Scotland’s largest free festival of places, history and culture to return

2021 marks the 32nd year of Doors Open Days, a festival that sees organisations and volunteers offer free access to sites and events across Scotland. The festival aims to ensure that Scotland’s built and cultural heritage is made accessible to everyone living in and visiting the country.

Inspired by the successes of Doors Open Days’ first ever digital festival in 2020, which welcomed 184,000 virtual visitors from across the world, the 2021 festival will have both online and in-person events and activities. The combination of in-person and online events will enable more visitors than ever before to explore Scotland’s places.

A virtual visitor to Doors Open Days 2020 said: “I hope that digital talks and tours will continue to form part of the programme! The digital events have removed two barriers I usually face to participation – difficulty getting on to talks/tours due to limited numbers and difficulty attending evening sessions due to caring responsibilities.”

Doors Open Days is coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust, and is part of European Heritage Days. Local coordinators from civic trusts, heritage organisations and local authorities create and manage programmes in each region.

Director of Scottish Civic Trust, Doors Open Days national coordinator, Dr Susan O’Connor, said: “Hundreds of venues across the country are busy behind-the-scenes organising events, planning walking tours and creating videos and other virtual activities for visitors. We’re particularly excited to welcome visitors back into buildings for in-person events so we can all meet face-to-face with our neighbours and local places once again.”

Audiences can sign up to the Doors Open Days e-newsletter ( to be the first to know when the festival programme is announced in August.

COVID-19 restrictions

Doors Open Days only encourages people to attend in-person events in accordance with the latest Scottish Government COVID-19 guidance. The events and buildings that will be open for physical visits in September will ensure safe access according to the most current guidelines.

If you are looking for further details on this? Then you are in luck because more information can be found on the Scottish Civic Trust website right here!

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