European Heritage Open Days

European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) is Northern Ireland’s annual celebration of local architecture, history and culture. Each year many properties and locations open their doors to the public to host lots of free events. Find out more about EHOD 2021 which is taking place from 6 to 12 September.

Registration is now open for 2021

European Heritage Open Days 2021 6 to 12 September Exploring our hidden history together

Are you interested in taking part in European Heritage Open Days as an event organiser or venue owner? Are you interested in taking part in a virtual event in 2021? Are you interested in contributing digital content for EHOD 2021? Do you want to participate in the physical/outdoor EHOD?

If you would like to take part in this year’s event you can register online. Register before the closing date of 5 May 2021.

The physical events (outdoor) will take place on 10 to 12 September whilst the digital events will run from 6 to 12 September.

The week-long digital event will include virtual visits to sites and properties, guided tours and a host of online lectures and talks whilst the more traditional outdoor event will see properties open their doors to the public as well as a hosting lectures and talks.

So whether there is a local character or connection to a local figure of note you would like to celebrate, a historic area you want to see recognised or simply want to tell the story of your home, workplace, or community we would love you to take part.

EHOD offers you the opportunity to showcase the stories and places you care about. We don’t define “heritage” – that is up to you!

For the venues that plan to open to visitors in September, we will advise and signpost you to appropriate Government guidance as we get closer to September.

The theme for EHOD 2021 in Northern Ireland is ‘Inclusion – exploring our hidden history together’.

For more information or to get in touch with the EHOD Team:
Telephone: 028 9082 3207 
Facebook @LoveHeritageNI
Twitter @LoveHeritageNI
Instagram @LoveHeritageNI

We’ll help promote your offer for free

We can help you promote your offer to the public for free on LoveHeritageNI social media channels, Department for Communities website, Discover NI website and in an e-brochure.  We also provide promotional material and help you manage bookings for your event/ property if needed - for free.

Guidance for organising and registration

The following guidance will help you to plan your event and to submit your EHOD 2021 registration form.


Before registering your property and/ or event you will need to plan and decide:

  • opening times
  • booking conditions
  • am I offering an online digital event
  • Is my event taking place at a venue/property

It is always a good idea to have your opening times and any pre-bookable parts of your event finalised before you register.

Describing your event:

  • prepare a clear, concise and interesting short description to engage your audience and show them what they will experience when they come along - this description should be no more than 100 characters long to be included in our e-brochure
  • prepare a detailed description of your building and/ or event for entry to the Discover Northern Ireland and Council of Europe websites. You can find out about your building from a number of sources such as local library, historical society, Historic Environment Record of Northern Ireland or the Public Record Office NI.


We need a minimum of one landscape and one portrait high quality image for your property/activity/event. We can accept up to four images, one of which must be landscape. We will use images for media, social media and online promotions and may include them in the online brochure..

  • images must be hi resolution and big enough to not appear pixelated
  • images of people enjoying themselves would be helpful as these are engaging

Top tip:

Submit your registration

Register your event online.

It should not take long to complete your registration form and you will need to input the following:

  • contact details
  • location of property/ event - input postcode to make your event searchable on our WEBAPP
  • short description (this will be included in the e-brochure) maximum 100 words
  • detailed description – minimum 300 words, maximum 700 words
  • timing and tours - provide opening times and give specific times of tours/ events - for example talks. If you are not open on a specific day, leave that box blank
  • add booking details if applicable
  • categories – tick all relevant boxes - these help visitors know what is happening as well as search for events by type. There are also categories for access facilities
  • general information – provide more information to help us categorise and promote your event
  • email your images to, provide the name of your property/ event in the subject title
  • email us if you require help in sourcing volunteers
  • email us if you require a copy of your entry detail

Top tips:

  • register as early as possible and before the closing date of 5 May 2021 to be included in the e-brochure
  • make your short description interesting, inviting and engaging

Planning a digital event 

Considering a digital event this September?

We have compiled some ideas and resources to help you create engaging and exciting digital content.

Digital Guidance 


There are many ways to take part in EHOD. Last year saw the first year where EHOD was digital. Our European Heritage Days – Doors Open Days, colleagues in Scotland have produced some simple tutorials on hosting digital online tours and talks.

Digital Heritage Lab:

Digital Heritage Lab is funded through the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the Digital Skills for Heritage initiative. It is a free programme for small and medium heritage organisations seeking to develop their digital capabilities and capacity.

Heritage Digital:

Heritage Digital is a new project supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund's Digital Skills for Heritage initiative, which aims to increase free digital skills training and support available to heritage organisations.

For more information email the EHOD team


A handy checklist to make sure your registration and event goes smoothly:

  • opening times and booking conditions decided
  • event planning scoped
  • event entry descriptions written
  • virtual event – include your website link
  • images sourced and emailed to EHOD

Why it’s called ‘European Heritage Open Days’ 

The Continent of Europe consist of countries who are members of the European Union (EU) as well as countries who are not in the EU.   So although the UK left the EU, it’s still part of Europe.  The Council of Europe (CoE), who run European Heritage Days across Europe, is a separate organization from the European Union.  It promotes Europe’s diversity of cultures, arts and cultural heritage. 

European Heritage Days (known as ‘European Heritage Open Days’ in Northern Ireland) are the most widely celebrated cultural event shared by the citizens of Europe. This event raises awareness of the many values of our common heritage and the continuous need for its protection. That ties in with the aims of the Department for Communities Historic Environment Division (Love Heritage NI brand) who coordinate this event in Northern Ireland.

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