What to see at Edinburgh Doors Open Day 2016

The Anatomical Museum on Teviot Place. Picture: Cockburn Association

The Anatomical Museum on Teviot Place. Picture: Cockburn Association

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It’s one of the Capital’s most exciting weekends, but with 119 buildings taking part in Doors Open Day 2016, where do you start?

1 VINTAGE BUS RUNNING DAY & CENTRAL DEPOT

The Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill. Picture: Cockburn Association

The Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill. Picture: Cockburn Association

GET on board a double decker this Saturday and be whisked into the Capital’s past as a selection of buses from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s return to the road as part of Lothian Buses’ Central Depot Open Day.

The vintage vehicles will operate part of the No 16 route; from Lothian Road to Newhaven, via Elm Row, just a few minutes walk from the depot.

Running every 10 minutes from 9am to 6pm, normal fares apply and bus passes are valid.

At the depot itself, the vintage of the vehicles on display will date back to the 40s and 50s, while there will also be a chance to take a trip through the bus wash in a more modern vehicle.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court on Chambers Street. Picture: Cockburn Association

Edinburgh Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court on Chambers Street. Picture: Cockburn Association

Annandale Street, Saturday, Noon-4pm

2 CORSTORPHINE HILL TOWER

PANORAMIC views don’t come more stunning than those from the top of the Corstorphine Hill Tower.

On a clear day, you can gaze across the city centre, over Leith and the Forth estuary, out to the Bass Rock or Pentland Hills, the airport, Forth bridges, and even the coast and hills of Fife.

The Victorian Schoolroom on Brunswick Road. Picture: Cockburn Association

The Victorian Schoolroom on Brunswick Road. Picture: Cockburn Association

Edinburgh’s ‘other Scott Monument,’ the tower was built in 1871 as a memorial to Sir Walter Scott.

Corstorphine Hill, Clermiston Road, Saturday & Sunday, 2pm-4pm

3 PRESERVED POLICE BOX

ALLO, allo, allo! With their distinctive rectangular design and intricate detail, the Capital’s police boxes were inspired by the neoclassical architecture of the city.

Lothian Buses is running vintage buses on Doors Open Day. Picture: Cockburn Association

Lothian Buses is running vintage buses on Doors Open Day. Picture: Cockburn Association

Many have since been converted into coffee stalls, but one retains all its original interior fittings intact.

Commissioned in May 1933, the box was designed by Ebenezer James MacRae to fulfil a practical and technical function whilst fitting in with the city’s existing architecture.

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

4 THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY

THE stars and beyond are just waiting to be discovered at the Royal Observatory, where state-of-the-art high tech facilities are housed in the original Victorian observatory buildings overlooking the city.

This is where some of the best telescopes in the world are built.

Talks, demonstrations and exhibits throughout the weekend will reveal how the observatory contributes to astronomy at every step of the way, from designing a new telescope to using the data produced to learn about the cosmos.

Blackford Hill, Saturday & Sunday, 10am-4.30pm

5 FIRE SERVICE MUSEUM

AS campaigners continue the fight to save Edinburgh’s Museum of Fire, there’s a chance to discover why they are so passionate about their cause.

Situated in the Fire Service Headquarters, opened on the 7 June 1900, the museum houses historic fire engines including James Braidwood’s High Street appliance and the last remaining Halley fire appliance in the world, which served in Leith.

There’s also a mock-up of a city close revealing conditions during the great fire of Edinburgh in 1824.

Lauriston Place, Saturday & Sunday, 10am-4pm

6 THE VICTORIAN SCHOOLROOM

ANOTHER time-warp, just waiting to be discovered, can be found in the grounds of Leith Walk Primary, where a fully functioning Victorian classroom awaits at the History of Education Centre.

Enter, and there’s a rare opportunity to experience what school might have been like more than 100 years ago.

The regimented wooden desks, blackboard, abacus, and dreaded tawse are all there, just a few of the authentic items to have served generations of children and teachers alike down the years.

Leith Walk Primary grounds, Brunswick Road, Saturday & Sunday, 10am-4pm

7 GENERAL REGISTER HOUSE

RESEARCHING your family tree? There’s more to General Register House than ancestry searches, so take your nose out of those dusty tomes and look around.

Designed by Robert Adam in 1789, this is one of the oldest purpose built archive buildings still in its original use.

This weekend enjoy access to Adam’s magnificent rotunda and see a remarkable statue of George III.

Princes Street, Saturday, 10am-4pm

8 THE SHERIFF COURT

ALL stand!

The largest of the Courts within Lothian and Borders, Edinburgh Sheriff Court serves a population of approximately 450,000. It’s the second busiest Court in Scotland.

With 18 court rooms, a cell area and administrative offices, there’s plenty to see.

Join tours of courts and cells, explore G4S vans, speed camera vehicles, exhibitions by Justice focus organisations.

Mock trials will also run throughout the day.

Chambers Street, Saturday, 9.30am-4pm

9 ANATOMICAL MUSEUM

DEATH-MASKS, skeletons, and a host of fascinating anatomical curiosities are just some of the gruesome exhibits waiting to be uncovered at the Anatomical Museum.

Opened in 1884, the museum was described by William Turner, then Professor of Anatomy, as ‘an ornament to the city’.

Designed by Robert Rowand Anderson as part of the Medical School, these specimens are still used by students today.

University of Edinburgh, Doorway 3, Medical School, Teviot Place, Saturday, 10am-4pm

10 BONHAMS AUCTION HOUSE

GOING... going... gone!

The only international auctioneer with a saleroom in Scotland gives a first ever glimpse behind the scenes of one of its auction houses.

Located in what was originally a five floor Georgian townhouse, visitors will not only see the wonderful architecture but also a varied collection of art, antiques, jewellery and more.

Queen Street, Saturday & Sunday, 10am-3pm

For full details of Doors Open Day 2016 go to www. doorsopendays.org.uk