Celebrate Hampshire’s history and beauty with Heritage Open Days

Residents and visitors will be able to explore many of Hampshire’s venues and learn about the county’s fascinating past in fun and interactive ways – and all for free – as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days (11-20 September).

From activities and exhibitions in our stunning countryside, to virtual tours and online screenings that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your sofa, Hampshire County Council’s sites are offering something for everyone as part of the national initiative, held every September.

The County Council’s Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward, said:

As the Local Authority, we are honoured to play a key role in preserving Hampshire’s culturally and historically significant places and collections, such as the Great Hall and Hampshire Archives. Hampshire’s stunning country parks are also home to rich histories of national and international importance, which children and adults alike can uncover through our Heritage Open Days events. With a wider selection of virtual experiences being offered this year to support social distancing, we hope people of all ages will have a fantastic time.

Hampshire County Council venues hosting physical and virtual Heritage Open Days events include:

The Great Hall – Hidden Secrets virtual tour on 19 and 20 September, 11am-3pm

Take a virtual tour of the secret and hidden places of The Great Hall – home of the iconic Round Table of Arthurian legend – and explore its history from the beginnings of Winchester Castle to the hall’s use as a court of law.

Hampshire Archives and Local Studies – Amateur Highlights – from 100 Days of film online screening on 17 September, 12pm-1:15pm

Delve into a showcase of fascinating tales from amateur filmmakers working in the Wessex region. These highlights have been specially curated from the Wessex Film and Sound Archive’s ‘100 days of film’ project, which launched at the beginning of lockdown, spanning archive footage from the 1910s to the 1970s.

Lepe Country Park – Virtual and physical nature trails and D-Day exhibition from 11-20 September, check individual events for specific times

Discover hidden nature trails (either at Lepe or online), birdwatch from Lepe Point, or take a virtual tour through the history of Lepe and its surrounding areas from 70,000BC right up to present day. During 12-13 September, visit Lepe’s Sensory Garden to see a special exhibition curated by the D-Day Lepe Heritage Group.

Staunton Country Park – Physical nature trail, memory bank and wildlife photograph of the day competition on 12 September from 10am-4pm

Wander the grounds of this listed Regency landscaped parkland and forest and discover its heritage using a specially designed mobile app to lead you along your way. A memory bank gazebo on the Coach House lawn will be capturing residents’ memories of the parkland, while younger visitors can get snappy for a wildlife photograph of the day competition.

Royal Victoria Country Park and Chapel – Outdoor painting, treasure hunt and online bingo from 11-20 September

Choose a spot in the country park to set up your easel and canvas and paint your favourite secret treasure of nature, or spend the week exploring the grounds and taking photos of hidden wonders. Visitors can also get involved in a GPS treasure hunt, or test their knowledge of the park and chapel in an online Friday night bingo event.

For more details about these events and many more in Hampshire, explore the Heritage Open Days website at www.heritageopendays.org.uk


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