CINEMAS, ironworks, a Georgian mill and a castle are among the south Cumbrian sites providing a free showcase of their treasures as part of the country's biggest heritage festival.

Sites at Ulverston, Dalton, Gleaston, Cartmel, Bowness and Backbarrow are among those opening their doors this weekend as part of the Heritage Open Days - now in its 25th year.

It is England's largest annual festival of history and culture with more than 5,000 events.

You can find full details of all of them on the website at

The 14th century Dalton Castle, in the town's Market Place, is opened by the Friends of Dalton Castle on behalf of the National Trust.

It was the manorial courthouse of Furness Abbey and also had a gaol, guardrooms and stores.

You can take a look round from 11am to 5pm this Saturday and on Saturday,September 21.

Cartmel Priory Gatehouse, in The Square, Cartmel, is the only remnant of the 14th century defences built to protect against Scottish raids.

In more recent times it has been a school, a gallery and a museum.

The Great Room can be visited from 10am to 4pm this Friday and on Friday, September 20.

Morecambe Bay Partnership is lead tours to the usually inaccessible Kirkhead Tower at Kents Bank.

This is probably a Victorian summer house and offers superb views across Morecambe Bay.

Guides will share information about recent conservation works, the history of the tower and the nationally significant prehistoric environment and cave networks near it.

Three tours are being held on Sunday at 10am, 12pm and 2pm and places need to be booked through Morecambe Bay Partnership or Eventbrite.

Backbarrow Ironworks had the first blast furnace in England and Scotland and there is a chance to take a look round this scheduled ancient monument at 10.30am on Sunday.

You need to book a place with Richard Sanderson at: or call07772960093

Conishead Priory with its Buddhist Temple is on the Coast Road, Ulverston, and is open from 11amto 5pm this Saturday and Sunday.

Conishead began as a hospital run by Augustinian monks in 1160, and its development as an International Modern Buddhist Centre began in 1977.

You can join a volunteer on a free hidden heritage tour of the National Trust's Fell Foot site near Newby Bridge from 10am to 5pm this Saturday and on Saturday, September 22.

There is an opportunity to visit Gleaston Water Mill, near Ulverston, and see domestic,farming and milling artefacts, plus an exhibition of photographs, maps and documents.

It is open from11am to 4.30pm this Friday to Sunday.

The Newland Furnace Trust is showing visitors around the 18th century Newland charcoal iron furnace, near Ulverston.

The water powered blast furnace was used for around 150 years to produce pig iron.

It is open from10am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday this weekend and the following weekend.

This Saturday,from 10am to 1pm you can take a look behind the scenes at the Art Deco Roxy cinema at Brogden Street, Ulverston.

You can watch archive footage, newsreels and cartoons and take a look at a display of old photographs and posters.

From 10.30am to4.30pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 17 and 18 you can take a free look around Swarthmoor Hall, the headquarters of the international Quaker movement.

The 16 thc entury house has a fine selection of antique furniture, textiles and ceramics from the time when it was the home of Margaret and Thomas Fell.

There is an opportunity to explore the Royalty Cinema at Lake Road, Bowness, which has a Wurlitzer organ

You can watch archive film footage including newsreels and cartoons and listen to the 1927organ -now the only one of its kind in a working cinema in Europe.

A short silent film will be presented every hour and be accompanied live on the Wurlitzer organ.

The cinema is open on Saturday, September 21, from 10am to 1pm with silent films at 10.30am,11.30am and 12.30pm.