Birmingham Heritage Week is returning for 2020 to celebrate the city and its fascinating history, people and places once again. Running from Thursday 10 – Sunday 20 September, this year’s festival will include virtual tours, special outdoor performances, walks and more.
In its sixth year, Birmingham Heritage Week will feel a little different to previous festivals due to restrictions as a result of the pandemic, but with events taking place across 11 days there will be plenty of chance to explore the city and delve into its past as usual – whether that’s from the comfort of your own home, or at a safe in-person event.
Events are now live at birminghamheritageweek.co.uk with more activities to be added so continue to check back for updates.
Birmingham Heritage Week 2020 is sponsored by Birmingham City Council and organised by Birmingham Museums Trust.
Irene De Boo, Birmingham Heritage Week Co-ordinator, said: “Birmingham Heritage Week is about discovering how the past has influenced the city today, so we felt it was more important than ever to celebrate Birmingham and its stories, during what has been an historic year for everyone.
“We may not be able to bring people together in exactly the same way but we have a brilliant programme of events that can be enjoyed safely online or in-person, so we’d encourage everyone to make the most of this year’s festival, while we’re all spending more time based locally. We’re sure everyone will enjoy discovering something new about this city’s rich heritage this September.”
Some of this year’s highlights include:
- A free guided tour of Birmingham’s oldest operational swimming pool, Woodcock Street Baths, with the option to take a dip for those that fancy a swim. This historic swimming pool retains most of its original features and was constructed in 1902. Guided tours on 10, 11, 17, 18 and 20 Sept
- Enjoy an exclusive hidden treasures tour of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery while its closed to the public, including dinner in the Edwardian Tearooms. Limited ticketed event on Saturday 19 Sept.
- Did you know that Ladywood has a Buddhist Peace Pagoda? Visit this golden domed Buddhist Vihara for a tranquil escape from the city and hear from the resident monks that study and practice there. Free timed entry on Thursday 10 September to Sunday 20 September, 9am – 3pm.
- The HS2 archaeology programme is continuing to unearth some fascinating discoveries and you can learn more about some of the exciting finds in a series of free online talks as part of the HS2 archaeology conference on Saturday 19 Sept. Reserve your space online.
- Discover your local area or new parts of the city and Walk for Heritage during Birmingham Heritage Week. Your sign-up money will support the work of Birmingham Museums Trust, ensuring the charity can continue to inspire future generations. Take part any day during the week and receive a limited-edition heritage pin badge.
- Relax while enjoying a series of enchanting mini outdoor performances by the CBSO in the Handsworth secret gardens. Four sessions from 5.30pm on Friday 18 Sept. Timed tickets to be booked in advance.
- See a free screening of a new documentary by Aidem Digital & DESIblitz, From Africa to Britain, which recounts personal stories of those who made new lives in Birmingham and the Black Country. Free limited tickets available for Friday 18 Sept; 6pm – 7pm at The Hive.
- Meet staff from the Birmingham Royal Ballet in the magnificent surroundings of Aston Hall. You’ll discover that ballet is for everyone and find out about dance, costumes, and how dancers train. Timed ticketed entry throughout the day on Sunday 20 Sept.
- Take a free virtual tour of the award-winning Coffin Works on Saturday 12 Sept, 12noon – 1.15pm. This guided tour will focus on the stories of the site’s restoration and the former workers who made coffin fittings for the ‘great and the good.’
The priority at all in-person events is to keep attendees and event organisers safe. All activities will take place within government guidelines. There will be limited space so if you are unable to attend because of symptoms please let event organisers know so the space can be used.
More announcements will be made in the coming weeks so be sure to visit the Birmingham Heritage Week website and social media pages to find out more.