Dozens of historic buildings are set to throw open their doors across the West of England next week.

It’s all part of Heritage Open Days, England’s largest festival of history and culture, organised by the National Trust, and which gives locals free access to museums, galleries, stately homes, and more.

It’s an opportunity to explore the West’s most impressive buildings – including its hidden gems – right on locals’ doorstep, and all without paying a penny.

Mayor Dan Norris got the opportunity to explore Saltford Brass Mill ahead of the weekend fun.

The 300-year-old mill on the banks of the River Avon is one of 56 heritage sites in the region opening their doors for free from Friday 8 September to Sunday 17 September.

Other confirmed open events this year include the chance to take a peek at a real-life conservation project at Beckford’s Tower, which is currently closed to the public, and opportunities to meet the volunteers restoring Brunel’s iconic Swivel Bridge.

Mayor Dan Norris said: “The festival is just around the corner, and it’s such a great way for locals to find out more about the West of England and its rich heritage in a super-fun and creative way.

“It’s absolutely brilliant to see some fantastic historical and cultural sites across the region putting on some truly fascinating events this year – over 50 in total, which is impressive!

“So, whether it’s discovering the West’s chocolate-making past in Keynsham, finding out the real-life stories of the ‘people behind the plays’ at the Old Vic, or seeing some examples of medieval creativity at the magnificent Winterbourne Medieval Barn, there really is something for everyone this year.

“What better time than now for everyone right across the West of England to get out and rediscover what makes our amazing region truly special.”

Mayor Norris also learnt how, like other local attractions, the major issue facing Saltford Brass Mill is the need for more volunteers, with the Mayor joining calls for more West of England locals to step forward and answer calls to volunteer at local sites.

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