Fantastic free days out for Lincolnshire Heritage Open Days Festival

Heritage Day at Holbeach Cold war bunker last year.
Heritage Day at Holbeach Cold war bunker last year.
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After a successful 23 years, Lincolnshire Heritage Open Days Festival 2016 is set to wow visitors again with more than 180 free events across the county between September 8 and 11.

Heritage Lincolnshire is urging members of the public to pick up a free brochure or download one from their website so that everyone can plan for the festival.

Spalding Flower Bulb Museum.

Spalding Flower Bulb Museum.

The charity expects to 
attract over 30,000 visitors to over 180 heritage sites, talks and walks around the county.

Events are predominantly organised and managed by volunteers who do a fantastic job bringing Lincolnshire’s history to life.

This year’s Heritage Open Days will encompass heritage sites, buildings, nature reserves, towns and villages, and will feature all five National Trust properties, helping to make this the biggest and best festival yet

Each year the open days have a different theme, with many of this year’s events covering ‘Natural Lincolnshire’.

Holbeach cemetery chapels

Holbeach cemetery chapels

Events on offer range from tours of haunted Old King’s Head in Kirton (now sold out) and a new Heritage Music Microfestival to a rare opening of Dowsby Hall and Gardens.

There will be lots of guided walks and talks to choose from such as the International Bomber Command Spire Memorial, ‘Lincolnshire’s Lost River’, Willow Tree Fen Bat Walk, plus a rare guided tour of Torksey Castle.

Children’s activities will be on offer at Temple Bruer Knights Templar Tower, many Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust reserves, Gainsborough Old Hall and many more venues.

The brochure will be available from tourist information centres, libraries and heritage sites and it can be downloaded from

Crowland Abbey

Crowland Abbey

Here are just some of the great events coming up:

September 8

• From 10am to 4pm, the heritage crafts of stained glass work and natural wool dyeing will be demonstrated at Strawberry Glass and The Fenland Textile Studio, Unique Cottage Studios, Fulney Lane South, Spalding PE12 6FA.

• From 10.30am to 4pm, you can visit the Spalding Flower Bulb Museum and discover why the tulip fields that made Spalding famous are no longer here in South Lincolnshire. Birchgrove Garden Centre, Surfleet Road, Spalding PE11 3XY. And September 9 and 11 at same times.

• Visit one of the finest late medieval houses in Lincolnshire, from 10.30am to 4pm. Built in the 1450s, Ayscoughfee Hall stands in five acres of beautiful gardens. And September 9, 10 and 11 at same times. Spalding PE11 2RA.

• You can enjoy a bell ringing experience at Crowland Abbey from 11am to 4pm. Booking is required if you wish to climb the 110 steps to the bell tower and see the famous bells – call David Searle on 07761 549865. And September 9 , 10 and 11 at same times. East Street, Crowland PE6 0EN.

September 9

• Man has been claiming land from The Wash for centuries and an exhibition at St Matthew’s Church in Sutton Bridge celebrates the navvies and prisoners of war who 
laboured to create our unique landscape in south east Lincolnshire, 10am to 4pm. And September 10 and 11 at same times.

• Enjoy a guided tour of the first and last enclosures of the former salt marshes of the Nene Estuary in Sutton Bridge, from 1.30pm to 3pm. Booking is required – please contact 01529 461499.


• At Vine House Farm in Deeping St Nicholas you can view a well displayed wide range of agricultural hand tools, each piece with its own detailed history of use, and also take a look round the farm shop. From 10am to 4pm. Same times on September 11. Main Road, Deeping St Nicholas PE11 3DG.

• Explore the wealth of wildlife and history in Holbeach Cemetery by following a trail, 10am to 4pm, Park Road, Holbeach PE12 7EE.

• Enjoy a detailed and fascinating illustrated talk by archaeologist Tom Lane on salt making on Lincolnshire’s Marshes at Willow Tree Fen Nature Reserve, Counter Drain Drove, Spalding PE11 JH, 11am to noon. Booking required – call 01529 461499.


• Descend the ladder into a 
recent but almost forgotten chapter in Lincolnshire’s history at Holbeach hidden cold war bunker, 11am to 3pm. Booking required, 01529 461499, Washway Road, Holbeach PE12 7PP.

• Please check the brochure or call the attraction before setting out on your journey.