Free to explore

Friday 15 August 2014

Join in the celebration of architecture and heritage in Wales and explore Wales’s national heritage as part of Open Doors 2014 taking place throughout September.

Open Doors

Open Doors

Over 350 attractions will offer free entry, activities or events throughout the month, with some unique buildings even opening their doors to the public for the first time. 

The festival is a unique opportunity to discover the architecture, design, buildings, places and spaces throughout Wales.

Organised by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, Open Doors offers both local people and visitors alike the chance to explore the hidden treasures of Wales’s culture and history.

An extravaganza of events has been organised for this year including the chance to experience the sights and sounds of civilian life during the Second World War at the unqiue Home Front Museum in Llandudno. This living history museum will offer visitors the chance to take a self guided tour and take a trip back in time through six years of war on the home front.

A unique chance for visitors to visit the Cardiff Reform Synagogue is also available for free during the Open Doors event. A Torah scroll and biblical windows are just two of the interesting features of this building.  

If visitors want a brush with the law, the South Wales Police Headquarters Museum will offer the chance to learn more about policing in South Wales from the Celts right through to the present day. Highlights include a reconstruction of a Victorian Police Cell (complete with resident prisoner!) and an Edwardian Charge Room.

Among the hundreds of other events that have been organised for this year is the chance to visit Capel Rhondda - the chapel where the famous Welsh hymn ‘Cwm Rhondda’ was first performed.

Over twenty Cadw sites will also be taking part in the festival and visitors will get the opportunity to explore Valle Crucis Abbey, Caerphilly Castle, Tintern Abbey, Tretower Court amongst others for free during the festival.

Open Doors is an annual celebration of the architecture and heritage of Wales. It provides an opportunity for the public to visit places not normally open or to visit for free sites that usually charge. Sites that are normally open and free of charge offer something additional for their visitors.

Open Doors is part of European Heritage Days — a programme of events across Europe that helps to widen access and promote architectural and environmental heritage. 

Open Doors is also the largest volunteering programme in the heritage sector with over 700 events organised by  1,800 community members, including guided walks, heritage trails, lectures, exhibitions and concerts.