Individuals, organisations and institutions that wish to be a part of the Open Doors celebration in the United Kingdom – Wales will be able to register their events from the 1st of March via the official website of Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service. This is an opportunity for Welsh museums, schools and cultural communities to participate in the European Heritage Days events and put their local heritage gems on the map of Europe.
The annual celebration of the architecture and heritage of Wales will take place throughout the month of September, 2016 and will open doors to a number of historical buildings to thousands of visitors for free. This is the third year Cadw organises Open Doors in Wales and it is expected to follow the success of the previous one.
In 2015, the events proved to be popular among not only visitors interested in exploring shared European heritage, but also volunteers whose number grows year to year. According to the Cadw data, 2015 Open Doors days saw a 15% increase in the number of visits compared to last year. With over 20 historic and architecture gems opened for free exploration, 19,536 people registered to attend the events, 81% of whom rated their experiences as “excellent.”
“I’m delighted that even more people have decided to visit heritage sites this September. With so much to see and do in Wales, it is encouraging to see that people are choosing to spend their time exploring and enjoying our rich heritage. We look forward to building on this success in 2016,” said Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism.
With a large number of institutions and organisations offering guided tours, workshops and other events for free, Open Doors is a great opportunity for heritage explorers to learn more about their local history and culture. In 2015, some of the most interesting events included guided tours at a 150-year-old historic home that was turned to spiritual sanctuary in Swansea and free visits to Llandaff, “a city within a city” located in the north historic Cardiff district. In addition to this, Open Doors contributed to a 46% of increase in visits to Caernarfon Castle, which welcomed 21,794 people in total last year.
These results speak for the popularity of Open Doors in United Kingdom – Wales and promise another successful heritage year. The organisations and communities that decide to register their events with Cadw from the 1st of March will contribute to making this September an even more exciting month for Welsh heritage explorers.