Brochure launched for Norfolk’s 2021 Heritage Open Days

The launch of the Norfolk Heritage Open Days brochure at Pensthorpe Natural Park.

L-R Katie Ellis (The Forum), Chris Scargill (Larking Gowen), Natalie Douglas (Pensthorpe), Mark Hewitson (Larking Gowen), Martin Dupee (Pensthorpe), Bill Jordan (Pensthorpe), Joe Maguire (The Forum) and Samantha Joyce (The Forum) at the launch of Norfolk's 2021 Heritage Open Days brochure at Pensthorpe Natural Park. - Credit: Keiron Tovell

Following a reduced festival in 2020, Heritage Open Days is due to come back with a bang this year.

The 2021 event will run from Friday, September 10 until Sunday, September 19, with ten unmissable days of free tours, talks, walks, open days, exhibitions, performances and shows planned across Norfolk.

Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture and has been running for over 25 years.

Martin Dupee, Natalie Douglas and Bill Jordan at the Norfolk Heritage Open Days brochure launch.

Martin Dupee, Natalie Douglas and Bill Jordan (L-R) at the Norfolk Heritage Open Days brochure launch. - Credit: Keiron Tovell

The Norfolk Heritage Open Days programme is coordinated and promoted by The Forum in Norwich, which is delighted to welcome Pensthorpe Natural Park as headline sponsor this year.

The return of this much-loved event was marked with the launch of the Heritage Open Days brochure and a photoshoot at Pensthorpe to celebrate the new partnership.

The Forum and Pensthorpe Natural Park will work closely together in the coming months as the latter is also the headline sponsor of Norwich Science Festival, which returns from October 23 to 30 this year. 

The brochure launch of Norfolk Heritage Open Days at Pensthorpe Natural Park.

From L-R Katie Ellis (The Forum), Natalie Douglas (Pensthorpe), Mark Hewitson (Larking Gowen), Joe Maguire (The Forum), Bill Jordan (Pensthorpe), Samantha Joyce (The Forum), Martin Dupee (Pensthorpe) and Chris Scargill (Larking Gowen) at the Norfolk Heritage Open Days brochure launch at Pensthorpe Natural Park. - Credit: Keiron Tovell

Martin Dupée, general manager at Pensthorpe Natural Park, said: “Pensthorpe is proud to be the headline sponsor of two extraordinary events coming to Norwich this year; The Norwich Science Festival and Heritage Open Days.

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"Both events are playing an integral role in the city recovery plan, as well as a number of other great campaigns across the region."

This year’s Heritage Open Days offers everyone the opportunity to explore new buildings, discover some hidden gems not normally open to the public and learn more about the cultural heritage of our communities.

Norfolk produce will be celebrated at Feastival at The Forum in Norwich this summer. 

Norfolk produce will be celebrated at Feastival at The Forum in Norwich this summer. - Credit: Anna Stevenson

The theme for this year is ‘Edible England’, so the festival will close with a very special two-day event to celebrate Norfolk’s rich farming heritage and booming food and drink industry.

Feastival at The Forum will take place on the weekend of September 18 and 19 and will showcase Norfolk-based independent and artisan traders with tasters, promotions and a fine selection of local produce. 

The Heritage Open Days programme includes plenty of the usual favourites as well as some exciting new venues and activities. Here is just a taste of what is on offer:

· Visit the Edible East exhibition at The Forum, Norwich, and take part in food-themed workshops and events for all ages to explore fascinating food facts from the past with creative activities linked to Norfolk Museums and local heritage gardens.

· Discover the history of Norwich through a series of guided walking tours delivered by the Association of the City of Norwich Tourist Guides.

· With something for all ages, explore acres of natural landscape at Pensthorpe and discover more about its wildlife inhabitants.

· Join a Family Facebook premiere with Norfolk Heritage Centre and learn all about how Caley’s, Rowntree-Mackintosh and Nestle all at one time filled the city streets with the smell of chocolate.

· Take an exclusive backstage tour at the Pavilion Theatre, Gorleston as it celebrates its 120th anniversary.

· Join a guided walk around the Blickling Estate taking in the parkland, river and woodland.

· Take a tour around the Norfolk Showground and hear all about the 175 year history of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

· Learn about wild cooking and foraging In Conversation with Richard Mabey at The Carnegie in Thetford.

Norfolk's Heritage Open Days return this September. 

Norfolk's Heritage Open Days return this September. - Credit: Keiron Tovell

Katie Ellis, Heritage Open Days event producer, said: “We are so pleased that after so much uncertainty, Heritage Open Days will return as a full-scale festival this September and we have a fantastic line-up of venues and events, with something for all ages.

"The festival will be a hybrid of in-person and online events, which will reflect current government guidelines to keep visitors and organisers safe.

"Heritage Open Days wouldn’t be possible without the enthusiasm and commitment of the many organisers, participating venues and organisations who are supporting us in delivering the event for Norfolk, not least of which is our headline sponsor, Pensthorpe Natural Park and sponsors of Feastival at The Forum, Larking Gowen.

"Our grateful thanks also go to Norwich Print Solutions who have sponsored the fabulous brochure.”

All festival events are free to attend, with many available for visitors to drop-in on the day unless indicated otherwise.

Some popular venues and events offer limited space and must be pre-booked.

The brochure is available to pick up now from The Forum as well as Tourist Information Centres, libraries and venues across the county, including Pensthorpe Natural Park.

Tickets will be able to book online from Monday, August 9 at