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Serving up a helping of local history

A delicious programme of free events is on the menu for this year's Heritage Open Days, England's largest festival of history and culture.

Washington Old Hall

The festival begins Friday 10 September, and events will go on until Sunday 19 September.

This year's theme is Edible England, and will showcase the past, present, and future of our culinary heritage from forgotten recipes to regional delicacies.

Sunderland's programme of events includes talks, heritage walks, guided tours of landmark buildings and visits to places significant to the city's history, cultural and industrial heritage.

Take a grand tour of Sunderland Empire Theatre, visit an art installation at Washington Old Hall, or take a heritage walk around Hetton le Hole. With lots of activity also taking place at Bowes Railway and a talk on the history and heritage of Sunderland's Vaux Brewery, visitors will be completely spoilt for choice this year. 

An additional programme of online events is also planned this year to allow more people to take part from home. These will include an online Facebook event all about local food and feasts, and a virtual walk around old Ryhope with best-selling Sunderland author Glenda Young.

Sunderland City Council's Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, Councillor Linda Williams, said: "This year's Heritage Open Days offers a fantastic selection of activities that showcase the best of Sunderland's rich heritage and cultural offering.  

"There is something for all in this programme of events, and I'd encourage everyone to take a look at the website and see what's on offer."

Sarah Holloway, Programme Manager for Heritage Open Days, said: "Taking part in Heritage Open Days is such a good way to find out more about the place you live in, or are visiting. Over the years our event organisers have uncovered previously untold stories or little-known facts about their local area. We have such a rich and diverse history all around us just waiting to be explored." 

Heritage Open Days is coordinated and promoted nationally by the National Trust with support from players of People's Postcode Lottery. Every single Heritage Open Days event is free, including access to many sites that usually charge for admission.

The Heritage Open Days programme of events and activities is coordinated and promoted nationally by the National Trust, with support from players of the People's Postcode Lottery and run by local councils and community champions with enthusiastic volunteers.

A full progamme of events is available at https://www.mysunderland.co.uk/heritageopendays.To find out more please visit www.heritageopendays.org.uk 

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