The annual festival of history and culture, Heritage Open Days, will return next month with the theme of creativity.

Founded in 1994, Heritage Open Days sees venues across the country open their doors to visitors for free, with help from volunteers. Coordinated nationally by the National Trust, it is supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Hundreds of activities will adopt this year’s theme, Creativity Unwrapped, as it celebrates “the experts and enthusiastic amateurs whose passions and skills add something special to our daily lives.”

The festival’s events will be hosted by locations that usually charge, alongside free sites and those that aren’t usually open to the public.

Among the events on offer to visitors is a chance to see inside the Gothic Temple in Buckingham, built in 1741, and a self-guided graffiti trail through Oxford’s church pews and street walls, by the Oxford Preservation Trust.

Last year’s Heritage Open Days festival saw nearly 5,000 events across the country, attracting one million visits. This year, more than 5000 events are planned.

Heritage Open Days says around one-third of visitors last year had not visited a heritage site or event in the past year, while 80% of festival-goers said their visit made them more proud of their local area.

Organisations hoping to participate in next year’s festival are advised to create an account on the Heritage Open Day website.

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