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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 8th September – 11th September 2016 (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, 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  – Sunday 11th 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 10 September: 1030 – 1730

Charlecote Park National Trust, Charlecote, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV35 9ER
You are cordially invited to enjoy the home of Mr. & Mrs. Lucy. Discover over 800 years of family history. The wider parkland is open to explore with stunning views along the river Avon. There are opportunities to get closer to nature. Our fallow deer roam the estate freely and are a great photo opportunity for anyone who has their camera ready. Nestled at the heart of the parkland are the house and adjoining outbuildings. 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.

baddesley clinton

Baddesley Clinton – Saturday 10 September: 0900-1700

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 10 September: 0900-1700

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.

Chesterton Windmill

chesterton windmill open day


Guided Walk of Foundry Wood – 

Opening Times

  • Thursday 8 September: 1000-1700
  • Friday 9 September: 1000-1700
  • Saturday 10 September: 1000-1700
  • Sunday 11 September: 1000-1700

Sunday 11th September 1100 -1500 Special Event– Come and learn the History of Foundry Wood. Representatives from the Friends of Foundry Wood will be on site in the renovated Railway Goods wagon to explain about the history of the site including links with the Railways, Foundries and the recent conversion into a community woodland. Drop in anytime for a chat and then enjoy a walk around the woods at your own leisure. Donations welcome for Friends of Foundry Wood.

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 8 September: 1030-1700

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 in the year which celebrates Capability Brown’s tercentenary, play in the woodland adventure playground, go pond dipping or bird watching, 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 Britain in the Fifties: Design and Aspiration and BBC Faces of Comedy


saltisford canal

Saltisford Canal Trust Family Weekend

  • Saturday 10 September: 0900-1700
  • Sunday 11 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. On Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September, especially for the Heritage Event, there will be short trips on our dayboat, a craft fair, model boat displays, historic boats to see around, local canal/wildlife groups, tombola and raffle. Food is available, together with beer tent.

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 10 September: 1100-1700 Last entry 1630
  • Sunday 11 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 11 September: 1100-1600

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.

If you have ever fancied a holiday on a boat on the canal but not sure what it is all about or a little nervous of how to operate a boat, then come down to us and check out our boats. See what facilities are on board and try your hand at steering (under supervision) on our day boat ROSETTE.
Trips subject to availability. Trips last 40 minutes limited to 12 people per trip. Last trip at about 15.00pm.


Hindu Temple – Leamington Spa

Hindu Religious Association, 10B High Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 3AN

An opportunity to visit Leamington’s Hindu temple and experience a rich cultural heritage. Guided tours available.

Opening Times

  • Saturday 10 September: 1300-1700

Booking Details

No booking required


The Temple is situated in Crown Court which is located between 10 and 12 High Street .

The Vikings Are Back at Polesworth Abbey

Polesworth Abbey, High Street, Polesworth, Tamworth, Warwickshire, B78 1DU

A full day of activities for all of the family. Take a trip to some of the earliest times of the Abbey visiting our Saxon encampment where you can take part in many activities such as archery, calligraphy, coin making and much more! See how our ancestors lived and what happens when our Christian forefathers encounter the Vikings!

Food stalls, entertainment, living history and exhibition. Will the Vikings take the Abbey? Take your place as the battle commences!

Opening Times

  • Saturday 10 September: 1200-1600
  • Sunday 11 September: 1200-1600

Booking Details

No booking required


Food and refreshments available on-site, however guests are welcome to bring own picnics.

Additional information

Parking available just a short walk from the Abbey on Grendon Road Carpark, Polesworth, B78 1HA. BBQ and refreshments available including harvest and souvenir stalls.


Free parking available in Grendon Road Car Park (B78 1HA). Signage throughout village.


Coombe Country Park

coombe abbey

Brinklow Road, Binley, Coventry, West Midlands, CV3 2AB

Coombe Abbey Country Park offers 500 acres of beautiful gardens, woodland, lakeside walks and bird watching all set against the stunning Coombe Abbey. The site is steeped in history dating back to 1150 when the Abbey was founded by Cistercian monks. The Abbey is now a hotel. The Craven family lived at Coombe in the 18th century creating the lake and sight lines of the deer park.

* Lakeside Walk – Saturday only (10am – 4pm) – Special access will be given to the public through the conservation area to the lake. This will give views of the spectacular Capability Brown designed lake. Stewards will be interpreting historic points of interest including the 18th century boat house and the bell weir. The walk takes in these previously unseen views. Wellington boots are recommended and as some of the ground is bumpy it is not ideal for pushchairs or wheelchairs.
* Children’s Trail – Capability Clues are all around the park. Pick up a trail leaflet from the Visitors Centre to see if you can find where the famous landscape gardener left his mark.
* A Festival of Crafts – Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm where you will be able to see traditional crafts such as woodturning being demonstrated. See for more details.

Opening Times

  • Saturday 10 September: 1000-1600
  • Sunday 11 September: 1000-1600

Booking Details

No booking required


Access guide available

Additional information

Parking charges apply see for details Free vintage bus service operates from City Centre outside Coventry Transport Museum.

Coventry Transport Museum


Millennium Place, Hale Street, Coventry, West Midlands, CV1 1JD

Largest collection of British road transport in the world. Includes the City’s nationally important collections of vehicles, motorcycles and cycles as well as one of the fastest cars in the world: Thrust SSC. Also the collection highlights including Monty’s Humber. You can find out about the vehicles’ fascinating histories and see vehicles made by world famous names.

Saturday only – Coventry Transport Museum Store tour. A chance to travel on the museum’s 1963 Daimler Double Decker bus to view the museum’s off-site vehicle store. There will be expert staff and volunteers on hand to talk about the collection. The bus will be making regular trips to and from the store throughout the day.
Tour times 10.30am, 12 noon, 2pm and 3.30pm

Opening Times

  • Saturday 10 September: 1030-1630
  • Sunday 11 September: 1030-1630

Booking Details

Pre-booking: Required
Meet at the reception
Go to:

Electric Railway Museum

Rowley Road, Baginton, Coventry, West Midlands, CV3 4FR

The museum is a charity which aims to promote the heritage of the electric train. On the site you will find the largest collection of preserved electric trains in the UK ranging from Industrial locomotives, suburban multiple units and Edwardian underground carriages. The museum also has on site ‘Little Bowden Junction’ signal box built by the Midland railway company along with lots of other original delights. New for 2016 is the preserved Victoria Line Signalling Centre.

Heritage activities include the grand opening of the new London underground signalling centre, the museum, as well as shunting displays by vintage locomotives.
Warwickshire Art and Craft Circle will also be putting on a Craft and Vintage Fair.

Opening Times

  • Saturday 10 September: 1030-1630
  • Sunday 11 September: 1030-1630

Booking Details

No booking required


Partial wheelchair access. Some parts of the museum have access via steps. Please note the museum has grass paths most of which are smooth but some areas are a bit uneven and can pose a bumpy ride for small wheeled wheelchair users.

Additional information

Free vintage bus stops outside which can be picked up from outside the Coventry Transport Museum, Coventry City Centre.

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