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Heritage Open Days returns!

Heritage Open Days Returns!

Heritage Open Days is the country’s largest free heritage festival, with over 5,000 events held annually. This year’s festival runs between the 11th and 19th September 2020. Leeds Civic Trust is proud to be the local coordinator for the city.

This year, the festival will be going ‘digital’ for the first time in its 25 year history enabling more people than ever to participate in virtual walks, talks and tours. With over 50 events happening here in Leeds, there really is something for everyone, all from the comfort of your own home.

To find out more about any of the events happening here in Leeds, between the 11th and 19th of September visit Or check out our special TV channel that contains a host of virtual, talks, tours, and walks 

As the local Heritage Open Days coordinator, the Leeds Civic Trust has been amazed at the response of volunteers, local historians, creatives and guides to take the challenges posed during these last few months to devise an exciting, thoughtful and imaginative programme of events.

Some festival highlights include;

Take a virtual walk along the city’s Aire & Calder Navigation and discover how public art is livening up our towpaths, as tour guide, Roderic Parker invites you to explore the history and continued legacy of the city’s waterways.

Or perhaps maps are more your thing? We’ve teamed up with @workerslunchtime to turn the city’s billposter spots into the largest open-air gallery in Britain as you are invited to explore large scale maps of the city’s past and not-so-present.

Go time travelling and discover the atmospheric and murky gas lit streets of the 1830’s, as Dr Kevin Grady takes you on a virtual tour of our city on the cusp of Queen Victoria’s reign.

Come back to the present day with a calming and mindful ten minutes with the beautiful sounds of the Leeds Festival Chorus, or relax with a soothing poetry recital in the care of Trio Literati.

If you are interested in industrial or social history, Dr Emma Storrs talk will transport you to the noisy and unsanitary factories and mills of the 19th century as she investigates child health with her ‘Factories and Fevers’ talk.

For those of us with a sense of sartorial elegance, you may fancy finding out more about Montague Burton, as Jackie Lawrence brings to life his incredible journey, fleeing the anti-Semitic Russian Pogroms and rising to own one of Leeds’s most successful tailoring businesses, employing thousands.

Did you know that in the 1930’s 4,000 men were employed as miners?  Former Liberal MP, Michael Meadowcroft traces back the often forgotten mining heritage of Leeds, in his live illustrated talk.

And that’s before we even begin to tell you about the histories of Bramley, Morley, Parlington, and Adel, and many more.

All events are free and can be accessed by visiting