Opening doors to hidden Highland architecture and history this September

Doors Open Day programme 2014
The Highland Doors Open Days programme for 2014 is about to get underway, with a total of 45 venues featuring in this year’s programme.  Doors will be opening in different Highland Council areas over the four weekends in September commencing this Saturday (6th September), with free admission to all venues and many offering special events and activities.   

Doors Open Days venues making their first appearance in the Highland programme this year include Her Majesty’s Prison in Inverness, Inverness Campus, Castle Leod in Strathpeffer, Groam House Museum and Office in the Black Isle, Ullapool Museum, the WWII archive at the Dunnet Head Educational Trust in Caithness, the new Am Fasgadh collections facility at the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, Castle Roy near Nethy Bridge, Glencoe Folk Museum, Telford House in Banavie, and the Power Houses for the former smelter at Kinlochleven and the current Rio Tinto Alcan Lochaber smelter at Fort William.  

Other Doors Open Days venues returning this year include historic churches, castles, museums and heritage centres, Eden Court Theatre, the Jim Savage-Lowden Observatory at Culloden, Inverness Sheriff Court in Inverness Castle, Inverness Town House, the award-winning Highland Archive and Registration Service in Inverness, Cromarty Lighthouse, and the Aviemore Shed of the Strathspey Steam Railway.  There will also once again be a costumed re-enactment of stories about the Fraser clan at Wardlaw Mausoleum, Kirkhill, and guided tours of the Muirtown Locks in Inverness and Neptune’s Staircase at Banavie.  

Chairman of The Highland Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Thomas Prag said: “The range of venues open to visitors is better than ever with some fascinating new ones and some old favourites too. I took the chance to go round Inverness Castle last year – if you haven’t been inside and wonder what we might do with it given the chance take a look!  Inverness Prison is probably the next logical step for me this year – or perhaps the engine shed at Strathspey Railway. Doors Open Days events are a great opportunity to see and learn about some of the Highlands architectural and historical gems – or just to be a bit nosey and sneak a peak inside somewhere new.  Take a look and you are bound to find something.”

Doors Open Days is co-ordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust.  It runs throughout Scotland every September as part of European Heritage Days, and aims to give people the chance to see inside some of the country’s most interesting buildings, many of which are not normally accessible to the general public.  For more information see  and  The programme in the Highlands is co-ordinated by The Highland Council’s Development and Infrastructure Service.

Further details are available in the Highland Doors Open Days programme – available from local libraries, museums, service points and visitor information centres.

The full list of Highland venues taking part in Doors Open Days this year is:

  • Weekend One: 6-7 September

In and around Inverness
please see programme for exact dates and opening times for each venue

Eden Court Theatre
Free North Church
Her Majesty’s Prison, Inverness
Highland Archive and Registration Centre
Inverness Campus (no tour places remaining)
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
Inverness Sheriff Court
Jim Savage-Lowden Observatory
Maggie’s Highland
MAKAR Workshop
Muirtown Locks
Old High Church
St Andrew’s Cathedral
St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church
Wardlaw Mausoleum, Kirkhill  

Black Isle/Easter Ross/East Sutherland
Castle Leod, Strathpeffer

Weekend Two: 13-14 September (please see programme for exact dates and opening times for each venue)

In and around Inverness
Daviot Church, Daviot  

Black Isle/Easter Ross/East Sutherland
Ballone Castle
Cromarty Courthouse
Cromarty Lighthouse
East Church, Cromarty
Groam House Museum (Rosemarkie) and Office (Rosehaugh Estate)
Hugh Miller’s Birthplace Cottage and Museum,Cromarty
Kyle of Sutherland Heritage Centre, Ardgay
Old Parish Church, Edderton  
Note: the Highland Museum of Childhood in Strathpeffer will not now be opening for the event.

Wester Ross
Gairloch Heritage Museum
Ullapool Museum

Weekend Three: 20-21 September (please see programme for exact dates and opening times for each venue)

Caithness Horizons
Clan Gunn Heritage Centre
Dunnet Head Educational Trust - WWII archive
Dunbeath Heritage Centre
Waterlines Heritage Centre

Weekend Four: 27-28 September (please see programme for exact dates and opening times for each venue)

Badenoch & Strathspey
Abernethy Old Kirk, Nethy Bridge
Am Fasgadh, Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore
Aviemore Shed, Strathspey Railway, Aviemore
Castle Roy, Nethy Bridge
Inverallan Church

Glencoe Folk Museum
Kinlochleven Powerhouse
Lochaber Powerhouse, Fort William
Neptune’s Staircase, Banavie
Telford House (East), Banavie 

3 Sep 2014
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