7 of the best Cornish Heritage Open Days in 2021

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We've picked seven amazing places to go during the Heritage Open Days this month, all of which are free to enter.

Every year, more institutions are added to the amazing September calendar of Heritage Open Days in England. This is the largest festival of history and culture in the country, bringing together over 2,000 local people and organisations, and thousands of volunteers. It's an opportunity to appreciate all the treasures on your doorstep and all without paying a penny. There will be an array of different open houses, talks, and tours taking place between the 10th and 19th of September.

This year, Cornwall has so many amazing options that it can be hard to pick which to attend. We've put together a list of some of the best where there will be ample opportunity to explore, take a walk, or listen to a talk by a local expert.

Bodmin Keep

Where: Bodmin, PL31 1EG

When: 11th, 10am - 4:30pm

Booking: Visit must be pre-booked.

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Explore a vast collection at Cornwall's Army Museum, learning all about Emily Hobhouse, the Boer War, and many other parts of history. Families can also pick up a copy of the Top Ten trail to add more to their visit.

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Godolphin House & Gardens

Where: Helston, TR13 9RE

When: Talks on 10th and 19th, 11am and 2pm. Walks on 13th and 16th, 1:30pm - 4:30pm

Booking: Essential for walks and talks, gardens open all week with no booking

Gain insights about how Goldophin and the surrounding landscape have been shaped over the centuries by the descendants of the men who mined it. The National Trust are putting on a handful of talks and walks to help you get to know the area.

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Liskeard Unlocked - Bees and Beekeeping

Where: Liskeard, PL14 6BW

When: 10th, 2:30pm

Booking: No booking required

Local beekeeper, Dale Wood, will be leading a talk about the importance of these pollinators and how we can support them. Whether you're interested in starting your own hive or just curious about these amazing insects, this is one you don't want to miss.

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Bee kind to pollinators!

Bee kind to pollinators! - Credit: Archant

Liskeard Unlocked - The Pipewell

Where: Liskeard

When: 11th, 10am - 2pm

Booking: No booking required

Over the years, the pure springs that fill this well have had many superstitions associated with them from the fact that they will never run dry, to causing 'marital harmony' when drunk. The gates that protect the well will be open so that you can appreciate the architecture as well as the waters, with a guide on hand to point out notable sights.

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St Lawrence’s Church

Where: Bodmin, PL31 2QH

When: 10th - 19th via appointment

Booking: Must book before the 9th September

Whilst St Lawrence's Hospital was demolished in the years after its closure, the asylum church survives to this day for services. You'll be able to explore to your heart's content both inside and out. If you're feeling musical, there will also be the option to play the organ.

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Trengwainton Garden

Where: Penzance, TR20 8RZ

When: 12th, 10:30am - 5pm

Booking: Preferred, closes the 11th September

Wander the paths and enjoy the views of not just unusual flora, but out across the water too at Trengwainton. With more than 25 acres, there are some amazing hidden gems at this National Trust spot. 

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Wheal Martyn Clay Works

Where: St Austell, PL26 8XG

When: 18th, 10am - 5pm

Booking: Preferred, closes the 17th September

It wouldn't be a week of cultural and heritage celebration without Wheal Martyn being involved. The team are putting on a fun-packed festival with events such as foraging walks, Cornish language classes, and a Buccawidden piskie trail.

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Wheal Martyn indoor and outdoor museum tells the story of Cornwall’s China Clay industry

Wheal Martyn indoor and outdoor museum tells the story of Cornwall’s China Clay industry - Credit: Archant