Thursday, September 06, 2012

European Heritage Open Days - free entrance to buildings across NI this weekend

It’s a weekend of opportunities with European Heritage Open Days, East Belfast Festival, Portrush International Airshow and Proms in the Park at the Titanic slipway all running.

On Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September, over 300 buildings will open to the public for free as part of the fifteenth annual European Heritage Open Days. The full programme is available to download, or split into smaller county-wide sections.

In Belfast, there are a number of architectural walking and bus tours, above ground and below.

Guides will also take you around Central Library, the MAC, PRONI (the Public Records Office), Victoria Square, Linenhall Library, Freemason’s Hall, the Ulster Hall.

Up nearer Botanic Gardens, check out the First Church of Christ, Scientist with its architectural similarities to Portmeirion and the set of The Prisoner. Parliament Buildings is open (as usual) with very frequent tours around the NI Assembly, library and galleries. And Stormont Castle, the home of the NI Executive and OFMdFM, is also open over the weekend. The headquarters of the Belfast County Orange Lodge as well as Ballynafeigh Orange Hall are open and offering refreshments.

Further afield the 36.5m tall St John’s Point lighthouse is open on the Sunday (sadly fully booked already). Up on the north coast, the architect will offer a guided tour around the new Giant’s Causeway visitor centre.

Two homes from the BBC’s House of the Year show are open this year: the ‘Origami House’ in Kells and 2012 winner Robinsview in Ballycloghan. Both tours are fully booked.

Armagh Observatory is opening up on Saturday, and the neighbouring Armagh Planetarium is offering free star shows, though booking is essential. Many churches are open, some even open on Sunday!

Note that not all buildings are open on both Saturday and Sunday. Check the EOHD website for opening hours.


Timothy Belmont said...

It seems I shall miss it this year, as it coincides with a trip to the Copeland Islands!

Unknown said...

Its a good chance to view all European Heritage for the coming weekend,I shall make use of online bus reservation to reserve seats for my family. Thanks for posting