Heritage Open Days is a national event held every September. With 2500 participants it is the country’s largest history festival and started in 1994. Properties from historic buildings to modern offices are opened to the public free of charge. Over the years it has developed with talks, walks and living history displays.
Guildford’s contribution has always relied on a partnership between the Borough Council (publishing a guide and opening its properties), the Guildford Society and Guildford Guides who provide the volunteers. In 2003, Guildford topped the charts with the most properties open nationally at 64. Today it has over 100 properties open each year putting it in the top half dozen places in the country. It is still a popular festival locally with 14000 visits to over 100 properties in 2017.