The Blog

Discover hidden Scotland at Doors Open Days 2015

* Update: Bookmark this page as Doors Open Days will be returning in 2016 and we will be posting about it closer to the date. In the meantime, read below to find out what this festival is all about.

Be warned. Your appetite to explore Scotland is about to skyrocket – and we mean it!Inveraray Bell TowerSeptember 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.The Library of InnerpeffraySome 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!Alloa TowerThere’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.John Knox HouseYou’ll find it hard not to feel a sense of awe and amazement when you enter those sites, from the smallest of remains to the grandest of houses and grounds.Cairn O' Mohr Fruit Winery PerthshireBe 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 last (!) weekend, and don’t forget to share your discoveries with us using #brilliantmoments.WK 4Springbank Distillery, Campbeltown – It remains the only independent, family-owned distillery in Scotland with the great-great-great-grandson of founder Archibald Mitchell now at the reins. Take a behind-the-scenes tour to discover how whisky is produced and enjoy a dram at the end of the tour.

Clackmannan Tower, Menstrie, Clackmannanshire – Standing on King’s Seat Hill, this soaring five-storey structure is one of Scotland’s most impressive towers. Pre-book a guided tour of the tower and you’ll also be able to see most of the Clackmannanshire Tower Trail, with Alloa and Sauchie Towers and Menstrie Castle also taking part, as well as Hilton Farm.

Advocate’s Library, Edinburgh – Designed by William Henry Playfair, the building is the private working law library for the Faculty of Advocates, Scottish Bar. Visitors on tours will see the Playfair library corridor, the library’s law room, which was once a court, and the Laigh Hall beneath Parliament Hall where luminaries of the Scottish Enlightenment gathered. The library was also situated here during the 18th century.

Glencoe & North Lorn Folk Museum, Glencoe – Visit this charming museum, set in the heart of the Glencoe village, and learn more about the story of the MacDonalds, and the infamous Glencoe Massacre, and see a range of fascinating artefacts relating to both this event and the Jacobite Risings.

The Library of Innerpeffray, near Crieff – Explore Perthshire’s fascinating literary connections at the oldest free public lending library in the country. You’ll find 5,000 books, most published before 1800, including many rare copies that are beautifully bound in leather and vellum.

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, or regional event listings:

• Argyll & ButeClackmannshireEdinburghHighland: LochaberPerth & Kinross

The following two tabs change content below.

Aldona Krzemien

Content Editor at VisitScotland
Originally from Poland, she's now based in Edinburgh and can't imagine life without four things: travels, photography, fishing for antiques and haggis!


Cookie Policy

VisitScotland uses cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By using our website you consent to our use of cookies. Please read our new privacy and cookies statement for more information.