open doors day argyll 2015

Doors Open day back in Argyll – bringing access opportunities across the region

Scotland’s largest free annual architectural event is on 26th and 27th September 2015 – and in much, rich and varied presence across Argyll – with South Kintyre Development Trust coordinating Argyll’s Doors Open Day.

This is one of the European Heritage Days, giving free access to places that are normally closed to the public. Some open up once a year, some just once in a lifetime.

This year you get inside the legendary Gaydon Hangar [below] at the former RAF airbase at Machrihanish – the subject of far fetched speculation as to its purpose and contents during the cold war – and not all of it was fetched beyond possibility.

Gaydon Hangar

You can get to see the Argyll Papers, a very recently completed initiative in physical presence and archival research – a private voluntary responsibility hosted by the Argyll Estates in Cherry Park [below] in the grounds of Inveraray Castle. Campbeltown Museum [further below] is another part of this sector of the Open Doors opportunities day.

argyll papers

The Retreat garden and artist’s studio at Kilcreggan in the lovely Rosneath Peninsula will open its doors to you, as will Torrisdale Castle at Carradale and Kintyre Recycling [both further below].

The full programme of what is available is attached below, including a map of the properties opening up in each area of Argyll and Bute – in what seems a very well organised event.

Campbeltown Museum copy

South Kintyre Development Trust [SKDT] Manager, Zena Coffield says ‘We are delighted to have brought Doors Open Day back to Argyll after an absence of several years. As this is the first time we have co-ordinated the event, our programme has a distinct Kintyre flavour. We hope it will entice visitors to explore the peninsula, stopping off at other places of interest along the way. The DOD theme this year is Industry, Innovation and Architecture and our programme fills this brief with a diverse collection of venues representing distilling, wind energy, recycling, commerce, architecture and community enterprise.

ABSEN - images for promotion of social enterprise in Argyll & Bute

‘We are also delighted to have attracted interest from further north where visitors will find more interesting venues to enjoy in Inveraray and Rosneath. These include the enchanting Retreat garden and artist’s studio in Kilcreggan and the Duke of Argyll’s archive at Inveraray Castle, where visitors have a rare opportunity to see treasures from one of Scotland’s most important private archives. Inveraray Parish Church and Inveraray Bell Tower will also be giving special guided tours and visitors to the Bell Tower will be treated to magnificent views of the town from its viewing platform. There will also be an opportunity to find out about Inveraray’s Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme [CARS] at a drop-in event in the Nicol Hall, Church Square.

‘There are lots more exciting highlights in this year’s programme which would not have been possible without the support of so many participants who were willing to open their doors and give up their time for free. Let’s hope we can make this an annual event which will grow each year, benefitting the local community and drawing others to the area.’


The fully detailed and illustrated programme for the event is here: 2015 Brochure Argyll Open Doors Day. It includes details of the various special  guided tours of some properties and drop-in events that are a part of the programme.

This  not just access, it is often about rich informed access.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Does that mean people can just wander around the airfield?

    Is the storage area for the ‘special weapons’ still there?

    Tempted to have a trip down.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Lundavra September 18, 2015 4:46 pm Reply
  • As someone who regularly visits the Glasgow ‘open days’ whilst it’s well-done Inveraray and Campbeltown what about Oban? Dunoon? Lochgilphead? Helensburgh? Bute?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Simon September 18, 2015 6:09 pm Reply
    • I think it relies on there being someone in the area to organise the events, some areas have little happening and other nothing. It is only the last couple of years that there has been anything in Lochaber.

      The Machrihanish tours have to be pre-booked and only a few places left.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Lundavra September 21, 2015 8:42 am Reply

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