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Heritage Open Days Warwickshire 2015

If you haven’t heard of Heritage Open Days, allow us to introduce you to four FREE days of fun for the family across the country! Hundreds of local places of historical interest are throwing open their doors to allow us.. the general public.. in FOR FREE!

Heritage Open Days run from 10th September – 13th September 2015 (Please check listings for participation dates). We have been through the listings for all our local events and have shortlisted some family friendly outings for you all to enjoy in and around Warwickshire. Of course, if you feel like a family road trip you can search the Heritage Open Days Website for events going on across the country.

I think its also worth mentioning that if you don’t have a National Trust Pass, (and the weather is nice) you will save quite a lot of pennies if you visit a National Trust property during the free weekend (only available on Saturday 12th Sept), they have beautiful grounds to explore, perfect for a family picnic.

So, here are our top local ‘Family Friendly’ picks of whats happening in Warwickshire:

National Trust Properties: 

coughton court

Coughton Court – Saturday 12th September 11:00 – 4:00pm

Coughton Court, Coughton, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5JA

Coughton Court is an imposing Tudor house set in beautiful gardens with a collection of Catholic treasures.

Coughton is still very much a family home with an intimate feel: the Throckmorton family live here, managing the stunning gardens which they have created. There is still more to enjoy away from the house and gardens. For the little ones a play area with a wealth of trails and activities to keep them busy and for those seeking something a little less energetic then a stroll through our ancient woodland, or a visit to the restaurant for a relaxing cream tea.

PLEASE NOTE* Tickets to the mansion house are for a “free flow” timed entry. There are a limited number of house tickets and these are strictly subject to availability from the Welcome Centre upon arrival.


Charlcote Park – Saturday 12th September 10:30 – 4:00pm 

Charlecote Park National Trust, Charlecote, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV35 9ER

A Victorian home set in landscaped deer park. Overlooking the river Avon on the edge of Shakespeare’s Stratford, Charlecote Park has been part of this corner of rural Warwickshire for centuries.

Please Note: The House is limited to ground floor access only for wheelchair users. The Park has suggested routes suitable for pushchair/pram access and mobility scooters but may be more challenging for wheelchair access.

Today, the kitchen is brought to life in cooking and costume. Across the courtyard you can explore the laundry and brewhouse which once hummed with the activity of a busy working estate. Discover the stables which house the family’s carriage collection, each with its own story to tell. Stroll through the gardens that Mary Elizabeth loved so dearly, from the formal parterre to the shady woodland garden with rare plants and borders full of colourful herbaceous planting. Picnic, play and wander through the wider parkland, inspired by ‘Capability’ Brown, with views across the river Avon. Our historic herds of Jacob sheep and fallow deer roam freely here and you can see them at close quarters all year round.

baddesley clinton

Baddesley Clinton – Saturday 12th September – 9:00am – 5:00pm

Baddesley Clinton Hall, Knowle, Solihull, West Midlands, B93 0DQ

Start your visit with an introductory talk at the front of the house (last entrance to the house is 4.30pm) to find out more about the fascinating and unexpected stories Baddesley Clinton has to offer. Baddesley Clinton has beautiful grounds to explore and hidden rope swings and log climbing along the way. There is also a cafe on site.

packwood house

Packwood House – Saturday 12th September – 11:00am – 5:00pm

Packwood Lane, Lapworth, Solihull, West Midlands, B94 6AT

Surrounded by beautiful gardens and countryside. Lovingly restored at the beginning of the 20th century, the house contains a wonderful collection of 16th century furniture and textiles. The gardens include herbaceous borders, sculpted Yews and an 18th century gentleman’s kitchen garden with herbs, flowers and vegetables. This year learn more about the early history of the house and explore new ‘playful art’ in the park.


Guided Walk of Foundry Wood – 

Thursday 10 September: 1000-1600-

Friday 11 September: 1000-1600 –

Saturday 12 September: 1000-1600, Guided walks 1200 & 1400

Sunday 13 September: 1000-1600, Guided walks 1200 & 1400

Foundry Wood, Princes Drive, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Foundry Wood is an area of regenerated woodland on part of the old Ford Foundry Site off Princes Drive, Leamington Spa. The community group ARC CIC have spent the past 18 months clearing and making the site accessible, turning it into a community space to promote wildlife and education. The guided walk will explain the history of the site and details of this exciting community project. In our Guided Walks you will learn about the work that has taken place as well as the history of the Foundry and the railways. Suitable for all ages. The distance covered is less than 1/2 mile. If you have never been to Foundry Wood .. especially if you have little train enthusiasts, it’s well worth a visit!

compton verney

Compton Verney – Thursday 10 September –  1100-1700

Compton Verney Art Gallery, Compton Verney, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV35 9HZ

