Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers!

Every year in September, places across the country throw open their doors and celebrate their heritage, community and history. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences and the best part is that it’s all free!

This year Heritage Open Days takes place on 6th – 9th and 13th – 16th September.

We have a wide range of fabulous events happening in the district, all events are listed below, why not check them out and see if any take your fancy?

A guided walk/tour around Newark’s Timber Framed Heritage

Newark is full of secret little gems and during this walk you will be spotting the less obvious and well-disguised timber framed buildings. This walk guided by local architect Bernard Martin will also visit the interior of the famous Old White Hart.

For more information.

Behind the scenes at the Palace Theatre

On the 9th September life the curtain on the backstage secrets of one of Newark’s most fascinating buildings, find out about the history and the intriguing women who built it and learn some of the ticks of the trade from the team of technical experts.

For more information.

Civil War Tour of Newark

On the 9th & 16th September Kevin Winter, Assistant Curator at the National Civil War Centre will lead a Civil War tour of Newark. Explore some of the famous places that were at the heart of key events, ending in the impressive Queen’s Sconce.

For more information.

Newark Cemetery

The chapel in Newark Cemetery will be open with members of the Friends of Newark Cemetery on hand to help locate graves. There will be an exhibition about General Sikorsky and his burial and repatriation from Newark Cemetery.

For more information.

Newark Town Hall Museum

Have you ever dreamt of dancing around an authentic Regency ballroom? Well now is your chance, guides in fabulous Georgian attire will be conducting tours of Newark Town Hall including the magnificent ballroom, built in 1776 by the architect John of Carr.

For more information.

Grasping the Civil WarNational Civil War Centre

Bring history to life in your hands. A one-off opportunity to explore and handle the National Civil War Museum’s collection of arms, armour, coins, pamphlets and other artefacts from the British Civil Wars.

For more information.

Ice Age Journeys – Flint-knapping in Scone and Devon Park

A craftsman flint-knapper will be leading a workshop on how to make prehistoric flint tools. There will be opportunities for you to ‘have-a-go’ and to see some of the ancient flint tools found locally.

For more information.

Newark Heritage Barge

Newark Heritage Barge ‘Leicester Trader’ is the last “Trent” size cargo barge built to fit the old locks of the Trent Navigation Company. On board is a museum and learning resource, explaining life and work on the River Trent barges.

For more information.

One of Britain’s Best Kept Secrets of WW2

Is WW2 your thing? Well then Dukes Wood Oil Field Museum, now located at Kelham Hall, might be the place for you. One of WW2’s best kept secret was the stationing of US oilment from Oklahoma and Texas with the monks at Kelham Hall. The museum tells their story, but also the wider story of oil production around the UK.

For more information.

Sconce and Devon Park

Do you fancy a tour around the beautiful Sconce and Devon Park. There will be a tour of the history of Queen’s Sconce, Scales Linen factory, willow weaving and reference to a small gauge railway that crossed the park transporting gypsum to the river.

For more information.

St Mary Magdalene Church

Newark boosts the magnificent St Mary Magdalene Church; on the 8th September the church is conducting tours of the spire which are said to host the best place to view Newark.

For more information.

Thoresby Park

Thoresby Park will open its doors to the new house on the Thoresby Estate, occupied by the Matheson family. The tour will give you some insight into the history of the family, including antiques that formerly resided in Thoresby Hall and estate life today.

For more information.

Brackenhurst Hall and Gardens

On the 16th September there is an incredibly rare and awesome opportunity to have a guided tour of Brackenhurst Hall. Now is the perfect opportunity to find out about the amazing history held within the walls of Brackenhurst Hall.

For  more information.

Southwell Heritage Open Day and Hop

The town of Southwell is absolutely filled to the brim with intriguing history with plenty of beautiful heritage buildings. On the 8th September the Southwell hop is designed to get you to see the beauty of the town including Higgons Mead, Burgage Green, the House of Correction site, Elmfield House and the Old Courthouse.

For more information.

Southwell MinsterTours are available at Southwell Minster on 7 July

Southwell Minster is the jewel in the Southwell crown; during Heritage Open Days experience one of the most beautiful cathedrals for free. Highlights include the world famous ‘Leaves of Southwell’, vivid stained glass windows, stunning wood carvings and the majestic State Chamber in The Archbishop’s Palace where Richard I, Cardinal Wolsey, James VI of Scotland and Charles I visited.

For more information.

If you attend any of these fabulous events please tag us on social media at:

  • Twitter – @NewarkSherwood
  • Facebook – Visit Newark and Sherwood
  • Instagram – @visit.newark.Sherwood

We’d love to hear from you!


Previous blog posts 2018

Newark Air Museum & Rufford Abbey celebrate the 1940s, Aug 5, 2018


What to do when school’s out in Newark and Sherwood, Jul 29, 2018

New Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre nearing completion, Jul 9, 2018

Byron Festival 2018, Jul 3, 2018


National Holocaust Centre and Museum open gardens, Jun 27, 2018

A fabulous Father’s Day in Newark and Sherwood, June 11, 2018


20 family activities for May half term in Newark & Sherwood, May 21, 2018

Take a journey back in time, May 13, 2018


Literary festivals in Newark and Sherwood, Apr 30, 2018

Newark & Sherwood pull out all the stops for May Day living history weekend, Apr 16, 2018

Newark Air Museum: 45 years open to the public, Apr 9, 2018


Cyclists welcome in Newark & Sherwood, Mar 26, 2018

A superior shopping experience in Newark and Sherwood, Mar 19, 2018

Music festivals for all tastes in Newark & Sherwood, Mar 13, 2018

Follow the Easter bunny to Newark & Sherwood, Mar 5, 2018


Have a wonderful wedding in Newark & Sherwood, Feb 27, 2018

If antiques are your thing, you will love Newark and its surrounds, Feb 19, 2018

Discover interesting outdoor skills in Newark and Sherwood, Feb 10, 2018

February half term fun in Newark & Sherwood, Feb 5, 2018


Preserving the coal mining past of Newark and Sherwood, Jan 29, 2018

Relive Civil War history in Newark and Sherwood, Jan 22, 2018

Experience the legacy of Newark and Sherwood’s great Dukes of old, Jan 15, 2018

Southwell holds some historic surprises for visitors, Jan 8, 2018

Follow the legends and tales of King John across Newark & Sherwood, Jan 2, 2018


Previous blog posts 2017