Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates places and stories, new and old. Every September you can explore hundreds of fascinating buildings for free.

Across the country doors will be opened wide, welcoming visitors to uncover hidden gems and experience familiar places through fresh eyes. From mills and museums to bunkers and brochs, there is something for everyone to enjoy this September as they play ‘tourist’ in their hometowns or explore further afield.

This weekend, doors will be opening in Aberdeen City, Angus, Ayrshire, the Highlands, Central Fife, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Midlothian, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most weird and wonderful places opening their doors this weekend, and they are all free

Aberdeen Crematorium, Aberdeen City

Visitors have an unusual opportunity to get behind the scenes of this working crematorium, situated in a tranquil woodland on the outskirts of Aberdeen. The tour will include a visit to the Cremation Area which is rarely open to the public.

Today, 10am-4pm

North Ayrshire Heritage Centre, Ayrshire

Join Captain Betsy Miller, the first registered female ship’s captain, for a stroll around her home town of Saltcoats. You will visit her place of birth, the harbour where she sailed and her burial place before arriving back at the centre to enjoy some rations.

Today, 10am-4pm

Skelmorlie Secret Bunker, Ayrshire

Descend down a 15ft vertical steel ladder to visit the only fully restored nuclear monitoring post in the West of Scotland. An atmospheric, underground, hands-on experience, you will be accompanied by members of the Royal Observer Corps Association.

Today and tomorrow, noon-5pm

Confucius Institute, Aberdeen City

Experience a Chinese tea ceremony, listen to traditional Chinese music or try your hand at calligraphy and craft. The Confucius Institute acts as a linguistic and cultural bridge, promoting knowledge exchange between China and the people of Scotland.

Today, 10am-4pm

WeeCook Kitchen, Angus

Fancy yourself the next Gordon Ramsey? Join the WeeCook crew for an interactive pie making masterclass and bake a tasty pie of your own to take home. Young chefs in the making can also enjoy a mini pie making session.

Today and tomorrow. Sessions at 09:30am, 9:45am and 10:30am each day.

Ballone Castle, Highlands

Once an uninhabitable and roofless ruin suffering from neglect, Ballone Castle has been restored as a private residence with impressive views out across the Moray Firth. Perched atop a cliff this castle fell out of use following the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.

Today, 10am-5:30pm

Ravenscraig Walled Garden, Fife

Test out your green thumb with a visit to this community allotment and local green space, with over 100 fruit trees and a ‘wild area’ set aside for wildlife. The garden offers courses, training and volunteer opportunities in gardening and growing your own fruit and veggies.

Tomorrow, 10am-3pm

Fort Theatre, East Dunbartonshire

Take a paranormal tour and see if you can spot any ghosts ‘treading the boards’ at this granary turned theatre which sits along the Antonine Wall. You can also catch a free performance from The Antonine Theatre Group, a local amateur dramatics group.

Today 10am-5pm

Cathcart Cemetery, East Renfrewshire

With nearly 15,000 graves, the cemetery is a library of local knowledge and social history – every grave tells its own story. Pioneering footballers, artists and entertainers have all found their final resting place here.

Today, 2pm-4pm

Whitelee Wind Farm, East Renfrewshire

Take a bus tour around the UK’s largest onshore wind farm and be blown away by the 215 turbines towering above you on this 130km site. This site produces 539 megawatts of electricity, which is enough electricity to power nearly 300,000 homes.

Today and tomorrow, 10am-5pm

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Museum, Inverclyde

Join a storytelling session and hear about Wallace the Fire Dog. The beloved mascot of Glasgow Central Fire Station served on the team from 1895-1902 and wore little rubber boots to protect his paws from debris. Each child will receive a free storybook to take home with them.

Today and tomorrow, 10am-4pm (Sat) and noon-4pm (Sun)

Arniston House, Midlothian

Enjoy a guided tour of Arniston House, home of the Dundas family for over 400 years. On your tour you will hear the story of Arniston and the history of the Dundas family. See the spectacular architecture, period furniture, china collections and stucco work, which make this mansion house so special.

Today, 11am-4pm

Cousland Smiddy, Midlothian

Feel the heat of the forge at this working blacksmith’s as the tenant farrier demonstrates the ancient craft of horseshoe making. Bringing history to life, the farrier joins a long line of Smiddys who have been working on this site since at least 1703.

Today, 10am-4pm

Maid of the Loch, West Dunbartonshire

Climb aboard Loch Lomond’s last paddle steamer in Balloch. From her deck you can enjoy some of the best views of the Loch with the iconic backdrop of Ben Lomond. Take a peek into the winch house’s operational steam boiler which moves the Maid in and out of the loch.

Today, 10am-4pm

Linlithgow Museum, West Lothian

From Rechabites to royalty and soldiers to Star Trek, Linlithgow Museum tells the story of the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow from its earliest days to current times. Take part in a museum quest to learn more about the history of Linlithgow and get crafty in their community space with free arts activities.

Today and tomorrow, 11am-4pm

To explore the full nationwide programme, you can visit the Doors Open Days website and search via your preferred region or weekend: