Free to explore

9 August 2019

Looking for a fun and fascinating day out? Fancy a trip to the oldest operational railway in the world? Want to know what watercress has to do with railways? Look no further – a free pass is headed your way this September.

Heritage Open Days is England's largest community festival of history and culture, with over 5,500 events for you to explore, some may need pre-booking, but ALL are free!

Stop off to explore

Sometimes the worry's not about how you get there, it's how do you fit it all in?! The East Suffolk line from Ipswich to Lowestoft is a great example, linking the market town to the coast, with lots to explore en route, including these hub highlights:

Ipswich – Enjoy the view from Providence House's roof terrace or are you brave enough to head back to school for a tour with the Headmaster, it's the only school mentioned in Shakespeare!

Ipswich School, Suffolk
The Gothic House, Halesworth

Halesworth – Book a tour of one of the historic houses in the village or drop in to The Cut, a 19th century maltings come 21st century arts centre for a spot of craftivism and much more

Lowestoft – England's most easterly point is one of the fastest growing festival hubs. Step back in time in a visit to the old chemist's shop – complete with labels for 'Poison'! Or spend a special Sunday afternoon in the beautiful Kensington Gardens, offering some musical surprises.

Kensington Gardens, Lowestoft

Lines and locomotives

If you want to know more about the lines and locomotives you're travelling on (or could have travelled on in the past) then there are walks and talks and signal boxes galore!

Lincolnshire Wolds Railway Map

Lost lines - Lincolnshire Wolds Railway invite you to discover the network of rails that once criss-crossed the county. There's lots to see, learn and even a chance to drive a diesel locomotive!

Building up steam – Down at Ropley in Hampshire you can tour the workshops and have a taste of its history with a free sample of the watercress that gave this scenic railway line its name!

The Watercress Line, Hampshire (credit: Becky Peacock)
The Engine Shed at Tanfield Railway, Newcastle

Oldest operational railway in the world... Go behind the scenes at Tanfield Railway, Newcastle, with tours of the workshops and signal box, as well as a chance to watch the trains in steam.

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