Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment. This annual event gives local residents and visitors of all ages the opportunity to visit historic, civic and interesting buildings that are not usually open or accessible to the public; all for free!
Doors Open Days takes place throughout Scotland in September and is co-ordinated nationally by The Scottish Civic Trust as part of European Heritage Days and Scottish Archaeology Month. For full details of this exciting nationwide festival, and to access the online programme, visit the dedicated Doors Open Days website.
“Get in to Buildings with Doors Open Days - it’s free and open to all!”
In Perth and Kinross, Doors Open Days is co-ordinated by Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust and funded by The Gannochy Trust. The Trust has been organising the festival in Perth and Kinross since 1996 and we estimate that our programmes have allowed over 90,000 people the opportunity to visit historic and civic gems across the region. The festival wouldn’t be possible without the enthusiastic and dedicated support of thousands of building owners, custodians, volunteers and staff who contribute their time and energy to opening venues to the public each year.
This year Doors Open Days in Perth and Kinross is even bigger and is split across the last three weekends in September. Thanks to the continued generous support of the Gannochy Trust, 2018’s programme has 55 interesting venues participating including guided walks that take in multiple buildings of interest. 9 venues are opening their doors for the first time.
To celebrate the Scottish Year of Young People, we have a special theme:
‘Back to School: past, present and future’
The 2018 programme features:
Past Schools: buildings that have been put to new uses;
Current Schools: buildings in operation as centres of learning; and
Future Schools: buildings still under construction.
You can follow the theme across all three of Perth and Kinross’s Doors Open Days weekends allowing you to appreciate the architecture of education - past, present and future wherever Doors Open Days takes you. Why not add a little competition to your Doors Open Days experience by taking the Back to School Challenge. Visit at least 3 of the listed education buildings and submit a photograph of yourself at each venue to win a Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust publication. Entries must include a venue from each weekend.
For full online venue listings and details visit www.doorsopendays.org.uk
Printed brochure will be available at Libraries, Museums and Visitor Information Centres from mid-August (or can be downloaded from this page)
If you’re interested in getting into buildings and having a look around some of Perth and Kinross’s hidden gems then the best way is to pick up a copy of the programme brochure which is available from Libraries, Museums and Visit Scotland Information Centres from August each year. It can also be downloaded from this page or the Doors Open Days website. Why not have a browse through last year’s brochure (link to the left) to get a flavour of what’s on offer.
“We love Doors Open Days, [it’s a] great opportunity to explore your own town and learn history” - visitor
If you're a building owner/operator and would like to take part in Doors Open Days, or you have a suggestion of somewhere you would like to see added to the programme, then please get in touch with Gavin, our Outreach Officer, who coordinates Doors Open Days. You can also find out more about how to get involved on the Doors Open Days website.
“Wonderful experience and a joy to be a part of Doors Open Days” - venue operator
Last year in 2017, we decided to do Doors Open Days a little differently in Perth and Kinross, holding it by geographical area across the first three weekends in September. We had 52 venues participating, many of which were new or returning after major refurbishment. In addition to the open door, most venues offered refreshments or activities such as tours, exhibitions, musical performances and storytelling, providing something of interest for all ages and tastes.
Over 5,300 people visited participating venues in 2017 with each of the three weekends exceeding 1,000 recorded visits. Venues ranged from A-listed buildings and spectacular castles to civic buildings, historic graveyards and construction sites. New to the programme for 2017 was the birthplace of the prolific Scottish novelist John Buchan. Blairgowrie Fire Station also joined the programme and Balfour Beatty provided unique tour experiences to view the new road and bridges under construction as part of the Perth Transport Future Project.
Our sincere thanks to all those who made Doors Open Days 2017 the most successful and well attended in 5 years! In particular, thank you to the 557 volunteers who chalked up over 1,700 hours this year.