Hundreds of places all over Scotland which are not normally exposed to the public gaze will be letting people see what goes on behind the scenes as part of Doors Open Days 2023.
Visitors are being invited to uncover hidden gems and experience familiar places through fresh eyes. Doors Open Days began in 1990, with 44 events in Glasgow and Ayr. But in the past 33 years the event has expanded to reach all 32 council regions of Scotland with visitors enjoying access to nearly 1,000 events, coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust.
Here is a first look at some of the Edinburgh buildings which will be opening their doors to the public.
1. Abbey Strand Centre, Holyrood
Next to the gates of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Abbey Strand buildings have been witness to more than five centuries of Scottish history. The oldest parts date back to around 1490 and were used as a weapons store during the reign of James V; as courtiers’ lodgings for Mary, Queen of Scots and James VI and I; as a sanctuary for 6,000 people in debt; and a site of taverns and tearooms. Today, the Abbey Strand Centre hosts school visits, workshops and lectures. Open: Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24, 10am-3pm. Guided tours available at 10am, 11am, noon, 2pm and 3pm. Photo: Scottish Civic Trust
2. Abden House - Confucius Institute
Abden House, in Marchhall Crescent, was built in 1855 for Thomas Nelson, founder of the Scottish publishers of the same name. Built with three storeys in the Jacobean revivalist style of the 19th century, Abden faces a carriage circle with gates at the end of Marchhall Crescent. It has an irregular plan with single story wings on the North and South sides. The building now belongs to the University of Edinburgh, gifted to them by Sir Donald Pollock, and is the admin centre for the Confucius Institute. Open: Sunday, September 24, 10am-3pm. Photo: Scottish Civic Trust
3. Adam Smith's Panmure House, Lochend Close
Built in 1691, Panmure House is the final remaining home of Adam Smith, philosopher and 'father of modern economics'. Smith occupied the house between 1778 and 1790, during which time he completed the final editions of his master works: The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations. Other great luminaries and thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment visited Smith regularly at the house. In 2008, Edinburgh Business School and Heriot-Watt University undertook to rescue the building from dereliction. Following a 10-year, £5.6m renovation programme, Panmure House was formally opened in November 2018. As a research centre, Panmure House is not normally open to the public, but Doors Open Day visitors are invited to explore the buiding and learn more about its distinguished past in Adam Smith’s 300th birthday year. Open: Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24, 10am-4pm. Photo: Ian Georgeson
4. Appleton Tower, School of Informatics
Edinburgh University's Appleton Tower has been a controversial building since its inception and recently underwent a major refurbishment, which includes a new entrance. It's now home to the university's School of Informatics. Visitors are being invited to join a walking tour that will take them through the landmarks in the history of computer science and AI. The tour starts in front of the Informatics Forum and includes access to level 9 of the Appleton Tower offering an amazing view of the city. Open: Saturday, September 23, 11am-2pm. Photo: Cate Gillon