11 Heritage Open Days to visit by train from Gloucestershire

Discover a swathe of fascinating days out this September 2022, with SoGlos's pick of Heritage Open Days you can get to on a GWR train from Gloucestershire.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
Explore historic sights from Oxford University to the LV14 SULA Lightship when you travel by GWR train from Gloucestershire.
Explore historic sights from Oxford University to the LV14 SULA Lightship when you travel by GWR train from Gloucestershire.
In partnership with GWR  |  GWR.com
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Great Western Railway takes travellers from Gloucestershire to destinations from Cornwall to London, with free WiFi on all its trains. It also offers fixed price family tickets for up to two adults and four children on journeys across its network – including travel to and from London Paddington.

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There are hundreds of historic days out to discover as part of the Heritage Open Days programme this September 2022, giving visitors a chance to step inside buildings that are usually closed to the public, go on guided tours and learn about the incredible history of our country. 

With so many places to discover, SoGlos rounds up 11 locations taking part in Heritage Open Days that are all easily accessible on the GWR network from Gloucestershire. 

Heritage Open Days at Bristol Old Vic

On Saturday 10 September 2022, history enthusiasts and theatre lovers can go behind the scenes at Bristol Old Vic on its 'Astounding Inventions' tour. 

Visitors can see some of the cutting-edge creations that have kept audiences coming back to the venue for 256 years, including its iconic 'thunder run' - which is the oldest surviving one of its kind in the world. 

Bristol Old Vic is on King Street, around 16-minutes' walk from Bristol Temple Meads station.

Heritage Open Days at the LV14 SULA Lightship in Gloucester

One of the most recognisable sights at Gloucester Docks, the historic LV14 SULA Lightship invites guests to take a tour of the vessel from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 September 2022.

The lovingly-restored boat is a nationally registered historic Lightship with an original Fresnel lens, which protected mariners navigating the Humber estuary for 26 years. It was also featured on BBC2 show Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing!

LV14 SULA Lightship is at Gloucester Docks, around 20-minutes' walk from Gloucester station.

Heritage Open Days at Blake's Lock in Reading

Marking the 200th anniversary of legendary Reading biscuit maker, Huntley and Palmers, 'Biscuits & Bricks' showcases work by 30 local artists inspired by the world-famous biscuits and the buildings where they were made.

Located inside the Turbine House at Blake's Lock, just behind where the biscuit factory used to stand, the exhibition is open from 10am to 6pm from Friday 9 to Sunday 18 September 2022. 

Blake's Lock is on Kennetside and is around 18-minutes' walk from Reading station.

Heritage Open Days at Cheltenham Ladies' College

It's famous for being one of the most prestigious independent schools in Gloucestershire, but for young literature lovers, Cheltenham Ladies' College is also the inspiration behind Deepdean School in author Robin Stevens' Murder Most Unladylike series.

The college is inviting fans to see the places which inspired the books on Saturday 10 September 2022, from the gym where one of the murders takes place, to the tunnel where the body was hidden - with a 'bun break' with Daisy and Hazel, too.

Cheltenham Ladies' College is on Bayshill Road, around 20-minutes' walk from Cheltenham Spa station.

Heritage Open Days at Eyre Chantry Chapel in Bath

Enjoy a rare chance to explore the elaborate interior of Charles Hansom's mid-19th century Gothic chapel in the grounds of Perrymead Cemetery in Bath on Wednesday 14 September 2022. 

Built originally for John Eyre - whose son was the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Glasgow - the beautiful building features classical stonework and carvings, stained-glass windows and a tiled floor, making it a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture, with gorgeous views of Bath, too. 

Eyre Chantry Chapel is within the grounds of Perrymead Cemetery, accessible from Prior Park Road - around 9-minutes' walk from Bath Spa station. 

Heritage Open Days at Bradford on Avon Lock Up

For anyone curious about what it was like to be a criminal in the 18th century, Bradford on Avon Lock Up is opening its historic prison cell for visitors to step inside from Thursday 15 to Sunday 18 September 2022.

Guided by volunteers, groups of just five brave souls can cross the town bridge and head into the cell to experience what it would have been like to be locked up hundreds of years ago. 

Bradford on Avon Lock Up is on St Margaret's Street, around three-minutes' walk from Bradford on Avon station.

Heritage Open Days at Oxford University

While Oxford may still be one of the most exclusive universities in the country, academics and laymen alike can explore its spectacular grounds and colleges on Sunday 11 September 2022.

From the oldest quad in Oxford - Mob Quadrangle - at Merton College; Balliol College, the oldest of Oxford's colleges established in 1263; the Sir Christopher Wren-designed Sheldonian Theatre; to the Old Bodleian Library, there's plenty of fascinating sights to see on campus. 

The University of Oxford is around 20-minutes' walk from Oxford Station. 

Heritage Open Days at the Railway Village Museum in Swindon

Railway enthusiasts can hop on board and head to the home of the Great Western Railway for a special opening of the Railway Village Museum in Swindon on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September 2022. Built in 1846, the former railway worker's cottage is part of a planned village designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and has been preserved to look exactly as it would have done in 1900 - complete with Victorian gadgets and inventions.

Visitors can also join guided walking tours of the village, or of the former Great Western Railway factory, which is now the home of the Swindon Designer Outlet.

The Railway Village Museum is on Faringdon Road, around eight-minutes' walk from Swindon station.

Heritage Open Days at Tudor House Museum in Worcester

From Friday 9 to Sunday 18 September 2022, visitors to Worcester's Tudor House Museum can follow the 'Ten Trades Trail' to discover the hidden histories of its former inhabitants.

Since the 16th century, the house has been a home and workplace for everyone from weavers and clothiers to tailors, tinsmiths and shoemakers, with the trail giving visitors a unique insight into their lives and what their work entailed. 

Tudor House Museum is on Friar Street, around eight-minutes' walk from Worcester Foregate Street station.

Heritage Open Days at Reading Abbey Quarter

Reading Museum is hosting its last tour of the year on Saturday 10 September 2022, exploring the Abbey Quarter.

Taking in the architecture, history and nature of the ruined Abbey, this one-and-a-half-hour tour is led by expert tour guides, sharing their knowledge of the area's 900-year history.

Reading Museum is on Blagrave Street, around two-minutes' walk from Reading station. 

Heritage Open Days at Oxford Castle and Prison

See expert stone carvers at work at Oxford Castle and Prison on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September 2022.

Award-winning stone carver, Alex Wenham, has created carvings for St Paul's Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and many of Oxford's colleges and will be demonstrating his skills throughout the day.

Oxford Castle and Prison is around eight-minutes' walk from Oxford station. 

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