Heritage Open Days: explore our region’s history with fun events and activites

PUBLISHED: 11:59 05 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:10 05 September 2017

Heritage Open Days: Cromer Signal Box.

Heritage Open Days: Cromer Signal Box.


The annual Heritage Open Days are a great way of exploring the many historic gems in our county and finding out about its varied past. These are some of the venues open in our area between Thursday and Sunday.

Herbert Woods' restored boat Spark of Light. Picture: ANTONY KELLYHerbert Woods' restored boat Spark of Light. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Cromer Baptist Church - Grade II listed independent Baptist chapel built 1901 by the architect A F Scott. Open on Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Cromer Railway Signal Box, off Holt Road - Grade II listed signal box, built in 1922, visitors can operate a Midland and Great Northern Railway 35-lever frame, and see signals and points work. Open Friday 10.30am to 3.30pm.

St Benets Abbey.  Picture: James BassSt Benets Abbey. Picture: James Bass

Potter Heigham Open Boat Event at Herbert Woods LLP - go on board Spark of Light 1926, the oldest hire cruiser afloat. Enjoy a short trip along the river Thurne each day (Thursday to Sunday) at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, booking recommended on 0800 144 4472.

Happisburgh - The oldest archaeological site in Northern Europe. Tours on Thursday at 11am, 2pm and 4pm. Pre-booking required at

North Walsham and Dilham Canal at Ebridge Mill pond.  PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYNorth Walsham and Dilham Canal at Ebridge Mill pond. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Edwardian Pleasure Wherry at How Hill House, Ludham - HATHOR was built in 1905 for Ethel and Helen Colman, two of the daughters of the founder of the Colman Mustard Company. Open Thursday to Sunday 10am to 5pm.

St Benet’s Abbey Free Guided Walks - meet by Ludham Bridge and walk to St Benets Abbey to find out about medieval life, how monks changed the Broadland landscape and enjoy breathtaking views. Allow three hours, wear stout shoes, weather permitting. Saturday 10am and 2pm.

Paston Sixth Form College, North Walsham.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYPaston Sixth Form College, North Walsham. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk Wherry Trust at Ludham - conducted tours by enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers around a 118 year old heritage vessel, one of only two ‘blacked-sailed trading wherries’ still remaining of the original 300 or so. Open Thursday 10am to 4pm.

All Saints Church, Edingthorpe - Quilt exhibition by Sew Spiritual, look around the local crafts on display and for sale, plants, cakes, books and bricabrac. Open Friday to Sunday 10am to 5pm.

Thurne Windpump on the banks of the River Thurne.   Picture: MARK BULLIMOREThurne Windpump on the banks of the River Thurne. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Congregational Church, Cromer Road, North Walsham - the Church was built in 1856 and its high structure gives wonderful acoustics and forms an imposing position over the immediate surrounding area. Open Saturday 9am to 5pm.

North Walsham and Dilham Canal Trust - Ebridge Mill is Norfolk’s only locked sailing canal. Walk along the banks or bring your canoe and explore by water. Open Saturday 11am to 5pm, Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Paston Sixth Form College, North Walsham - Nelson Room and Library. Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson was the Paston School’s most famous pupil. Open Saturday 9.30am to 12.30pm.

Aylsham Folk Festival - dancing from local Morris groups performing in the Market place outside the town hall, belly dancers, a Tudor Puppet Show, and workshops by the Fairyland Trust. Performances in the Town Hall in the evening. Open Saturday 10am to 10pm.

Hautbois Activity Centre open day, Coltishall - the Victorian Rectory, now owned by Girlguiding Anglia retains many of the original features from the time of the Patteson family. Girlguiding Norfolk Trillers will be giving mini-concerts for 20-30 minutes in Holy Trinity Church at 1pm, 1.30pm and 3pm. Open Saturday 10am to 3pm.

Museum of the Broads, Stalham - Explore Broadland’s heritage and board a Wherry Yacht, courtesy of the Wherry Yacht Charter Trust. Enjoy this year’s exhibition, ‘Broadland in Pictures’ and take part in an interactive World War II Rescue from the Skies and discover the story of this bizarre lifeboat. Open Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm.

Thurne Windpump, Repps - demonstrations of the 200 year old mill working and pumping (wind permitting). Open Thursday 11am to 4pm.

Former RAF Coltishall Norfolk Heritage Tours at Badersfield, Scottow - led by expert guides from the Spirit of Coltishall Association. Open top bus tours to see the Technical Area, Hangars and Control Tower, a rare Second World War fighter pen and the Explosives Storage Area. Open Thursday and Friday, tours 9.30am, 12.15pm and 2.30pm. Pre-booking required at

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