Five free Heritage Open Days to enjoy in Suffolk and Essex

Some of the floral displays in Colchester Castle Park

Some of the floral displays in Colchester Castle Park - Credit: Archant

From exploring the historic Bury St Edmunds Guildhall and Colchester Castle Museum, to learning about the former home of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears - this year's heritage open days in Suffolk and Essex have something for everyone. 

In 2021 the Heritage Open Day programme runs from September 10 - 19, with many popular attractions opening their doors for free, here are five of the highlights from across Suffolk and Essex. 

Colchester Castle Museum 

Colchester Castle Museum in Castle Park is the ideal for a free family day out this Saturday, September 11.

Visitors will be able to explore a family friendly exhibition called 'Decoding the Roman Dead' which will teach them about Colchester's famous Roman past. 


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The building will be open for free between 10am - 5pm and booking is not required. 

Benjamin Britten on the drive way at The Red House Picture: ARCHANT ARCHIVE

Benjamin Britten on the drive way at The Red House Picture: ARCHANT ARCHIVE - Credit: Archant

The Red House, Aldeburgh

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The Red House, former Aldeburgh home of composer Benjamin Britten and his partner the singer Peter Pears, will be open for guests over the weekends of September 11 -12 and September 18-19.

Booking to enter the house, which has been preserved as it was when they lived there,  is necessary and can be done on the Britten Pears Arts website - brittenpearsarts.org.

However there is no need to book to visit the beautiful gardens. 

The Guildhall in Bury St Edmunds

The Guildhall in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant

Bury St Edmunds Guildhall

History lovers will be able to enjoy free entry and special tours around the Bury St Edmunds Guildhall which has been a key part of the community for nearly 1000 years. 

You can book your free slot to visit the Guildhall on either Sunday 12 or Sunday 19 of September now via their website - burystedmundsguildhall.org.uk.

Ickworth rotunda

Ickworth House remains closed in line with Covid restrictions but the grounds are open for pre-booked visits - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

National Trust, Rotunda, Ickworth 

Families will be able to explore the beautiful National Trust gardens around the Ickworth Rotunda between the 10 -17 September with plenty of walks to enjoy. 

The Rotunda will also be open at 11am each day with a last entry time of 3pm. 

Colchester's Mercury Theatre 

Following a recent refurbishment the Colchester Mercury is throwing open its doors for free tours over the weekend. 

Visitors will get a sneak peak behind the scenes at the theatre which opened in 1972. Book via their website mercurytheatre.co.uk.  

You can find more Heritage Open Days to enjoy on their website heritageopendays.org.uk or take a look at this guide to attractions in Ipswich to explore in the next few weeks. 




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