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 places 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 alongside Scottish Archaeology Month. For full details of this exciting nationwide festival, and to access the online programme, visit the dedicated Doors Open Days website.

“Unlock Scotland – 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 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! All venues will be marked with accessibility information.

What is ‘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 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.

Get involved – Visitors

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

Get involved – Information for organisations and venues

“Wonderful experience and a joy to be a part of Doors Open Days” – Venue operator

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.

Taking Part Handy Guide

It is free to take part in Doors Open Days. You will be included in the printed programme (approx. 3000 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 Whether you’ve been involved before or you’re entirely new to the festival, we’d love for you to sign up!

If you’d like to add your building or venue to this year’s programme, please sign up using our online form.

Sign Up


Doors Open Days: In Pictures

A Look Back...

Annual Summary Reports
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