Doors Open Day
Around 120 buildings, many off-bounds to the general public during the rest of the year, throw open their doors, and gates for the annual Doors Open Day. Doors Open Day has taken place each year, since 1991, and over the whole weekend since 2009.
Organised in Edinburgh by the Cockburn Association, Doors Open Day features free tours, activities, exhibitions and/or talks which bring the history or everyday use of a building to life.
2014 will be the 24th Doors Open Day. There is also a programme of free lunchtime and evening talks in the week running up to Doors Open Day.
Participating buildings and events vary from tours of the little Greek temple Burns Monument (restored as part of the Twelve Monuments Restoration Project) to going backstage at the newly renovated Assembly Rooms, the Traverse Theatre, Summerhall, Usher Hall, or Filmhouse.
You can also enjoy views out to Fife from Corstorphine Hill Tower, learn about rocks and the art of dry stane dyking at the British Geological Survey, enjoy displays by police dogs and horses at Craigmillar Police Station, view items from the archive at St Cuthberts Parish Church, and find out more about about the restoration of the Main Chamber and ten storey central staircase at Edinburgh City Chambers.
Many sites organise additional free activities for children and families.
Not all buildings are open both days so you should check the program for specific buildings opening times. Events at some buildings, like the National Museums Scotland Collection Centre tours, or guided tours of the Surgeon's Hall’s pathology stores require you to book ahead.