BRITAIN’S largest celebration of history and culture returns this week, with hundreds of events taking place around the country as part of Heritage Open days.

Around 350 events will be taking place in the North-East, and Tynedale is playing its part.

Hexham Abbey is hosting a brand new event for 2018, which will give visitors the chance to view the Abbey’s treasury room.

Visitors will climb the Night Stair to the room, which is opening specially for the festival, and see a display of archive items from the history of the Abbey.

There’s also a chance to meet the conservation team and the chance to learn more about the role the space played in medieval monastic life.

The Abbey will play host to three events, on Friday, September 7 and Saturday, September 8 from 10am to 2pm, and on Sunday, September 9 from 11am to 1pm.

The Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership is also getting in on the act, with two events on Friday, September 7 and Saturday, September 8.

The partnership, supported by the rail industry, will be opening the doors of Haltwhistle railway station to answer pressing questions, including what it’s like inside a signal box (pictured overleaf), what the view is like high above the railway, and why does a mainline railway company have a model railway?

Between 10am and 4pm, Network Rail will be opening the 1901 Grade II listed Haltwhistle signal box, while the partnership will be opening the Haltwhistle Station Booking Hall.

The hall dates back to 1855, and was refurbished by the partnership in 2016 as its education base room.

Alongside several other open days in Hexham, the Allen Valleys will also play host to an umber of events, including a blacksmith demonstration at Allenheads Forge.

Full details for all the heritage open days in Northumberland can be found at