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Heritage Open Days Newcastle and Gateshead

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Heritage Open Days are an annual celebration of England's architecture and culture that allows visitors free access to historical landmarks that are either not usually open to the public, or would normally charge an entrance fee. It also includes tours, events and activities related to architecture and culture.

COVID-19 Considerations

All HODs events will run in line with local & national government guidelines at the time of the festival.

All walks must be pre-booked

Tours for Heritage Open Days 2021

Saturday 11 September: 10.30

Newcastle’s Innovators BOOK NOW

Start - Literary & Philosophical Society, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 1SE – Finish Clavering Place

From George Stephenson to Joseph Swan, this tour looks at a part of Newcastle in an interesting area off the beaten track behind the Central Station but with strong links to the Literary and Philosophical Society.

In the 18th and 19th century Newcastle was at the forefront of developments which contributed to the many industrial changes which were happening here in this country.

Many innovative topics were discussed at the Literary and Philosophical Society and new inventions demonstrated which will be highlighted on this tour particularly George Stephenson's Miner’s Lamp, the Rocket, Swan’s Electric Light, the Turbinia and the High Level Bridge.

The Lit and Phil was founded in 1793 (third oldest of its kind in the country), was the centre of the intellectual and cultural life of Newcastle in the 19th century and it has organised lectures since then.

This tour will bring to life the many local people who were members of the LIt & Phil and demonstrated their new and exciting inventions to an eager audience

As there are steps on the route, the tour is not suitable for wheelchairs

Monday 13 September

Taste of the Toon

10.30 BOOK NOW

11.00 BOOK NOW

11.30 BOOK NOW

12.30 BOOK NOW

Start – Grey’s Monument – finish Grainger Street

Walking tour of Graingertown , stopping at places of interest where we can taste local food and drink.

This tour takes a short walk through town, stopping off to visit various well-known local businesses who make beverages and food, to sample some of their wares! On the way we shall hear about the history of the firms and their local connections, and also discover more about their products. Some of the items have their origins in our part of the UK and residents of our region are very proud to claim them as our own.
Quite a number of other ‘famous’ foods and beverages are a part of our NE heritage, and our tour will include background to some of these too. We hope this will be a tasty, informative and enjoyable experience for everyone who joins us!

Entry to cafes or shops for visitors in wheelchairs may be restricted due to available space in the sites visited


Wednesday 15 September: 10.30

Around the Quayside Chares of Newcastle BOOK NOW

Start and finish at Guildhall, Sandhill, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 3AF

Going back in time to the origins of the Quayside Chares, our walk takes us from 13th century Hostmen, maritime heritage with Press Gang tales, to wool, coal and industries of past times, some of which included the aid of Keelmen on the River Tyne.

Beginning at Akenside, aka Butchers’ Bank, which tells its own tale of a prominent physician and poet, we move to the impressive All Saints’ Church, a building of great historical interest. Leading down to Silver Street we encounter the Pandon area which was once a waterway flowing down into the River Tyne.

Through Pandon we pass the Keelmen’s Hospital on route to the Milk Market into Sandgate, all of which have tales to tell. Sand Gate stood East of the Town Wall. Industrial trade at Wrangham’s Entry has been noted for posterity on the sculpture “Swirle Pavilion” (1998) by Raf Fulcher.

The impressive Trinity House sits at the top of Broad Chare which boasts supreme maritime heritage from 1505 and became responsible for lighthouses from Berwick to Whitby in 1536. The bottom end of Broad Chare tells tales of a darker side involving Press Gangs during the Napoleonic Wars.

Original chares are encountered throughout our walk with interesting tales, however, the greatest tale is that of the Great Fire of 1854 which altered the area, destroying many slum dwellings, giving rise to rejuvenation of our well beloved Quayside. Our walk takes us from medieval times to the beauty and vibrant Quayside of today.

There are some steep slopes on this walk, especially at the start but wheelchair users should be able to manage it with a little assistance at the start.


Thursday 16 September: 10.30

Town Moor Ramble BOOK NOW

Start: Entrance to Exhibition Park, Claremont Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE2 4AA. FINISH: Wylam Brewery Exhibition Park

For many centuries Newcastle's Town Moor has been the Town’s playground and home to Medieval Fairs and Race Meetings, passionate Political Rallies, raucous Carnivals and Hoppings, and much more besides...which you will hear about on the Walk.

This year is 250th Anniversary of the Common Council’s attempt to enclose the Moor in 1771 for private gain that was successfully resisted by the Town’s Freemen preserving the Moor as Common Land for everyone. A marvellous victory!

Circular Walk around part of the Moor.

The Walk is largely on the flat although there are two medium size hills to climb. (Cow Hills) Therefore reasonable fitness will be required. Dog owners are welcome but pets must kept on a lead as a precaution for safety because of cattle on the Moor.

Hiking boots or sturdy footwear required Dog owners are welcome but pets must be kept on a lead as a precaution for safety because of cattle on the Moor.

DIRECTIONS: Travel to Haymarket Metro Station and walk to Exhibition Park up Claremont Road. NB. Claremont Road Carpark is reserved for NHS staff only.

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