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About Doors Open Days
Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates places and spaces, new and old. This annual event gives local residents and visitors of all ages the opportunity to visit historic, civic and interesting places that are either not usually open or that normally charge for entry; all for free!
Doors Open Days is one of Scotland’s two contributions to European Heritage Days – alongside Scottish Archaeology Month. European Heritage Days are a pan-European cultural celebration which bring citizens together year after year. It was launched by the Council of Europe in 1985 and now boasts up to 20 million visitors across Europe each year.
Doors Open Days takes place throughout Scotland in September and is co-ordinated nationally by The Scottish Civic Trust. 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. Every year the festival focuses on a different theme or themes set by either European Heritage Days or the Scottish Civic Trust. In recent years we have celebrated the Year of Coasts and Waters and Year of Stories.
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. We are always incredibly grateful for the time and effort that vendors and volunteers put into events to make them a success. For full details and access the nationwide online programme, visit the dedicated Doors Open Days website.
Doors Open Days will be coming to Perth and Kinross on the weekend of 16th-17th September. Make sure to save the dates so you can spend the weekend exploring this year’s theme, ‘Living Heritage’. We will be opening venues across the region, so rest assured you will be spoiled for choice! We’re inviting you to get out and about and take some time as a tourist on your own doorstep. We will be promoting a range of events and venues for all ages and abilities along with a few digital resources. As usual, all venues are marked in the programme with accessibility information and events that require pre-booking will be well sign-posted. The programme is available both online and in physical form at local information centres, libraries and visitor attractions.
Doors Open Days brochure available here
We are delighted to present the Doors Open Days programme for Perth and Kinross over the 16th-17th September. This year’s theme is ‘Living Heritage’ and as usual, all venues are marked in the programme with accessibility information and events that require pre-booking. Enjoy exploring Doors Open Days 2023!
Notice: Please be aware that due to circumstances beyond our control some details may change after the publication of the programme. All event alterations will be published on this page so we recommend that you double-check before you travel.
ADDITIONAL VENUE: We are delighted to say that Auchterarder Picturehouse will be taking part in the festival as a late entry. Follow the link to the national Doors Open Days website to find the venue information and opening times.
VENUE CANCELLATION: We are sorry that the Council Chambers event has now been cancelled.
Year of ‘Living Heritage’
The 2023 theme is set by European Heritage Days. Living Heritage, sometimes referred to by heritage professionals as ‘intangible cultural heritage’, is found in the values, beliefs, events, and ways of living that we inherit from past generations. We use these things to understand the present and make choices for the future. Living Heritage is something which is passed down from generation to generation, and constantly reshaped by communities and groups in response to their environment. The theme will explore the practices, places and objects that are shared as part of our cultural heritage today. Shared heritage, and the way in which it is shared, provides a sense of identity and continuity, promoting respect for cultural diversity and creativity.
“We love Doors Open Days, [it’s a] great opportunity to explore your own town and learn history” – Visitor
Get involved – Information for organisations and venues
We are always on the look out for new venues, groups and individuals to join the festival. Do you have a building you’d like to open? Do you offer tours or volunteer at a community garden or orchard? Are you a performer or artist? Do you offer traditional skills or lead a community group? We want to hear from you!
It is free to take part in Doors Open Days. All you need to do is complete our online form and you will be included in the printed programme (approx. 5000 copies distributed around Perth and Kinross) and your entry will be included on the national website. We will also provide you with venue decorations (a banner, balloons, bunting etc.) for the weekend. Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust also produce posters and other advertising material.
Going digital: You do not have to physically open the doors to your venue. Since the pandemic we have been including digital entries in our annual programmes. This can include things such as virtual online tours, pre-recorded talks on YouTube, Zoom quizzes etc.
If you would like to further discuss what is involved in taking part please get in touch with us by emailing [email protected]. Whether you’ve been involved before or you’re entirely new to the festival, we’d love for you to sign up!
Are you interested in signing up but unsure what taking part involves? Will you be offered external support? Read the handy guide produced by the Scottish Civic Trust.