reflections of Edinburgh's Doors Open Days Coordinator

Joe Taylor, Cockburn Trust, Edinburgh Doors Open Days coordinator

What most excites me about coordinating Edinburgh’s Doors Open Days (EDOD) is the range of venues on offer.  I like to think Doors Open Day has something for everyone. . I am confident that anyone can pick up our maps and find a building they are keen to explore.  One of our objectives is to increase the geographic spread across the city so that there is something in every locale.

This year we have a robotarium, medieval walled garden, Gaelic school, auction house, croquet club and the oldest house in the new town – to name a few of the many venues appearing in our brochure.  From large sites like the Queen Street Gardens to individual police boxes, there is a multiplicity of building sizes and stylesChildren seem to really like the Lothian buses depot with large numbers of young families visiting each year while the robotarium… Well everyone likes robots, don’t they? 

In an age where there is a temptation to retreat into our online bubbles, EDOD offers the incentive to get out and connect with people and places, thereby strengthening an awareness of the communities we all live in.  We have three of Edinburgh’s faith traditions represented in the programme through some Christian Churches, the Edinburgh Central mosque and the Baha’i Centre.  The Doors Open Days weekend provides a fascinating opportunity to meet friendly faces and find out about our fellow Edinburgher’s cultures and lifestyles.

Another exciting element for EDOD is the potential for people to explore their own immediate area – you might get to know more about that strange building on your street that you always wondered about, or perhaps find out what goes on in a neighbourhood that you haven’t visited before.  Due to the large programme on offer, there is plenty of opportunity for those with mobility issues, who might not look forward to a schlep across the city, to access and discover something interesting just around the corner. 

We have the privilege of incorporating the East Lothian region into our 2017 programme.  This, combined with our record number of Edinburgh venues, means we expect to have the highest tally of Edinburgh Door’s Open Days buildings on record.  So, in short, there’s a lot to look out for.   And it’s all free!  You just need to bring your inner explorer.