, Haven Bridge, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR31 0HY

When: September 18 and 19, 11am-12pm, 2pm-3pm

Pre-booking required 

Take the opportunity to go inside this unique Grade II listed building which is rarely open to the public. The only one of its kind left in the country, the Ice House stored ice used to preserve the herring brought in by the fishing fleets.

There will be an open day and guided walk at Little Cressingham Mill.

There will be an open day and guided walk at Little Cressingham Mill. - Credit: Supplied

7. What: Little Cressingham Mill Open Day and guided walk

Where: Fairstead Lane, Little Cressingham, Thetford, Norfolk, IP25 6NT

When: September 11, guided walk from 10.30am-3pm, Mill open day 11am-3pm

Pre-booking required 

Explore Little Cressingham Mill on a guided tour which offers a rare opportunity to see inside. Unique in Norfolk, it is a windmill and watermill combined. Alternatively, discover the site at your leisure during this open day.

Visit Pensthorpe Natural Park for free during Heritage Open Days.

Visit Pensthorpe Natural Park for free during Heritage Open Days. - Credit: Keiron Tovell

8. What: Pensthorpe Natural Park

Where: Pensthorpe Natural Park, Fakenham Road, Pensthorpe, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 0LN

When: September 13, from 1pm

Pre-booking required 

Meander through the famous gardens, see which species you can spot in the nature hides and explore the vast lakes. Call into the Discovery Centre to learn more about unearthed treasures, including a hand axe believed to date from 8000 BC, tusks and a tooth from a woolly mammoth uncovered whilst excavating the lakes. 

The Norfolk Heritage Open Days programme is coordinated and promoted by The Forum in Norwich, which has welcomed Pensthorpe Natural Park on board as headline sponsor this year.

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