The countdown is under way for Lichfield’s Ye Olde Games Heritage Weekend.
Taking place on September 17 and 18, the event will see a number of the city’s tourist attractions open their doors for free, with visitors able to take part in a range of activities.
Among the venues taking part are Erasmus Darwin House, Lichfield Guildhall, Dr Milley’s Hospital and Lichfield Record Office. Activities on offer will include free tours of Lichfield Cathedral, bowls on the master’s lawn at St John’s Hospital, children’s entertainment and activities at Lichfield Heritage Centre and a brilliant balloons activity on Saturday at The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum.
The theme of this year’s Heritage Weekend is the Olympic and Paralympic Games, featuring games and sports from times gone by.
In keeping with the theme, there will be the chance to dress up in togas like the ancient Greeks, follow a free family torch hunt, make a bow and arrow, hobby horse making and racing and free tennis coaching. There will also be children’s games and static cycling on Stowe Fields on Saturday.
Councillor Louise Flowith, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet member for tourism, said:
“This two-day event will be a good way to get into the spirit of the Games, as we look forward to London 2012, so remember to put a date in the diary for this year’s Heritage Weekend. It is our busiest programme so far, packed with free places to visit, activities to take part in and entertainment to enjoy. We hope lots of people join us for what will be a huge celebration of Lichfield’s heritage and the Olympic and Paralympic Games through the ages.”
To see the full Heritage Weekend programme, visit www.visitlichfield.co.uk/events or call Lichfield Tourist Information Centre on 01543 412112. You can also pick up a programme from the Tourist Information Centre based in the Lichfield Garrick or from other local tourist venues.
As part of the weekend’s festivities, there will also be cut-price guided tours offered, which are available at the bargain price of £1 and booking now. They include the City Guided Tour, which is a guided walking tour of the city to find out more about its history.
These tours are taking place on Saturday at 11.30am and 2pm, and also on Sunday at 11.30am and 12.30pm. Tickets are available from the Tourist Information Centre or by calling 01543 412112.
The second tour on offer is the Erasmus Darwin House Cellar Tour. This is a chance to see a part of the house that is not normally open to the public, where Erasmus Darwin was thought to have carried out dissections and experiments. These tours are at 12 noon and at 2pm on Saturday. Tickets can be booked by calling Erasmus Darwin House on 01543 306260.
Also included in this year’s programme are two events taking place on September 17 outside the city. The first is the Huddlesford gathering of historic narrow boats and classic cars from 10am to 5pm (admission £2). The second is the Open Garden with teas at the Old Rectory in Clifton Campville from 1.30pm to 4.30pm.