Doors Open Days - East Lothian

Scotland's annual Doors Open Days festival gives you free access to lots of fascinating buildings across East Lothian! This year's event will be held on 25th & 26th September!

Doors Open Days - East Lothian

About Doors Open Days - East Lothian

25th Sep 2021 to 26th Sep 2021
Various Locations East Lothian
See event website for details
Event organiser/part of Doors Open Days
Visit the event website here
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Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment. It offers free access to over a thousand venues across the country throughout September, every year.

Information about the national programme, including event listings, can be found at www.doorsopendays.org.uk.

2021 Programme:

1772 Waggonway Museum
25-26 September 2021
Look out for the wooden waggon! The 1722 Waggonway Heritage Centre celebrates Scotland’s oldest railway route – 300 years old in 2022! The centre's museum features archaeological artefacts, models, maps, plans and photographs, as well as Cadell’s Office and William Dickson’s Workshop. Celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters by visiting us near Cockenzie Harbour, where salt and coal was produced and shipped since mediaeval times, trading to Hanseatic ports and beyond. Find out what new information has been gleaned from our September 2021 digs on the Waggonway and in the salt pans around Cockenzie. All COVID protocols in place in our wide open, well-ventilated museum.

Amisfield Walled Garden
25-26 September 2021
Amisfield Walled Garden dates from 1783 and forms part of the policies of Amisfield House, a Palladian mansion that was demolished in the 1920’s. The garden is 8 acres in size and the ornamental pavilions in each corner and derelict bothies outside the walls are A-listed for their historical importance.

Dunbar Town House Museum and Gallery
25-26 September 2021
With its distinctive witch's hat tower and its bell, clock and sun dials the Town House has been the focus of town life since the 16th century. Our staff are always on hand to chat about the town and the history of the building. You can visit the council chamber – scene of the infamous witch trials – and a grimly atmospheric jail cell. The building is accessible on all levels and is home to a museum and gallery with changing historical and art exhibitions as well as a local history display area and research room managed by Dunbar and District History Society.

Dunbar Townhouse - Museum & Gallery
25-26 September 2021
With its distinctive witch's hat tower and its bell, clock and sun dials the Town House has been the focus of town life since the 16th century. Our staff are always on hand to chat about the town and the history of the building. You can visit the council chamber – scene of the infamous witch trials – and a grimly atmospheric jail cell. The building is accessible on all levels and is home to a museum and gallery with changing historical and art exhibitions as well as a local history display area and research room managed by Dunbar and District History Society.

John Gray Centre Museum
25 September 2021
Discover the history of East Lothian in 1000 objects in this innovative interactive museum at the heart of the county. Admission is free. Visitors will see that the Museum looks a little different with various safety measures introduced to help guide visitors and keep everyone safe. We are booking visits to the Museum and exhibition gallery.

John Muir's Birthplace
25-26 September 2021
John Muir's life and work has inspired people all over the world. Discover how the boy born in this house became one of the driving forces behind the global conservation movement. Our absorbing hands on interpretation centre will take you on the journey of John Muir's life as a pioneering conservationist, explorer, writer, geologist and inventor. Our friendly, well informed staff are always on hand to help and answer questions. The building is fully accessible with three floors of family friendly interactive displays complemented by a lively exhibition programme and a shop offering books and gifts for all ages. If you are unable to visit us in person, please check out our new online exhibitions at https://www.jmbt.org.uk/learn/exhibitions/

MacArthurs Store
25-26 September 2021
McArthur’s Store is owned by Dunbar Harbour Trust and is at Cromwell Harbour in Dunbar, East Lothian. It is a rare example of an early 17c harbour warehouse and one of the oldest surviving in Scotland. This category B listed building has a distinctive character derived from its position and origins as a quayside granary. Latterly used as a store and workshop by the Dunbar fishermen, by the turn of the millennium the building had fallen into a state of advanced disrepair and dilapidation.

Newhailes House and Gardens
25-26 September 2021
Newhailes is a beautiful 18th century villa in the outskirts of Edinburgh. It was the home of the Dalrymple family for more than 300 years, and has been in the care of the National Trust for Scotland since 1997. The house and the wider estate tell the fascinating story of 300 years of history, touching upon the minutiae of family life as well as major international events. The Newhailes Stables have recently undergone a major regeneration project; converting the old dairy into an amazing new takeaway coffee and ice cream shop, and the stables into a brand new cafe and a beautiful admissions space!

Preston Tower
25-26 September 2021
Preston Tower heart sits at the heart of the town of Prestonpans in East Lothian. It has been partially ruined since a fire in 1663 but remains a prominent landmark and centrepiece of a garden. Plans are now underway to repair both the tower and doocot buildings and, hopefully, make it safe enough again for regular public access, which has not been possible for decades.

Prestongrange Museum
25-26 September 2021
Prestongrange at Morison’s Haven was a bustling former industrial complex and is now home to Prestongrange Museum. Explore the Visitor Centre exhibition.
During Doors Open Day Weekend we will be hosting regular guided tours of the museum site and have a variety of children's crafts.

St Mary's Parish Church
25-26 September 2021
14th century St Mary’s, has cathedral proportions and is 206 feet long. By 1549, it was roofless and ruined with pock-marked walls from musket/ cannon fire during the Siege of Haddington. The town could only afford to repair the west end which was reroofed and repaired to allow services to be held. A huge barrier wall hid the ruined, forlorn east end.It stayed that way for over 400 years until a huge scheme allowed a complete restoration; by 1973, the church was again whole!

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Custom House is delighted to open its doors again to the public on Saturday 25th September from 10am - 4pm.
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