Norfolk’s historic venues get set for this year’s Heritage Open Days festival

Heritage Open Days 2014: Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich.

Heritage Open Days 2014: Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich. - Credit: submitted

Historic venues across the city and county are preparing to welcome visitors for this year's free Heritage Open Days festival.

Heritage Open Days 2014: The Guildhall, Norwich.

Heritage Open Days 2014: The Guildhall, Norwich. - Credit: submitted

This special celebration of our county's heritage gives people the chance to delve into Norfolk's fascinating and often hidden heritage. It begins on Thursday and runs until Sunday, and there are more than 230 free events t across Norwich, Thetford, South Norfolk, Broadland, Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and further afield.

Heritage Open Days 2014: Holman Undercroft.

Heritage Open Days 2014: Holman Undercroft. - Credit: submitted

Michael Loveday, chief executive of Norwich HEART which oversees the festival, said: 'The 10th year of Heritage Open Days co-ordinated and promoted by HEART sees the largest number of events ever, the widest geographical span and the most diverse range of venues. So get out there and discover your secret heritage before the curtain comes down on the secrets for another year.'

Open buildings, guided tours and walks, heritage literary events, exhibitions and performances, and more feature in the four-day festival. All events are free, and for more than half you can just turn upon the day.

Highlights include: a Hidden Places Tour at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich from Thursday to Sunday; family-friendly trails around St Michael's and All Angels Ruin, in Bowthorpe, on Saturday; guided tours and demonstrations at Wind Energy Museum: The Morse Collection, in Great Yarmouth, on Thursday and Friday; and the chance to find out how Thetford had its own moneyer in Medieval times at Thetford's Great Information Centre on Saturday. There are also themed trails, including a tour of Norwich's pubs in partnership with City of Ale.

There are still tickets available for some events you need to book in advance, including: The Guildhall Literary Day Creative Writing Workshop in Norwich on Friday; visits to Francis Cupiss, in south Norfolk, where you can find out about the company's history from its veterinary beginnings to modern day printing on Thursday and Friday; and a chance to explore the brick and flint medieval undercroft at Holman House, in Aylsham, on Friday and Saturday.

• Tickets for pre-book events can be requested via until Wednesday. Any remaining tickets will be available in person only from Norwich HEART at The Guildhall, Norwich, from Thursday until Sunday 10am-4pm.

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• For more visit, follow @norwichheart, #NorwichHODS and #NorfolkHODs on Twitter, and Norwich HEART on Facebook.

• Are you involved in a new heritage arts project in Norwich? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at