Doors Open Days

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.


Doors Open Days 2022

Perth and Kinross Doors Open Days 2022 will be held on the weekend of the 17th and 18th of September. This year’s European Heritage Days theme is “sustainability”, while the national theme follows Visit Scotland’s “Year of Stories”. Stay tuned for further event info!

Get involved for 2022!

As ever we’re committed to making the festival as interesting, accessible and successful as we can. If you operate a venue, activity or group which fits one or both of this year’s themes and would like to take part, or you have a suggestion of somewhere you would like to see added to this year’s programme, then please do get in touch with us.

Download the Perth and Kinross 2021 Brochure

View Doors Open Days Annual Summary Reports

Coronavirus Statement

Whilst we have made great strides against the Coronavirus pandemic over more than a year, caution is still to be advised and good social distancing and hand hygiene needs to be heeded at all venues that are physically welcoming visitors. Please respect the efforts that the venues are making to ensure things are as safe as possible for their volunteers, your visit and the concerns of other visitors.

Pre-booking for most visits is recommended although some venues can welcome visitors at the door. Some venues can also provide special online access which is the safest type of visit of all and is available world-wide or to those stuck at home. Many virtual visits have been created and launched especially for Doors Open Days and can be found by checking the National website: www.doorsopendays.org.uk

Restrictions are always changing and we ask that you keep aware of any applicable safety measures put in place by Scottish Government guidance. Please note that these may change at short notice and venues may have to adapt to their organisation’s satisfaction to accommodate you.


Get involved in Doors Open Days

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. 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

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 from the Doors Open Days website – full online venue listings for all of Scotland are available on this webpage.

“We love Doors Open Days, [it’s a] great opportunity to explore your own town and learn history” – visitor


Doors Open Days: A look back

2021

Doors Open Days 2021 was the year of Coasts & Waters. Thankfully we were able to begin holding in-person events once more, with a hybrid programme of both digital resources and open venues.

This year Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust was able to organise two very special water-related venues – the Lower City Mills itself in the centre of Perth and a walking tour following the path of the lade underground through the city centre.

“How marvellous to see this magnificent industrial treasure coming back to life. We have known it to be closed for many years and delighted at its rebirth. Thanks for an interesting tour. We hope to see many more of Perth’s heritage shine once more!” – Visitor

The Scottish Civic Trust annual Doors Open Days summary report for 2021 is now available on their website. To see a full list of reports, click here.

Once again we extend our heartfelt thanks to all who helped make the festival a success, and to the Gannochy Trust for their continued financial support.

2020

During a lull in the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, we ran a much-reduced Doors Open Days programme in Perth and Kinross across the weekend of 19-20 September 2020.

We sadly had to postpone our tours of the Lower City Mills and Perth Lade, however, other buildings successfully opened for physical tours with appropriate safety measures in place including the Perth Railway Boxing Club – the City’s oldest amateur boxing club, Innerpeffray Library – Scotland’s first lending library, and the Quarto Press in Coupar Angus with its unique collection of working antique printing presses.

There was an increase in digital doors opening, in line with the rest of the National Doors Open Days programme, with online tours, talks and resources giving access to buildings that are either rarely open to the public or have prepared something special for the occasion. The newly opened Perth Creative Exchange provided digital tours of the artist’s studios as did venues operated by Culture Perth and Kinross that that have been open for physical tours in previous years.

Visitor analysis showed an increase by 8% of 18-25 year olds across Scotland and by 19% of 55-64 year olds. This may indicate the power of digital content to attract a new, younger audience and enable a wider geographical reach.

Our sincere thanks to all those who made special efforts to make Doors Open Days 2020 a successful event against the difficult circumstances! In particular, thank you to the Gannochy Trust for their continued generous financial support and the volunteers at venues and behind computers all over Perth & Kinross who made it happen.

Doors Open Days: In Pictures

COVID-19 Operations Statement

Trust staff now work a blend of office and home-working so enquiries are best directed via email as monitoring of office telephones is reduced. Contractors/deliveries requiring access to Lower City Mills should arrange with a member of staff in advance.

General enquiries can still be made using the Contact Us page.

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