HISTORIC buildings across Colchester will be open to the public for free as part of the Heritage Open Days programme.

From September 13 to 22 many of the town's heritage assets will be open for free, including Colchester Castle on Saturday, September 14.

To commemorate the festival’s 25th anniversary, this year’s open day programme spans over ten days for the first time.

Other planned activities over the ten days include accompanied guided walks, talks, tours and exhibitions.

A new highlight this year is a free family fun day and market at St Botolph’s Priory on Saturday, September 21 from 10am until 5pm.

There will be children's activities, Colchester Market, Colne Radio music stage, street food, information stands and more.

Julie Young, councillor responsible for culture, said: “Heritage Open Days provides a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to experience Colchester’s staggering heritage.

"Let’s join together to celebrate the many outstanding venues and rich history Britain’s first city has to offer.”

Pick up a Heritage Open Days event programme from Colchester’s Visitor Information Centre, Colchester Castle and from selected venues participating in the weekend.

Alternatively, an electronic version is available to download from visitcolchester.com/HODS19.

Heritage Open Days in Colchester is coordinated by Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service with support from heritage organisations.