Explore city’s rich heritage as Heritage Open Days set new record

Aug 03, 2019

MILTON Keynes is throwing open its doors with more events than ever before for this year’s Heritage Open Days. 

Taking place over ten days from September 13-22, there is something for everyone as the city celebrates its fascinating and exciting heritage with 150 workshops, craft events, open days, exhibitions, performances and film screenings – all free to attend.

Key attractions opening their doors include Milton Keynes Museum, Stadium MK, Great Linford Manor Park, Bletchley Park (limited tickets, booking essential), MK Arts Centre and Milton Keynes Theatre.

Elsewhere in North Bucks, , Cowper & Newton Museum in Olney, Stowe Gardens, Claydon House, and The Old Gaol in Buckingham are all preparing to welcome visitors.

The initiative features a wide range of historic sites, community buildings and spaces, hosting activities and craft days, dance and family fun days, tours, film screenings, exhibitions, guided walks and much more. 

Children enjoy getting creative at Festive Road in Kiln Farm.
Photo: Nicky Kenny.

Free events for Heritage Open Days this year include:

Not normally open to the public

  • Tour Milton Keynes Magistrates Court with working magistrates; 
  • Peer inside the intriguing world of the Freemasons at Freemason’s Lodge in Wolverton;
  • Find out more about how black sack waste is sustainably dealt with at the new Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park;
  • Take a backstage tour of The Stables Theatre in Wavendon.

Get crafty

  • MK Arts Centre is hosting a day of craft workshops in their studios and art room; Experience a Georgian makeover at MK Central Library and have fun making your own fan and mask; 
  • Make your own space-themed creation at Festive Road in Kiln Farm, where amazing things are created with scrap metal.

Get out and about

  • Take a walking tour of Wolverton’s magical Secret Garden; 
  • Discover the flora and fauna of Shenley Wood and its connection to the beautiful ancient Westbury Arts Centre; 
  • Explore the Gyosei and ROCLA art trails; 
  • Tour some of the Heritage Open Day sites on a guided family bike ride.

“MK Heritage Open Days is a fantastic annual event that the whole borough looks forward to each year,” said Cllr Jenny Marklew, Milton Keynes Council cabinet  member for culture. “With a record number of free events and activities – 60 more than last year – there will be something for everyone, from our major MK Futures 2050 Exhibition in the Central Library Events Space, to the fantastic local open events for our village historic and archaeological societies.”

The Heritage Open Days have been running since 2006, when the first initiative began with only 15 events. This year, there are more than 150 over the ten days.

Mel Jeavons, of Living Archive MK, said: “2019 is a big year for Heritage Open Days in Milton Keynes. 2019 promises to be one of the best years yet for bringing heritage to life in Milton Keynes. There really is something for everyone to enjoy. Our thanks go to all the staff and volunteers of the all the organisations taking part.”

For full details of the activities and events happening in and around Milton Keynes September 13-22, visit  www.mkheritageopendays.com.

You can also follow Milton Keynes Heritage Open Days on Twitter using #MKHODs, and share your own pictures.

  • Heritage Open Days is the largest festival of culture and history in the UK. As part of the national event across the country, MK Heritage Open Days is organised by Living Archive MK with support from Milton Keynes Council, MK Heritage Association and other partners, and is an annual celebration of the city’s heritage, art and culture.
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