Celebrate European Heritage Open Days with free access to some of the UK’s top historic sites

Europe is steeped in rich culture and history, with heritage sites and landmarks scattered across the lands. And from 10-19 September everyone has the opportunity to access a wide variety of heritage sites for free as part of the European Heritage Open Days initiative.

In celebration of their heritage, historic sites across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be opening their doors to the public to give them the opportunity to explore hidden places and try out new experiences that they may not have considered before – absolutely free-of-charge!

Here are some top UK experiences to consider during European Heritage Open Days:

Maritime Mile Photography Tour, Belfast, Northern Ireland

11 September, 11:00 to 12.30

Image source: discovernorthernireland.com

This 90-minute photo tour will take you off the beaten track capturing some of Belfast’s heritage giants. The Maritime Mile shoot locations include; the historic Slipways, where RMS Titanic was built and first launched into the water; the iconic H&W Headquarter Building and Drawing Offices, now Titanic Hotel Belfast; new art installation SoundYard, inspired by the sounds of Belfast’s shipyards; plus regular stops at some of the best viewpoints along Belfast’s iconic waterfront. On the tour you have an opportunity to improve your photography skills by learning new tips and techniques with customised and hands-on instruction. Click here for more info.

Scottish Crannog Centre, Perthshire, Scotland

18 & 19 September, 10:00 to 17:00

Image source: visitscotland.com 

Crannogs are a type of ancient loch-dwelling built in Scotland as far back as 5,000 years ago, but were modified and re-used up until the 17th century AD. The Scottish Crannog Centre is an open-air museum that allows you to walk in the footsteps of the original Iron Age Crannog dwellers. The tour enables you to immerse yourself in their village life with original artefacts, demonstrations of technologies, textiles, cooking and ancient crafts. For bookings email [email protected]

Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire, Wales

18 & 19 September, 10:00 to 17:00 (guided tours at 11:00 & 15:00)

Image source: visitwales.com 

Raglan Castle was designed to impress as much as to intimidate. Under various earls of Worcester, Raglan was transformed into a magnificent country seat with a fashionable long gallery and one of the finest Renaissance gardens in Britain. But loyalty to the crown was to prove its undoing. Despite a garrison of 800 men and one of the longest sieges of the Civil War, it fell to parliamentary forces and was deliberately destroyed. Among the looted treasures was a piece of Tudor wooden panelling, now proudly displayed in the visitor centre after being rescued from a cow shed in the 1950s. Click here for more information.

We’ve only scratched the surface with UK heritage sites to visit. If you’d like to see the full list of options available by each UK country, then follow the links below.

England: www.heritageopendays.org.uk 
Northern Ireland: www.communities-ni.gov.uk
Scotland: www.scottishcivictrust.org.uk
Wales: www.cadw.gov.wales

If you’re planning on taking advantage of the European Heritage Open Days offers anywhere across the country, make sure you are suitably covered for the journey. Whether you are sharing the drive or just simply borrowing a friend or family member’s car to get to the site, temporary car insurance may be the best solution. Policies last anywhere between one hour and 28 days and it takes just 90 seconds to get fully comprehensive cover. Because it is a separate, standalone policy, it does not affect any existing no-claims discounts. Get your quote today.

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