10 things you shouldn’t miss at Edinburgh Doors Open Day 2017

Lothian Buses doors open day
Lothian Buses doors open day
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Dozens of Edinburgh venues are opening up this weekend for the annual Doors Open Day events.

Now in its 27th year, the event gives people chance to discover some of the Capital’s most unique and interesting buildings which are normally closed to the public.

So what’s worth seeing? Here are 10 of the best:

Full details of all venues available here

1 LOTHIAN BUSES - CENTRAL GARAGE

Annandale Street, Saturday 23 September - Noon to 4pm

MORE than 200 Lothian buses and 700 staff operate out of Central Garage every day. Originally built for the Industrial Exhibition of 1922, the Category B-listed building became the home of the Corporation’s bus fleet in 1926, and was extended in 1933 and again in 1963.

On Saturday there will be guided tours, the chance to go through the bus wash, re-enactments and performances, and of course the opportunity to ride once again on buses from another age as part of Vintage Bus Running Day. Don’t forget to look up and check out the building’s impressive roof dome.

2 UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH - ANATOMICAL MUSEUM

Doorway 3, Medical School, Teviot Place, Saturday 23 September - 10am to 4pm

SKELETONS, death masks and fascinating anatomical curiosities lie at the heart of the Anatomical Museum, an integral part of the Medical School. Many of the specimens on display are still used by anatomy students today.

Designed by Robert Rowand Anderson as a mix of Scottish architecture with ‘Cinquecento’ Italian style, the museum opened in 1884 as ‘an ornament to the city’.

3 LEITH - CUSTOM HOUSE

Commercial Street, Saturday 23 September - 10am to 4pm

ORIGINALLY built to oversee the payment of duty on imported and exported goods travelling through the Port of Leith, Custom House was built between 1810 to 1812, with major alterations in 1825. It is currently a creative hub.

The Edinburgh Traditional Building Forum will present a series of demonstrations and workshops based around traditional building skills used to maintain buildings of this period.

4 EDINBURGH SHERIFF AND JUSTICE OF THE PEACE COURT

Chambers Street, Saturday 23 September -09.30am to 4pm

TOUR the courts, cells and check out the G4S vans and speed camera vehicles as well as experiencing mock trials throughout the day at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, which opened in 1994.

The largest of the Courts in Lothian and Borders and the second busiest in Scotland, it boasts 18 courtrooms.

5 PRINCES STREET GARDENS GARDENER’S LODGE

West Princes Street Gardens, Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 September - 11am to 4pm

NESTLED in the corner of West Princes Street Gardens, below the floral clock and next to the monument to the Royal Scots, the enchanting Gardner’s Cottage is a Category C-listed building from 1886.

6 GRANTON CASTLE WALLED GARDEN

West Shore Road, Saturday 23 September - 10am-2pm

TOUR the Category B-listed medieval walled garden that once belonged to Granton’s lost castle on the hour throughout the day. This relatively unknown gem is hidden in the most unexpected of places with occupancy dating back to 1165 and William the Lion.

7 LYON & TURNBULL AUCTION HOUSE

Broughton Place, Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 September - 10am-4pm

THE privately owned international auction house, founded in 1826, is Scotland’s oldest auction house. Based in a neoclassical building built in 1821, some of the original features remain. 

8 MAGDALEN CHAPEL

Cowgate, Saturday 23 September - 10am to 4pm

BUILT 1541, the last Roman Catholic chapel built in the Capital before the Reformation, the Magdalen Chapel contains the only pre-Reformation stained glass still in its original location. Check out its remarkable 17th century interior including inscribed wooden panels and a mortuary table associated with the Covenanters.

9 PARLIAMENT HOUSE (SUPREME COURTS)

Parliament Square, Saturday 23 September - 10am to 4pm

SET back from the Royal Mile, the original building here in 1603 was The Parliament House. The lobby within Parliament House gives direct access to Parliament Hall, which once served as the meeting place of the Scottish Parliament and the Outer House of the Court of Session. 

10 POLICE BOX

Northfield Broadway, at Junction with Mountcastle Drive North, Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 September - 10am to 3pm

THIS Edinburgh police box commissioned in May 1933 is one of around 100 produced to the 1929 design by Ebenezer James Mac Rae, which was styled to fit in with the city’s architecture. This weekend the police box will be dressed with 1930s/1940s props to illustrate how it was used.