THE Doors Open Days festival celebrating places and stories, new and old returns for its 33rd year this September.

The festival sees organisations and volunteers offer free access to sites and events across Scotland. It aims to ensure that Scotland’s built and cultural heritage is made accessible to everyone living in and visiting the country. 

In 2021, the organisers held their first ever hybrid event which welcomed 507,300 virtual visitors from across the world. This year’s festival will continue to have both online and in-person events and activities. 

Director of Scottish Civic Trust and Doors Open Days national coordinator, Dr Susan O’Connor said: “Doors Open Days offers visitors the opportunity to play tourist in their own town for free, as they uncover new experiences and revisit old favourites right on their doorstep. 

“This year, we hope our visitors take this opportunity to make new memories with their friends and families, while they celebrate the stories that have shaped Scotland.’’ 

Below, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the most interesting venues opening their doors to visitors across Scotland this year.

 

BON ACCORD BATHS – ABERDEEN

Bon Accord Heritage is a registered charity with the aim of working towards reopening the historic listed art deco Bon Accord Baths. They hope to bring the baths back as a community led resource for future generations of Aberdonians.

Visitors will be able to walk around part of the baths’ building, view an exhibition by Bon Accord Heritage and ask questions about the project. 

Find out more: http://bonaccordbaths.org.uk/
 

The festival sees organisations and volunteers offer free access to sites and events across Scotland

 

 

DUMFRIES MUSEUM AND CAMERA OBSCURA – DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY

One of the oldest museums in Scotland, Dumfries Museum boasts extensive displays of archaeology, natural history, and social history. The museum is also home to the world’s oldest working Camera Obscura.

Free access to the Camera Obscura will be on offer, dependent on weather. Artefact handling tables exploring Roman and medieval history will also be on display. 

Drop in tours of the hidden areas of the building will also be available throughout the day.

Find out more: https://www.dgculture.co.uk/venue/dumfries-museum/

 

READ MORE: National Museum of Scotland urged to return stolen First Nation artefact

 

WITCHES MAZE – PERTH AND KINROSS

A woodland memorial to the 11 innocent people who met their doom at Crook of Devon after five witch trials in 1662, the witches maze provides a chance to find out about one of the worst cases of witchcraft persecution that Scotland has ever seen.

Find out more: https://www.facebook.com/The.Witches.Maze
 

The festival sees organisations and volunteers offer free access to sites and events across Scotland

 

WELLCOME CENTRE FOR ANTI-INFECTIVES RESEARCH – DUNDEE

A public garden with many types of plants, all the plants in the garden have an active ingredient which medicine is made from, or a link to herbalism. The garden shows the history of medicine as well as how plants today are still being researched to help create new medicines. 

Visitors will gain insight into the ground-breaking work that goes on within the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research, while recharging and gaining inspiration from the peaceful surroundings. 

Find out more: https://wcair.dundee.ac.uk/public-engagement/projects/medicinal-garden/

 

READ MORE: Dig at old Glenlivet distillery site uncovers 19th century whisky artefacts
 

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF SCOTLAND – EDINBURGH

The National Library of Scotland is Scotland’s largest library, with over 34 million items in their collections ranging from manuscripts, printed books, newspapers, magazines, sound and film collections, maps and more. These include the last letter of Mary Queen of Scots, the Gutenberg Bible, and letters written by Robert Burns and Charles Darwin.

Staff will be available to take visitors on a behind the scenes tour to experience the library and its rich history in a way “not usually available to the public”.

Find out more: https://www.nls.uk
 

The festival sees organisations and volunteers offer free access to sites and events across Scotland

 

Doors Open Days 2022 runs throughout September. The complete Doors Open Days programme is available on Doors Open Days' website at: https://www.doorsopendays.org.uk