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Heritage sites across Wales to welcome visitors for FREE this September

Criccieth Castle

More than 150 of Wales’ historic sites, landmarks and hidden gems will offer visitors free entry, events or guided tours this September, as 2021 marks the return of Open Doors.

Funded and organised by Cadw, the ever-popular festival of Wales’ built heritage will this year, encourage Welsh residents and visitors alike to explore some of the country’s lesser-known and smaller-scale sites ― several of which are usually closed to the public.

The 2021 programme will feature events at a range of historical venues, including Margam Stones Museum, Denbigh Library and Pembrey Training Dome.

What’s more, 18 Cadw sites are taking part in the month-long celebration on select dates in September.

7 staffed Cadw sites, including two of Wales’ iconic medieval fortresses, Beaumaris Castle in north Wales and Raglan Castle in south Wales, will be offering members of the public site access without charge.

To guarantee free entry to participating staffed Cadw sites, visitors are strongly advised to pre-book Open Doors tickets for their monument of choice on the Cadw website. Tickets will be required for all party members, including children.

Walk-ins will also be accepted at participating staffed monuments under Cadw’s care, but only if the site has not already reached its maximum visitor capacity. With a capped number of tickets available, these free entry events are expected to be extremely popular, so pre-booking tickets is highly recommended to avoid disappointment.

Some, but not all of Cadw’s participating staffed monuments will offer complimentary guided tours in addition to free entrance. Spaces for these tours must be reserved by free entry ticket holders upon arrival at the visitor centre and will be available on first-come-first-serve basis.

Meanwhile, 11 of Cadw’s unstaffed sites, many of which are usually closed to the public, will also offer guided tours for free on select dates in September.

Due to the small and unique nature of Cadw’s participating unstaffed sites, a limited number of spaces will be available for each event, with visitors required to book compulsory tickets in advance on the Cadw website.

Visitors are reminded that facemasks must be worn when exploring indoor areas of Cadw sites.

For the full list of Cadw and non-Cadw heritage sites taking part in Open Doors across Wales, please click here.

For information on how to attend an Open Doors event not being hosted at a Cadw site, visitors should contact the relevant venue directly or visit their individual website for further information.

Dawn Bowden MS, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, and Chief Whip said: “On behalf of Cadw, I’m absolutely delighted to announce that Open Doors — Wales’s annual contribution to European Heritage Days — will return this September for the first time since 2019.

“Open Doors is all about encouraging people to explore the hidden gems of Welsh history, which is why this year’s programme of events presents such a unique series of access-all-areas tours at some of the country’s lesser-known heritage sites.

“On behalf of all partners involved, we hope that this fantastic, month long celebration of the monuments and buildings that help to shape Wales will encourage more people to explore the historical sites and hidden history on their doorstep.”