Isle of Man Heritage Open Days, a six day festival which took place on 4 – 6 and 11 – 13 October, saw properties and organisations Island-wide come together to open doors and offer guided walks, tours and access to displays, in all, offering over 50 events and activities that were free to explore.
Most guided tours which required pre-booking were full in advance of the festival. Turn up tours were also very well attended with exceptional numbers of visitors wanting to discover more about the heritage and culture on their doorstep, with over 2,000 visits being made over the six days.
The programme for 2013 was the most diverse yet. Some popular new additions included tours of Braddan Old Churchyard, which saw 50 visitors participate in each tour on offer, and guided tours of King William’s College and Golden Meadow Mill. Sunday’s walk and talk at Beckwith Mines (South Barrule) hosted by the Manx Footpaths Conservation Group had over 100 participants take part.
Katie King and Suzanne Williams from Manx National Heritage co-ordinate the festival each year, the promotion of which is funded by the Manx Museum and National Trust. Katie King said;
“We are stunned at the number of visitors who took part in Heritage Open Days this year. We are most grateful to the properties, owners of collections, organisations and dedicated volunteers who made the programme so substantial and interesting. We are currently evaluating the mass response and attendance to this year’s festival with our partners“.
Suzanne Williams said;
“We hope the Isle of Man Heritage Open Days, which takes place the first two weekends in October, is now in the calendars of residents and visitors who are passionate about the Island’s unique heritage and culture. We can’t wait to get started on the 2014 festival programme, and would love to hear from people who have good ideas of places we can access.”
Did you attend this year’s Isle of Man Heritage Open Days? Share your experience in our survey and tell us what you want to see in the Heritage Open Days 2014 programme https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HHX898X
Manx National Heritage aims to further broaden the appeal of Heritage Open Days to visiting tourists, working with partners in the tourism and accommodation sector to encourage more visitors to the Island for the growing annual festival.
Image: Down to the mine buildings – Waterpower and Industry Walk, Upper Laxey Valley led by guide Andrew Johnson © David B Jones