Farnham’s annual ten-day celebration of Heritage Open Days (HODs) is taking place this year from September 8 to 17. 

It will offer a tempting mix of open days at important locations together with a big programme of guided walks and talks, presented by the Farnham Society and Farnham Town Council.  

The festival is organised centrally by the National Trust, and is run by volunteer groups in individual towns and villages across the country.  

It all started nearly 25 years ago and has been growing in popularity ever since.   

Details of all Farnham’s HODs activities are in the colourful booklet available now in public buildings and shops all over Farnham and the surrounding area, or onllne at farnhamsociety.org.uk/hods2023  

Farnham’s splendid castle and gardens will be open to visitors on Sunday, September 17. There is no need to book in advance, and all the details are in the HODs booklet. 

There will be self-guided tours of the historic building and re-enactments of Civil War battles.  

Refreshments will be available, including wood-fired pizzas and cream teas. 

Farnham Pottery in Wrecclesham is offering tours, demonstrations and CLAY events throughout the HODs period, and the Museum of Farnham in West Street, with its lovely walled garden at the back, will celebrate with art activities and trails on Saturday, September 16. 

Farnham’s University for the Creative Arts is offering tours of the campus and workshops, and so is the adjacent Crafts Study Centre. For dates and times, see the HODs booklet.   

A big highlight of the events this year will be an exhibition, courtesy of Alberto Ceccatelli, of the work of Pauline Baynes, famous for her illustrations for C S Lewis’ Narnia series and J R R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

The exhibition will be open from September 7 to 9 in the council chamber in the town hall, South Street – for opening hours, see the HODs booklet – and on September 9 the Farnham lecturer and author Roy Waight is giving a talk on Two Great Illustrators, Randolph Caldecott and Pauline Baynes.  

A unique window on the town’s past will be opened on Friday, September 8 with a Farnham Herald Archive Open Day, an introduction to the Herald archive.

This is just one of ten varied and intriguing talks on offer during the HODs period, alongside ten guided walks in the town and surrounding area.  

Richard Hunt, chairman of The Farnham Society, said: “Our Heritage Open Days are one of our key events in the year. 

“Thanks to the terrific work of the committee, these days help highlight the rich and fascinating heritage and history of our lovely town – they enable you to visit some of the most interesting buildings along with other events. Open Days not to be missed!”