Scotland is Opening Its Doors for Arts and Entertainment at European Heritage Days 2019

Scotland is celebrating its 30th European Heritage Days this year! Doors Open Days will be taking place across the country throughout August and September, with hosts welcoming visitors to explore each region’s unique heritage. Marking the common theme for this year - “Arts and Entertainment,” Scotland is opening the doors to hundreds of cultural buildings for visitors to explore for free throughout the festival.

As the largest cultural festival in the country, Doors Open Days allows for exploration of Scotland’s heritage treasures. Bridging the gap between the past and today, the festival is promoting heritage by encouraging local and international visitors to engage with it in a number of dedicated events. In honour of the 30th anniversary of the festival, special events have been added to the programme this year.

From museums, schools and music centres, to sports facilities, libraries and media centres, different generations of visitors can explore Scotland’s heritage through a wide variety of open venues during Doors Open Days. Thousands of free guided tours, talks, exhibitions, workshops and participatory activities will be taking place all around the country from 31 August to 29 September. The festival is coordinated by the Scottish Civic Trust and Archaeology Scotland, both of which are supported by Historic Environment Scotland.

The launch event of European Heritage Days in Scotland will take place on 7 August at Barony Castle Hotel outside the village of Eddleston, near Peebles in the Scottish Borders. The hotel is home to the Great Polish Map of Scotland, and is an ideal host for a celebration of Scotland’s heritage in a European context. Doors Open Days will have its official launch on 29 August at Govanhill Baths in Glasgow, an Edwardian bathhouse that is now used a community centre and arts hub. Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, will greet the attendees of the opening ceremony titled Blooms With a View.



Blooms with a View - Harper Scott Photo

Partnerships Revisited

Doors Open Days is partnering up with Hostelling Scotland for the second year to offer a unique experience to young people and families as a part of Braw Buildings project. 16-to-25-year-olds or families with at least one child aged up to 15 years all over Scotland will be given the opportunity to experience Doors Open Days in a unique way. By staying in one of the 6 youth hostels across Scotland, they  will be able to discover new parts of Scotland and explore different venues in the area.

For more information and to apply for Braw Buildings 2019, visit the official page:


SculpTOURS Art Project



Felix Welch, SculpTOURS

The Scottish Civic Trust has partnered up with the Sculpture Placement Group to put arts at the forefront of the 30th year celebrations in Scotland. The project allows for promotion of contemporary art by placing sculptural masterpieces in different locations across the country. Sculptures by artists working in Scotland will be on display at their new locations in September. Visitors will be able to locate the adopted sculptural artworks with a help of a digital map specially designed for the project. From a giant gold ring in Cumbernauld, to a stone wave vortex in Falkirk, and mysterious vessels at Lochearnhead, visitors at Doors Open Days in Scotland will have access to some amazing pieces of modern art heritage.


Scottish Archaeology Month

As a part of European Heritage Days in Scotland, “Scottish Archaeology Month” is held each September, with free events offered across the country. A diverse programme of events is updated annually, aiming to promote understanding and appreciation of national archaeology as a part of wider European heritage landscape. With the final list of events still to be announced, the initiative will gather archaeology enthusiasts around the idea of preserving the national archaeological gems through educational and participatory events.


As the final list of events is yet to be published, Doors Open Days festival is promising another successful season of built heritage exploration. Visits to some of the most extraordinary sites will help to raise awareness of the diverse cultural heritage that unites Europe in an effort to preserve and promote it as one of the shared treasures among different countries.


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Image credits: Top right, 2018 launch event - Donald MacLeod