Free event Free for members

Essential Information

Type Daytime
Date and Times 13-18 September 2021
Prices Free
Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre

Heritage Open Days is England's largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,000 organisations, 5,500 events and 46,000 volunteers. Every year in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. 

This year the Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre is throwing open its doors with onsite tours,  events and online talks for everyone to enjoy.

Event programme

Edible England Tours

13–18 September at 10am, 1pm and 3.30pm

Ration bag belonging to Captain Scott.
A ration bag belonging to Captain Scott

Join us as we discover different food related items within our collection including many riches such as: ration bags from Captain Scott’s last expedition, snacks from the Titanic, unique condiments and London’s oldest coconut. In addition, discover where kitchen cupboard essentials such as tea, sugar, salt and potatoes come from and how they came to this small island.

Discover more

Read about how we look after edible items in the collection

Illustration by John Kingsley Cook

Online event: The life and times of the humble potato

Tuesday 14 September, 6.30pm–7.45pm

Call it whatever you want … a Spud, a Tatty, a Tuber, the humble potato has been on dinner plates across the world for hundreds of years. Join us from the comfort of your own home, as we delve deep into this magical root vegetable and discover its origins and the journeys it has been on to become a dinner time favourite in many different nations and cultures.

On this special evening celebrating the potato, we will be joined by specialist speakers including chefs, food historians and potato enthusiasts from around the world.

Community Day: Opening of the Community Garden

Saturday 18 September | Events run from 11.30am–4pm

Opening of the Community Garden will take place at 12.30pm.


This year’s theme is Edible England, and where better to celebrate our community open day than in our new Community Garden? Join us as we officially open the garden along with garden activities, make do and mend workshops, musical performances, community exhibits and more.

Find out about the Community Day events

Online resources

Learn how to make a ship's biscuit

A ship's biscuit circular in shape and perforated with holes as an aid to baking

Try the ship's biscuit diet for yourself by following our recipe.

You can also check out our series of videos, where the SENsory Social Club teach Silly Simon how to make a ship's biscuit. 

Take a look

Find out more about the SENsory Social Club

Highlights from The Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre

From ship's biscuits to extraordinary animals, take a look at some of the incredible items in our collection – as featured on previous Heritage Open Days.

Tap the arrows to explore.

An image for 'Highlights from The Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre'
An underwater painting
A ship's biscuit
Painting of Oscar the cat – a triple shipwreck survivor
A 19th century whaling pot
A barnacle from an East Indian ship

Plan your visit

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Visit the collection

Go behind the scenes at The Prince Philip Maritime Collections Centre and explore our state of the art conservation studio and collections store.