Get access with Doors Open Day
Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free annual festival which celebrates heritage and the built environment.
Gain access to some of the country’s most iconic venues and participate in walks, talks and activities, all for free throughout September.
Doors Open Days is coordinated nationally by The Scottish Civic Trust with each Scottish region offering its own unique programme of events, with something for everyone.
It’s your chance to get inside buildings that aren’t normally open to the public.
Here’s a list of some of our top picks…
- See a screening of a screening of Tod Browning’s ‘Freaks’, a 1932 Horror, at the Britannia Panopticon – the world’s oldest surviving music hall.
- Get behind the scenes of The Tall Ship, SV Glenlee, with nautical-themed children’s activities available on board – great for families!
- Enjoy Late Morning Strings with Scottish Ensemble at the Pearce Institute. The Glasgow-based string orchestra, which is known for its dynamic programming and bold collaborations with other artists, will perform a series of one-off, pop-up performances offering an intriguing taste of what string instruments can do, set against some of our festival venues.
- Seldom open to the public, Clydeport’s building contains a number of fine features. French walnut panelling and Stephen Adam stained glass.
- See inside The Trades Hall of Glasgow and view the wonderful interiors in this magnificent Adam building. Experience the work of Glasgow’s traditional Trades in the Museum which was originally a Free Trades School and see furniture and artifacts dating from the 1500’s.
- Formerly One Up Records, Seventeen was established as a creative hub in 2013 to support new and emerging artists in Aberdeen. Now home to MAKE Aberdeen, Aberdeen international Youth Festival, cultural offices and two exhibition spaces.
- The former Kingswells Primary School will be open with displays on the history of the school and showcasing the work of its current residents Adventure Aberdeen. Try your hand at a range of activities including the mobile climbing wall, mountain biking track, wilderness skills and shelter building.
- Enjoy guided tours and range of family-friendly activities at Central Fire Station, Mounthooly Way. It’s a great chance to explore fire service heritage information, get fire safety information, free CPR training, see chip pan fire demonstrations and learn about local partnership work.
- Get a peek inside Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives - home to one of the most important sets of Burgh Records in Scotland.
- Heart Space yoga and bodyworks are offering a day of free yoga classes and taster sessions for all levels.
- Art bubble studio are running children’s creativity workshops, designed for all young, creative artists of primary age.
- Enjoy a heritage walk from Geddes Quadrangle to Albert Square. Discover the city from the standpoints of history, architecture and commercial innovation with a walking tour led by one of Dundee's pre-eminent architects, Joe Dagen.
- Drop in to Dundee Central Mosque and witness this marvellous building’s unique design. It’s the first purpose built mosque in North East Scotland using traditional Scottish materials and energy efficient construction techniques.
- See behind the scenes of Blackness Road Fire Station. As well as getting the opportunity to experience a working fire station in action, fire-fighters will be on hand to provide fire safety advice and demonstrate some of their firefighting and rescue equipment and skills.
- Enjoy a look behind the scenes with guided tours of Kirkcaldy’s Adam Smith Theatre, which is well-loved for its high-quality shows, full-scale cinema and long history as the heart of the local arts scene
- Drop in to Dunfermline Sheriff Court – a modest but efficient building which accommodates all the partners within the justice system.
- Get a tour of the projection room at the Waterfront Cinema - a local independent cinema that shows all the recent blockbusters and live events.
- Visit the Caddlehill Allotment Gardens, which have been in existence since 1855. Plots are available to the residents of Inverclyde to grow both flowers and vegetables.
- ‘Open the door to Inverclyde and the Greenock Cut’ bus tour gives a totally new perspective to Doors Open Day. The circular tour takes you into the hills behind Greenock to appreciate the flora and fauna and understand the geography and geology that makes up the area.
- The Children’s Programme in Greenock is set across a range of locations on 9 September. These include:
- The Trial of the Wicked Stepmother - come and see a trial come to life in the Greenock Sherriff Court, as Cinderella's Wicked Stepmother is on trial. Children can play the jury!
- Fairy tale themed crafts at the Tobacco Warehouse – kids can take home their very own magic wand or Peter Pan hat.
- The Central Library will have lots of fairy tale arts and crafts.
- See The Sooty Magic Show at the Beacon.
- For the older children, there is a Comic Writing workshop in the Dutch Gable House.
- The Mackintosh Club is the newly discovered Charles Rennie Mackintosh hidden gem. The Gallery features a permanent exhibition on its history and the Glasgow Four. It’s available for private hire and recently has hosted puppet and art workshops, the GSA Degree Show, Music concerts and tuition.
- Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre was formerly Clyde Street School, which was designed in 1903 by Helensburgh architect and artist Alexander Nisbet Paterson, and was built in a Scottish Revival style with 17th century Renaissance details. Guided tours are available to book.
- Enjoy a guided walk of 18th and 19th century Ayr, starting from the War Memorial in Wellington Square. Hear some of Ayr's forgotten stories around Brexit, Banks and the Founding Fathers.
- Listen to a talk by David Mitchell on the ‘Architectural Iron Work in Scotland’ in the Engine Shed on Forthside Way. Discover the fascinating history behind the iron founding giants of Scotland, and learn about how to maintain this beautiful and durable material.
Please note, advance booking is required for some of these events.
To get more information on the above events, visit Doors Open Days website.