Ayr Advertiser

Programme for Doors Open Day revealed

- Darren Gibson darren.gibson@newsquest.co.uk

DOORS Open Day is returning to Ayrshire this September – and the full list of local venues taking part in the 2023 festival has been revealed.

The 34th annual event to celebrate the built heritage of Ayrshire takes place over the weekend of September 9-10. There will be 46 venues taking part throughout North, East and South Ayrshire, several for the first time.

In Ayr, the Gaiety Theatre has backstage tours, and nearby Holy Trinity Church is open after several years.

Ayr’s Auld Kirk of 1654, hidden off the High Street, is a surprise to many visitors.

In Troon, the big three Church of Scotland churches are open before they discuss the way forward together, and in Girvan, visitors can see inside the Stumpy Tower Jail over the weekend and stroll through the gardens of Whitewin House.

In North Ayrshire, there is the popular Kilwinning Abbey Tower, as well as superb quality stained glass to admire in Kilwinning Abbey Church, the Clark Memorial Church in Largs, and St Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ardrossan.

At the North Ayrshire Heritage

Centre in Saltcoats, there will be an exhibition on Ardrossan Castle and its archaeolog­y with tours of the site the next day.

The Scottish Maritime Museum is great for children, and this year’s exhibition, ‘Dream Destinatio­ns’ celebrates the rise of Scotland’s seaside resorts and Clyde steamer trips.

New this year is the Clyde Coast & Garnock Valley Crematoriu­m, on the A760 between Kilbirnie and Largs, with a rare opportunit­y to see behind the scenes, and The Mother Lodge of Scotland in Kilwinning.

In East Ayrshire, taking part after an absence of many years, is St Marnock’s Parish Church, with its 30-bell carillon, together with the Howard Outreach Centre providing refreshmen­ts, the nearby Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and also near is The Club, founded in 1884, which is a private gentlemen’s club.

Among an impressive cluster of venues in Kilmarnock, visitors can see backstage at the Palace Theatre and share recollecti­ons of past production­s, look with new eyes at Dean Castle after its recent makeover, and share “Gifted By My Granny” items at The Dick Institute.

For more informatio­n, www.doorsopend­ays.org.uk visit

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