heritage open days

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More than 2,000 of the country's most fascinating properties - many of which are normally closed to the public - are offering free admission this weekend as they throw open their doors as part of Heritage Open Days 98. Highlights include the Belle Tout Lighthouse on Beachy Head, the University of Lancaster's Ruskin Library, Witley Parish Church in Worcestershire (below), the Manchester Velodrome and the Waltham Abbey Royal Gunpowder Mills, which isn't officially open until the millennium. The capital's equivalent, London Open House, takes place next weekend.

Copies of the directory of participating properties can be obtained from Tourist Information Centres and at major libraries - alternatively phone 0891-800603 (calls cost 50p per minute) for information regarding obtaining a directory