7-10 September 2017

Reading’s annual celebration of its many magnificent heritage locations takes place 7-10 September and coincides with the first ever Reading-on-Thames Festival, which champions Reading’s waterways heritage, as well as the 50th anniversary of the creation of Conservation areas

Greyfriars Church

This year, 45 historic locations will be opening their doors for a series of free tours, walks, talks and special events. Heritage Open Days is England’s biggest heritage festival, offering the chance to visit a variety of magnificent heritage venues! Don’t miss this once-a year opportunity to discover Reading’s hidden and forgotten treasures!  All of the heritage buildings are FREE to explore!

There is a wide range of events from behind the scenes tours at Reading Crown Court to free guided tours of Reading with Terry’s Reading Walkabouts, a chance to play the historic Father Willis Organ in the Concert Hall, the opportunity to start researching your family history or tours of Brock Keep in Oxford Road by Open Hand Open Space. Waterstones have also confirmed a series of history related book signings and related events.

There are a number of guided walks around historic areas of Reading to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Conservation Areas. Take a tour of Christchurch Conservation Area, a historic Katesgrove Industries Tour, join Reading Civic Society for a walk of St Mary’s and Castle Street Conservation Area, explore St Peter’s Conservation Area in Caversham or join an architectural walk of Sonning.

Reading has many historic places of religious worship that offer special events over the four day celebration; Greyfriars is the most complete example of Franciscan architecture in Britain, St James’s Church was Pugin’s first church design or visit Reading Synagogue designed in a Moorish style.

Reading has been a waterfront town for well over a thousand years. The first Reading-on-Thames Festival (9-17 September) links to Heritage Open Days taking inspiration from Reading’s wonderful waterways heritage. There will be outdoor spectaculars, exhibitions, walks and talks throughout the eight day festival.

Reading UK has published a free map guide to Heritage Open Days in Reading which can be picked up from libraries and leisure centres. Full details of all the events/locations can be found at www.heritageopendays.org.uk. For more information on the Reading-on-Thames Festival, visit www.readingonthamesfestival.org