7 September, 2023

The end of September sees the welcome return of Isle of Man Heritage Open Days, the Island’s largest free celebration of heritage with over 80 weekend events taking place from Friday 29 September to Sunday 8 October.  The spirit of the event is about rediscovering some of the historic or unusual places, stories, objects, characters and culture from around the Isle of Man.

Isle of Man Heritage Open Days are a proud celebration of our heritage as a community. To take part in the festival organisations, individuals and groups provide public access to buildings, landscapes and displays that are usually closed to the public, have an admission fee or can provide new insights into the significance of the area, artefact or story. The events take place all over the Island and have inspired people to embrace the heritage on their door step. The entire festival is free to attend.

As hosts, Manx National Heritage fund and coordinate the event, which brings together public, private and charitable sectors as well as many individuals and volunteers who are keen to share their well-kept secret locations, stories, knowledge and treasure to deliver a programme of behind-the-scenes tours, talks, insights and walks - showing us our heritage in unique ways.

The 2023 programme features an insight into the Manx National Heritage collections and galleries, including the Museum 100 exhibition, the new TT Gallery, National Archives, Natural History collection, large object store and the National Arts collection. You can also join our archaeologists to discover more about Vikings at Maughold Head and Peel Castle, or the life of people at Rushen Abbey.

To celebrate 150 years of the Steam Railway on the island, Isle of Man Railways will be providing their fascinating and insightful tours of the much loved railway workshops, steam sheds and signal box - for a glimpse behind the scenes of the islands unique steam railway operations and how they have been so impressively maintained. The Public Record Office are also giving a nod to this major milestone in Manx history, taking guests on a deep dive into the archives for a journey through Manx heritage railways.

Featuring for the first time, we have a folklore tour of Glen Mona with Culture Vannin – watch out for witches or a buggane! You can now also partake in an exploration of the ruins of Upper Cornaa Valley and Keeill Woirrey, for those who like adventures. If you would rather a more hands-on approach, you can learn more about the Laxey Skiff Building Project, witness the art of constructing the Laxey Skiff and join a guided tour of their workshops.  Or you could immerse yourself in the history of the Peel RNLI Lifeboat station, for a more nautical themed experience.

The full Isle of Man Heritage Open Days programme can be found online at https://manxnationalheritage.im/whats-on/. Bookings for all events open at midday on Thursday 14 September.  Visit https://manxnationalheritage.im to find out more and to book.