Be warned. Your appetite to explore Scotland is about to skyrocket – and we mean it!
September in Scotland means Doors Open Days, the largest free festival dedicated to some of the country’s most architecturally and culturally outstanding and significant buildings. The festival offers you the chance to peek behind their closed doors, and discover sites in Scotland you may never have seen before.
Some open up only once a year, so this is the perfect opportunity to find out more about hidden Scotland. Normally off-limits to the public or charging an admission fee, you can explore them completely for free. They won’t cost you a penny!
There’re more than 1,000 participating venues ranging from stunning castles, fascinating museums and charming kirks to splendid gardens, parks and quirky cinemas. With exhibitions, talks, guided walks and more, there are plenty great activities to choose from to suit all ages and interests.
Be sure to mark the below dates in your diary now and check back with us every week for some regional highlights.
Read on for our recommendations for the first week, and don’t forget to share your discoveries with us using #brilliantmoments.
Kinnaird Castle, Brechin, Angus – embark on miles of varied walks through open countryside and woodlands dotted with follies, watching rare natural species and enjoy the tremendous fishing and shooting in 800 acres of mature parkland
Portencross Castle, near West Kilbride, Ayrshire – explore this ancient monument with its beautiful, and surprisingly intact, Great Hall with original vaulted ceiling, and enjoy spectacular views from the roof
The Auld Washie / Thatched Studio, near Collessie, Fife – appreciate the many quirky features of this originally 18th century agricultural barn that has been charmingly restored into an art studio
Darvel: Private Telephone Museum, Darvel, Ayrshire – don’t miss this unique display of telephone memorabilia dating from early 1900s to the present, and housed within old bakehouse
Eden Court Theatre, Inverness – marvel at this award-winning complex that combines 19th century grandeur with 20th and 21st century sophistication
Strathmore Vintage Vehicle Club, near Glamis, Forfar – see a unique collection of historic vehicles and associated items, and get to know more about SVVC
• Aberdeen City • Central Fife & Kirkcaldy (13 September only) • East Dunbartonshire (12 September only) • East Renfrewshire • Highland: Ross & Cromarty • Highland: Sutherland • Inverclyde • Midlothian (12 September only) • North Lanarkshire • South Lanarkshire • Stirling • West Lothian •
Browse the events directory and check regularly on your local council website for new participating sites. Please note that some sites require you to book in advance. For detailed information, www.doorsopendays.org.uk.