28/07/17: Norfolk Heritage Open Days brochure will launch in Breckland

Heritage Open Days (HODs) is England's biggest heritage festival celebrating the country's fantastic history, architecture and culture.

Here in Norfolk, the local 2017 festival brochure is available from Monday 31 July and will be unveiled in Breckland at a special launch event at King's House Gardens, Thetford, on 31 July from 10am-1pm.

The brochure for the county will be bursting with over 270 hidden places waiting to be discovered during HODs from 7-10 September. 

The launch event in Thetford is open to the public and will bring together local Heritage Open Days event organisers, local mayors, town criers and other heritage related groups including a Norman crusader.

Heritage Open Days brochures will be available from Monday at The Forum in Norwich, Tourist Information Centres, libraries and many other venues across the county.

The full programme of HODs events across Norfolk can also be found online at Heritage Open Days

The HODs festival offers a combination of drop-in and pre-book events all over the county. For the pre-book events, booking opens at 10am on Monday 7 August.

This annual four-day heritage festival in September will see thousands of local people exploring hidden gems right on their doorstep, all for free.

There are lots of fantastic new events for 2017 - here's a taster:

  • In Breckland, enjoy a trail around the historic highlights of Attleborough, a fun family afternoon looking at a stunning collection of vintage cars, go behind the scenes at the fascinating Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse or browse the artisan goods, fresh foods and traditional crafts at a Victorian-themed market.

  • In Thetford, enjoy a day of medieval marvels, complete with a Norman Knight, medieval-style cooking, falconry and real medieval artefacts; or visit Ancient House Museum for an open day packed full of exhibitions and a trail.

  • In Norwich, the county's pub heritage will be celebrated with a series of 'Tavern Tales' events, including exhibitions, walks, talks, tours and beer tasting. Families can participate in the Norwich Heritage Hunt, which will lead them through the city's history, meeting an array of colourful, costumed characters along the way.

  • In Broadland, visit a Hindu temple and experience Indian culture; or assemble along the Marriot's Way for a vintage cycle event in celebration of the bicentenary of the earliest form of bicycle.

  • In Great Yarmouth, take a tour of a former ice house (used to preserve herring brought in by the fishing fleets) or take a guided tour of the Great Yarmouth Drill House and learn circus skills.

  • In South Norfolk, visit the Greek Revival Boileau Mausoleum in St Peter's churchyard or join in the retro fun at Wymondham's Vintage Day.

  • In North Norfolk, enjoy a peek at Lord Nelson's bedroom at The Hoste Hotel or view the oldest hire cruiser afloat, 'Spark of Light', built in 1926 and newly restored.

Cathy Eden, HODs Coordinator at The Forum, Norwich, said: "We are so excited about this year's festival! Lots of new events have been added to the 2017 programme and there are more events and activities for families. It's great to see all ages come together to enjoy and explore our hidden heritage and for communities, neighbourhoods and venues to have an opportunity to share their stories and traditions."

The HODs programme in Norwich and across much of Norfolk is coordinated by The Forum with support from Norwich City Council and Norwich Tourist Information Centre. The programme is also delivered in partnership with Breckland Council, Broadland District Council, Thetford Town Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, South Norfolk Council, Visit North Norfolk and many local organisations and individuals.

For further information on the national Heritage Open Days programme visit Heritage Open Days.