Visitors to this Open Day will be able to explore and picnic in the Park, take in the Dan Pearson William Morris Wild Flower Meadow, play in the woodland adventure playground, pick up our free family trails and backpacks, enjoy the six collections of art from all over the world and visit our two summer exhibitions The Arts and Crafts House: Then and Now and The Hart Silversmiths: A Living Tradition.

classic air force coventry

Classic Air Force (Coventry Air Base) – Saturday 12th September 10:00 – 4:00 pm 

Coventry Airport West, Coventry, West Midlands, CV8 3AZ

The Classic Air Force celebrates those uncertain Cold War years by bringing together the largest collection of post-war classic aircraft outside the United States. The collection’s flagship the Meteor T7 is the world’s oldest flyable jet. Nearly all of the aircraft still fly regularly. Guided tours inside iconic machines like the Avro Shackleton and the mighty Nimrod, coastal defense bombers. Chance to see a large collection of historic aircraft. Illustrated display on the history and technologies of the early jet age.

Access & Additional Info: 

Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead for their safety. Access inside the Shackleton and Nimrod requires climbing fairly steep stairs. The Shackleton interior slopes and demands stepping over two 18 inch high wing spars.

Cafe will be open for refreshments and shop as well as the DC-6 Diner (restaurant on board a 1950s airliner) -cost applicable. Pleasure flights available in vintage aircraft – cost applies and pre-booking for this is recommended

saltisford canal

Saltisford Canal Trust Family Weekend

Thursday 10 September: 0900-1700

Friday 11 September: 0900-1700

Saturday 12 September: 0900-1700

Sunday 13 September: 0900-1700

Budbrooke Road, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 5RJ

The Saltisford canal centre is home to numerous colourful narrowboats, set in a waterside park close to the centre of the historic town of Warwick. Our grounds contain lawns, orchard, sensory garden, Lockgate sculpture, picnic area, small residential garden plots, mature hedgerows and a restored canal warehouse which has been restored to form our shop and office. The grounds are open to the public during the daytime. We welcome over 700 visiting boats annually for overnight stays on our visitor moorings. We also have a trip boat and self-steer day hire boat Saltie11. For the heritage event, on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th September, there will be short trips on our day-boat Saltie 11, a craft fair, model boat displays, rare steam narrow boat, local wildlife groups/info, tombola, raffle, food, refreshments, bar and music. ACCESS: We have our own car park, but our centre is five minutes walk from Warwick along the Birmingham road, on the g1 bus route.

hill close gardens

Hill Close Gardens – Bread and Meat Close, Friar Street, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 6HF

Saturday 12 September: 1100-1700 Last entry 1630

Sunday 13 September: 1400-1700 Last entry 1630

A rare group of recently restored Victorian detached gardens with summer houses. Contemporary visitor centre and Victorian Greenhouse. The Wayfarers Folk Dance Group will perform on Sunday afternoon .

Rose Narrow boats

Rose Narrowboats – Sunday 13th September 10:00 – 4:00pm

Rose Narrowboats, Fosse Way, Stretton Under Fosse, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 0PU

Free boat trips on our day boat “Rosette”. A selection of our hire boats to walk through and check out all the facilities on board. Historic working boats. Various canal maintenance boats.

market hall museum

Family Events at Market Hall Museum  – Saturday 12th September 10:00 – 4:00pm

Warwickshire Museum, Market Place, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 4SA

Come and join us for family activities and talks exploring our collections.

10 00-Meet our Baby Warwickshire Ichthyosaur. See and learn about this fascinating creature with our Curator of Natural Sciences, Jon Radley.

11 00-Explore our shoes. View shoes from our collection; everything from early examples of shoes and how they were made to a pair of 1970s platforms with Collections Assistant of Human History,Becki Morris

12 00- How to keep Warm Animal Style-Explore how different species have adapted to keep warm with Collections Assistant of Natural Sciences Laura McCoy.

13 00- Art of the Prehistoric Metalsmith. View some examples from our collections and find out how they were made with our Curator of Human History, Sara Wear

10 00-14 00 Get crafty with our make and take activities downstairs at the museum.

No need to book just drop in.

The Royal Spa Centre

Royal Spa Centre – Backstage Tours  – Saturday 12th September – 10:00am – 4:00pm

Tours 1000,1200 & 1400

Newbold Terrace, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV324HN

Suitable for slightly older children. Have you ever wondered what’s involved in creating a performance Discover how our technical crew prepare to host a different show every night. See a live technical rehearsal and learn about the production process. Join the actors on stage and explore the backstage area where performers prepare before going on stage. Please be aware that the tour may last up to an hour and a half includes walking, standing and stairs.

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