Historic buildings around Swindon will throw open their doors and welcome visitors in for free later this month.

Heritage Open Days will give people the chance to look around some of the town’s oldest structures and learn all about their fascinating history through guided tours, expert talks, archaeological digs, photo and art exhibitions, and activities for children.

Swindon Borough Council is shining a spotlight on Swindon’s heritage from September 8 to 10.

Many events are being held in the town centre at locations including the Central Library, the Carriage Works, and GWR Park, while Historic England is opening its archives as the Designer Outlet offers tours of the old GWR Factory that it is based in.

Further afield, more events are taking place at Lydiard Park, the Even Swindon Community Centre, and Blunsdon St Andrew.

Coun Marina Strinkovsky is the cabinet member for heritage, art and culture.

She said: “Heritage Open Days is always a weekend marked in my calendar many months ahead. It gives so many people the opportunity to find out more about the history of their local area.

“I would encourage everyone to come out and visit a few locations to truly immerse themselves in the history of Swindon and see why the town’s heritage is so important.

“So many people have volunteered their time and effort to make these events a success so I’ll be visiting as many places as I possibly can.”

Some of the events that are being held around town include a guided walk-and-talk of Swindon's railway heritage from the train station, a live talk by Adam Busby on the GWR Medical Fund and Hospital, archaeology at GWR Park, and a look inside the restoration of former Railway Village pub The Cricketers Arms.

Historic England’s regional director for the south west, Rebecca Barrett, added: “Heritage Open Days offers so many brilliant opportunities to discover just how special Swindon’s heritage is.

“From the buildings of the Railway Village to the World War II archaeology in GWR Park, it’s great to see the places we’re supporting through the Heritage Action Zone featuring strongly in this year’s programme.

“Our offices and archive will be open, too.”

Heritage Open Days happen around the country every September, when thousands of volunteers across England organise events to celebrate history and culture.

To find out more about what events are being held, and where, visit: www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/printable-area-lists/town/Swindon