HERITAGE Open Days - England’s largest festival of history and culture is celebrating its 25th anniversary with thousands of free events across ten days.

It starts today( Friday) and continues until Sunday September 22.

Visitors can explore places not normally open to the public, and learn more about the heritage on their doorstep.

This year a special programme of ‘People Power’ themed events will focus on highlighting historic and contemporary communities, groups and individuals who have affected positive change; buildings saved, greenspaces created, friendships forged, campaigns fought and voices heard.

Here are 13 highlights from across Hampshire:

1/Winchester Musical & Opera Society Present Made in Dagenham.

On Saturday September 21 at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm watch a street performance of this recent production. Through snippets of the play, the audience will learn the story of the Ford Dagenham machinists whose strike and demands for equal pay brought about historic People Power change for women in the work place.

2 Eyes Along The Coast, The National Coastwatch Institution, Gosport.

Meet the Watchkeeper who keeps people safe at sea. While telecommunications have improved coastline safety, the role of the National Coastwatch Institution remains a vital service, and is entirely run by voluntary People Power. It's on all dates, 10am – 3:30pm.

3/Musical Evening with the Madding Crowd, Winchester.

On Saturday September 21 at 7.30pm enjoy a concert showcasing the music of People Power through the ages. Performing in period costume, The Madding Crowd group will characterise the rebellion between church choirs and clergy, and the protests against agricultural mechanisation during the Swing Riots of 1830.

4/Bombay Sapphire Distillery Self Discovery Experience, Whitchurch.

On September 17 & 19 at 12 noon explore the gin’s distillery, with an immersive audio and sensory tour! See the mix of Victorian architecture with intertwining modern glasshouses, smell the exotic minerals and try a cocktail tailored to your tastes.

5/Sandham Memorial Chapel - Drawing out the Detail, National Trust, Newbury

Get creative with sketching at this unexpected treasure. Created by Stanley Spencer in the aftermath of the First World War, visitors will get the chance to see the chapel’s paintings and original drawings up close, before getting a unique opportunity to take part in a range of hands-on activities, focusing on the detail of his work. It is on Saturday September 14 and Sunday September 15, 11am – 4pm

6/Craft Skills Workshops, Granary Creative Arts Centre, Winchester

Find out about traditional crafts, with a series of workshops and events held by artists, storytellers and creatives at the Granary Creative Arts Centre. Visitors will see demonstrations of stone carving and green wood working, before getting the chance to have-a-go themselves.

It's on Saturday September 21, 11am – 4:30pm

7/Abbotts Barton Farmhouse, Abbotts Barton

New for 2019, join a guided tour of this private home; a rare example of a Tudor oak framed farmhouse, not normally open to the public. Once owned by the Mayor and Jane Austen’s brother, visitors will discover its fascinating history as one of the oldest dwellings in Winchester.

It's on Thursday September 19, 2pm and 3pm

8/The Vyne, National Trust, Basingstoke

Enjoy a day out for the whole family at this 16th century country estate. Children will enjoy exploring the house with a hidden tapestry trail, and getting dressed up as a Victorian in Housekeeper’s Room. Then head outside to the formal gardens, and go geocaching to find lost toys in the woods!

It's on Saturday September 14, 10am – 5pm

9/ Storytelling at the Great Hall, Hampshire County Council, Winchester

Spark their imagination and discover the legends of King Arthur! Kids will love these interactive storytelling sessions in the historic Great Hall of Winchester Castle, where they’ll discover more about the building’s past, and the intriguing story of its iconic Round Table.

Saturday September 21and Sunday September 22 at 3pm.

10/The Curious Case of the Curious Herbal, The Gardening Gent, Alresford

Learn about the Physic herb garden at Chawton House, at a special talk by the gardener who made it. Participants will hear about the garden’s creation, from the inspiration found in an 18th century book on medicinal herbs, through to the challenges during construction, and the 40 plants selected for the design. A must for keen gardeners or medical historians!

It's on Saturday September 14 at 3pm

11/The Elms at Bedhampton, The Bedhampton Historical Collection, Havant

See a special exhibition of paintings brought together from the Bedhampton Historical Collection, private collections and never previously displayed artwork. Reflecting the history of the area, visitors to ‘Bedhampton As Others Have Seen It', will also get to see rooms inside this ‘Strawberry Hill’ style building, which is not normally open to the public, including the grand dining room exhibition space.

Sunday September 15, 11am – 4pm

12/'Transitions': God's House Tower, Southampton

Discover the refurbishment story of Southampton’s medieval defensive walls into its newest arts and heritage venue. Participants at this fascinating talk will hear about the project from concept to completion, and also get the chance to see ‘Transitions’, an exhibition featuring intriguing objects and images found during the work.

Saturday September 21 at 3:15pm

13/Hampshire's Historic Costume Collection, Hampshire Cultural Trust, Winchester

Go behind the scenes with a rare chance to see the county’s historic costume collection up close. Led by the Hampshire Cultural Trust’s team, visitors on this special talk and tour of the store at Chilcomb House, will also get to meet the professionals who care for these unique textiles.

Friday September 20, 2pm and 2:30pm