Since the easing of Covid-19 restrictions at the end of May, the heritage sector is reopening as museums and historic sites welcome visitors across the UK.
In the South West, heritage organisations are hosting events in both a physical and digital capacity. Beginning in Cornwall, Castle Bude Heritage Centre has reopened. The castle, which was built in 1830, is full of history and has a variety of summer events for all ages. The National Maritime Museum Cornwall has also reopened and its close proximity to Falmouth town allows for the exploration of nearby shops and markets. Also in Cornwall, St Agnes Museum and Tintagel Castle have reopened to the public.
Moving to Somerset, The Museum of Somerset has reopened Wednesday to Saturday from 10 am until 5 pm. Visitors must book entry in advance online via https://swheritage.org.uk. Amongst their summer events is a new exhibition by the Royal Photographic Society, Taunton Town Tours and an open-air theatre production of the Canterbury Tales.
Adopting a hybrid digital-physical format, The Charles Causley Trust are hosting their annual and much anticipated Festival of Arts and Literature from the 23rd-25th of July. Events are listed in a digital brochure and include writing workshops, spoken word performances and walks around Launceston. All events are ticketed and must be booked in advance. There is a mixture of priced and free events. Tickets can be purchased via https://causley.ticketsolve.com/shows.
On the digital front, on the 22nd of July South West Fed (SWFed) are hosting the zoom event, ‘Camera, Action, Conservation: Managing the risks of filming in heritage locations,’ which will look to the best practice for filming at heritage locations. Tickets for the event cost £2.75 per person and are for members only. However, SWFed membership is free and easy to sign up to. To register for a free membership with SWFed see: https://swfed.org.uk/join/. Tickets for the zoom event can be booked via Eventbrite.
Beginning on Wednesday 30th June between 4 and 5:30 pm, Exeter City of Literature are hosting a series of recurring poetry sessions. The first session will be titled ‘Poetry and Reminiscence at Quay Words with Caleb Parkin: The element of surprise.’ The events will take place on consecutive Wednesdays from 30 June to 28 July 2021, 4-5.30pm and are Free. Find out more via Exeter City of Literature’s event calendar: https://www.exetercityofliterature.com/event-picks.
In Exeter city centre, The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) has reopened with a variety of events. These include new exhibitions and several outdoor activities, such as ‘Butterflies in motion,’ ‘Art Rocks’ and ‘Floral Windows,’ which are aimed at young children. To find out more about the events and when they are taking place, see the RAMM website.
At the University of Exeter, the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum (BDCM) is open to the public every day from 10 am until 5pm. Due to restrictions, there will be no guided tours of the museum, however, a museum guidebook will be available at the entrance. For guidance on visiting the museum see: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/healthandsafety/Approved_UoE_Visitors_Policy_August_2020.pdf.
More widely across the UK, be sure to check out National Trust and English Heritage sites that are reopening this summer. Perfect for an afternoon stroll through famous estate gardens or a chance to explore newly opened historic houses, castles and churches.