Heritage Open Days

Guildford's Heritage Open Days has one of the biggest number of activities and events in the UK, giving visitors the opportunity to explore Guildford's fantastic architecture and culture.

Abbots Hospital Heritage Open Day
The event allows visitors free access to interesting properties that are either not usually open, or would normally charge an entrance fee. Heritage Open Days also includes guided tours, activities, talks and exhibitions, focusing on local architecture and culture so there is always plenty to see and do.

Dates for 2020

It has been confirmed that nationally the event will be running for ten consecutive days from 11 to 20 September with organisers choosing when to open and participate. The confirmed dates for Guildford's Heritage Open Days festival are 11 to 13 September.

Statistics from 2019 event

Nationally the biggest hubs (by number of events registered in 2019 with the national organisers) were:

Norwich (195), Sheffield (150), Leeds (141), Gloucester (140) and Winchester (129).

Guildford had 86 events during the festival, which puts us in 9th position compared to all town and cities in England. This is a fantastic achievement as the others in the list are cities! Areas with similar figures to Guildford are Birmingham, Milton Keynes and Cambridge.

Surrey county had 293 events - therefore Guildford had a large proportion of these. There was a slight fall in the number of events from 2018 - 19. The South East continues to have the majority of events compared to the rest of the country.

Useful guides

Our icon event brochure [4.46MB] is available to download. 

Why not find out more about Effingham and download a copy of the icon Effingham Heritage Trail [2.03MB]  and also icon The Bishop's Walk [1.32MB]  which provides an opportunity to explore the area.

About Heritage Open Days

The event is coordinated locally by Guildford Borough Council, The Guildford Society and the Guildford Town Guides.

  • 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.

  • Heritage Open Days is coordinated nationally by the National Trust with support from players of People's Postcode Lottery.

How you can get involved

If you own a property or represent an organisation within the borough and would like to get involved in future Heritage Open Days, we would love to hear from you. Alternatively if you would like to volunteer to help steward participating properties, please get in touch by emailing managementsupport@guildford.gov.uk.