To celebrate Heritage Open Days on 12th - 15th September, The Churches Conservation Trust will host a series of guided tours, giving visitors the chance to absorb the architectural wonder and fascinating pasts of a variety of magnificent Medieval, Tudor, Georgian and Victorian churches. 

Situated in stunning rural locations across the country, they can be found in the grounds of historic houses and stately homes, in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty; close to the coast; in deserted sites on hilltops, and in major cities and pretty villages.

This year’s highlights include St. Peter’s, Northamptonshire and St. Stephens Old Church, North Yorkshire, which have been featured in a new book endorsed by HRH Prince of Wales as some of the finest examples of Church architecture in England. Visitors will be able to explore St. Peter’s; a 900 year old church filled with glorious carved treasures, and have a chance to ‘Find your Voice’ at the pulpit as part of a public speaking exercise. St. Stephen’s churchyard holds memorials to the shipwrecked, giving visitors a glimpse into its weathered past.

Other notable churches include St Edmunds church, Rochdale, regarded as ‘Britain’s greatest Masonic secret’ and St James’ Church, Cameley, Somerset, described by Poet John Betjeman as 'Rip Van Winkle’s church' will be open for guided tours.  The church where Thomas Becket is said to have preached himself, The Church of Saint Thomas a Becket, Capel, Kent, will host a music and arts festival .

St. Cuthbert’s, Herefordshire, home to a rich collection of monuments and beautiful stained glass, will offer guided tours of both the church and the nearby historic manor, as well as a demonstration of bell ringing.

To find a participating church near you visit www.visitchurches.org.uk