Enjoy European Heritage Open Days

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Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today invited the public to enjoy European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) weekend on 12 and 13 September.

History and culture will be brought to life with over 400 property openings and events.

A host of historic buildings will open their doors to the public, many for this weekend only.

Old favourites like Florence Court and Ballywalter Park will all feature along with special events such as walking tours, history re-enactments and even an evening of vintage comedy.

With all events free of charge and many which are family friendly, everyone can take the opportunity to walk back in time.

Mark H Durkan said: “EHOD, now in its milestone 18th year, offers a unique “peek” through many of our historic buildings. With over 400 properties and events this year’s offering is more varied than ever reflecting the depth and diversity of our built heritage. From older buildings such as St. Nicholas Parish Church in Carrickfergus, dating back to 1180 to the new Strule Arts Centre in Omagh there is something for everyone, young and old, on your doorstep and further afield.

“Amongst the 31 new offerings this year and to tie in with the Industrial heritage theme is a tour of Steensons jewellery workshop in Glenarm and a behind the scenes tour of Theatrical Linens to see how Irish linens are used to make costumes for the stars.

“A walking tour of Derry’s shirt factories is one of the many North West offerings and look out for the new ArtCart, a purpose-built arts activity vehicle at the Guildhall Square.”

From rope making at Carrickfergus Castle to tying the knot at a wedding festival to celebrate the 200th birthday of Billy Parish Church in Bushmills, there is something happening from one end of the country to the other.

Step back in time and get your dance card marked at a historic dance in Portstewart; enjoy a tour of Linenopolis, Belfast’s linen quarter; try hand weaving; or taste freshly fried eel and soda bread at the North’s oldest thatched pub in Toomebridge.

The Minister continued: “The weekend is going from strength to strength each year with a record 75,000 people turning out last year. Whilst all events are free some require pre-booking. To avoid disappointment check out http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/ehod now.

Concluding, Minister Durkan added: “EHOD showcases the excellent contribution our built and cultural heritage makes to our environment and economy.”